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

Saturday, March 15, 2008

War News for Saturday, March 15, 2008

The is reporting the death of a soldier in the Brooke Army Medical hospital in Texas on Friday, March 14th. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Collin J. Bowen was critically injured in khost, Afghanistan on January 2nd when an explosion hit his vehicle killing one other soldier.

The Journal Register is reporting the death of 36-year-old civilian translator Albert Babaian who died in a suicide bomber near Baghdad on Monday, March 10th. Albert Babaian from Delaware County was working with Trinity Inc., a small company that employs translators across the globe and apparently has contracts with the U.S. military.

Security incidents:

#1: Also on Saturday, a street sweeper was killed and eight injured when a roadside bomb hidden in a trash can exploded in Baghdad's central Karradah neighborhood, police said.

Around 6:30 a.m. a bomb targeted a group of construction workers in Al Wathiq square, injuring 9 people.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A group of gunmen opened a volley of fire on a civilian in the village of al-Huwayder, killing him instantly," the source, who asked not to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#2: Meanwhile, the same source said, another group of armed men "detonated the house of another civilian man in al-Amin neighborhood, Baaquba district."

#1: In the city of Kut, some 180 km southwest of Baghdad, a police officer was killed and eight were injured during intense clashes between militants and Iraqi forces late Friday, the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency said.

#2: Iraqi police arrested dozens of members of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia on Saturday, hours after two policemen were killed in gunbattles in the southern city of Kut, police said.

#3: The sound of sporadic shooting could be heard on Saturday, and police said six people were wounded, including three members of the same family, in a mortar attack on one neighbourhood.

#4: Two men were killed and six others wounded when a hand grenade exploded on a minibus near the city of Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad, on Friday, police said. The men killed were playing with the grenade when it went off, police said.

#5: Gunmen killed Hussein Awda, a civilian, in random shooting in west Kut.

#1: A barrage of 25 Katyusha rockets aimed at the US consulate in the central Iraqi city of Hilla on Saturday slammed instead into a residential area, killing a woman, police said. Hilla police chief Major General Fadhel Raddad said the rockets were aimed at the US consulate but missed and hit a number of houses instead. "A woman was killed and nine people were wounded. Fifteen houses were damaged," Raddad said.

Four civilians were wounded, when the US consulate in the southern city of Babel was attacked late Friday. Sources told VOI that rockets targeted Babel hotel, where the US consulate is located, leaving four civilians injured and damaging nearby houses in Jazaer district.

#1: One body was found in a field in Numaniya, 120 km (75 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A parked motorcycle bomb targeted civilians in a market in Al Sweera, killing one civilian and injuring 10 others.

#2: Iraqi police said that a joint force supported by Awakening (A U.S. sponsored militia) killed Shakir Farman, son of the tribal sheikh of Khazraj tribe, and detained 9 men in a raid on Friday in northern areas of Sweera. Police said the troops were responding to fire and an investigation was started.

#1: One man was killed when gunmen wearing Iraqi Army uniforms attacked a house in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. The man's son and brother were kidnapped.

#1: Clashes broke out, on Saturday morning, between police forces and unknown gunmen north of the city and resulted in the damage of four police vehicles without casualties, a local police source said. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI) "the clashes erupted when security forces raided al- Latif area (15 kilometres north of Basra) in search for wanted persons." "During the raid, police vehicles passing in the area came under small-arm fire, inflicting damage to four police cars without casualties among police personnel," he added.

#1: U.S. forces killed two al-Qaeda militants in Samarra, Salah al-Din province, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

Ninewa Prv:
#1: Three civilians were seriously wounded in a car bomb attack in southeastern Mosul on Saturday afternoon, an official security spokesman said. "The vehicle, parked on the main road in al-Salam neighborhood, southeastern Mosul, went off near an Iraqi army company HQ, wounding three civilians," Brig. Khaled Abdul-Sattar, the official spokesman for the Ninewa operations command, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: In the area of Rabiya on the Iraqi-Syrian border, an interpreter was killed and six people were wounded, including two US soldiers, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt, a US military statement said.

Tel Afar:
#1: Iraqi security forces killed three suspected militants in Tal Afar, 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said. Two of those killed were wearing belts packed with explosives.

#1: A suicide car bomb attack on a convoy of Nato-led forces in southeastern Afghanistan today killed two Afghan civilians, an official said. One NATO soldier was wounded in the attack which happened on a road outside the town of Khost, close to the border with Pakistan. US troops form the bulk of foreign forces in eastern Afghanistan. "One child and one elderly man have been killed and three more civilians were wounded," said Dawlat Qayoumi, district chief of Mandozai where the attack took place.

Casualty Reports:

Pvt. Jesus "Jesse" De La Cruz, 23, lost his left leg below the knee and suffered shrapnel injuries to his left arm and shoulder near Bayji, north of Samarra. He was part of a quick response team investigating a roadside bombing when the patrol's Humvee was hit by the grenade. Three other soldiers were injured.