The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Friday, March 14, 2008

War News for Friday, March 14, 2008

#1: A group of armed men gunned down al-Karkh club's football coach, Munther Khalaf, a former international player, in front of his home in al-Yarmuk, Baghdad, a source from the club said. Khalaf received several bullets in his abdomen. He passed away on Friday morning from the wounds he had sustained in Thursday's attack," Saleh Hamid, al-Karkh club board member, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. Meanwhile, a physician said that Khalaf was "in a very critical condition because he bled profusely after one of his two kidneys received more than one bullet.

#2: An improvised explosive device went off near a U.S. army convoy on the main street linking the southern Baghdad suburbs of al-Dora and al-Jadiriya on Friday, an Iraqi police source said. "An IED planted by unidentified gunmen went off on Friday morning near a U.S. army convoy, setting one of the U.S. military vehicles ablaze," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#3: Five Katyusha missiles landed on a U.S. army base in al-Dora district, southern Baghdad, on Friday, an Iraqi police source said. "Unidentified gunmen fired five Katyusha missiles at the U.S. base of al-Saqr in al-Dora, but no information could be reached on possible casualties due to the security siege imposed by U.S. forces around its bases," the source, who did not want his identity revealed, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI). "Plumes of smoke were seen rising from within the base," the source added.

#4: U.S. soldiers killed two suspected al Qaeda militants and arrested 24 others during operations in central and northern Iraq on Wednesday and Thursday, the U.S. military said.

#1: Gunmen killed a policeman on Thursday in a drive-by shooting outside his house in northern Najaf, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, police said

#1: One person was killed and six wounded when a bomb on a parked motorcycle exploded near a municipal council building some 50 km (30 miles) south of Baghdad.

#2: 11 Katyusha rockets launched by gunmen hit several neighbourhoods in Kut, amongst which are Haideriyah and al-Shuhadaa, killing 2 civilians, injuring 4 and burning 2 civilian cars. The rockets were most probably aimed at the security forces’ bases near by, but incompetence and lack of experience on part of the gunmen caused the rockets to hit residential neighbourhoods instead, said Iraqi Police.

#1: Two civilians were killed and four more were injured on Friday by unknown gunmen in north of Wassit, a police source said.“Unidentified gunmen killed two civilians and injured four in al-Radisiya region, north of al-Suwiera,” the source, who asked for anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A 15 year-old girl was killed on Thursday when police opened fire on her family's car when it failed to stop at a checkpoint in Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

Ninewa Prv:
#1: A suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt attacked the border checkpoint of Rubaiaa, 120 km west of Mosul, on Friday but the casualties could not be known so far, a security source in the Ninewa police said. "The U.S. forces imposed a security cordon on the area and no word yet about casualties," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Two explosive vehicles driven by suicide bombers went off successively on Friday noon near an Iraqi army checkpoint in Sinaat Wadi Akkab area, western Mosul, leaving three soldiers killed and 10 others, including five civilians near the blast site, wounded," Brig. Khaled Abdul-Sattar told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#2: The incident was followed by clashes between gunmen and security forces that were still going on as of Friday afternoon.

#1: Afghan and foreign troops clashed with Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan on Friday, leaving three suspected militants dead and two wounded, an official said.
Militants ambushed the security forces in Zabul province before troops returned fire, said district chief Mohammad Younus Akhunzada. No troops were hurt but a police vehicle was damaged