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 22, 2008

War News for Saturday, March 22, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Coalition force Soldier in indirect fire south of Baghdad on Friday, March 21st. Four other soldier were wounded in the attack.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers in an improvised explosive device in an northwest neighborhood of Baghdad on Saturday, March 22nd. One other soldier were wounded in the attack and two Iraqi civilians were killed in the attack.

USA Today is reporting that the injured soldier died later from his wounds.

#1: Four civilians were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in southeastern Baghdad on Saturday, an Iraqi police source said. "An IED went off on the main road in al-Mashtal area, southeastern Baghdad, wounding four civilians who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment," the source, who refused to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#2: Two soldiers were killed when their vehicle was struck while on patrol in Baghdad while a third injured in the attack died later of his wounds, the military said in a series of statements.

#3: The military had earlier reported the death on Friday of another soldier, who sustained injuries in a rocket or mortar attack south of Baghdad. Four other soldiers were wounded in Friday’s "indirect fire" attack, it said. The US military uses the term "indirect fire" to refer to rocket or mortar attacks.

#4: A civilian was killed and three others were wounded in an IED explosion that targeted a bus in al Amin area in east Baghdad around 7:00 a.m.

#5: Around 8:00 a.m. two mortar shells hit the amusement club in al Yarmouk neighborhood in west Baghdad. No casualties were reported.

#6: Three civilians were wounded in an IED explosion in al Kam Street in Adhemiyah neighborhood in north of Baghdad around 11.00 a.m.

#7: Around 1:00 p.m. an IED exploded in Mansour neighborhood west Baghdad. Six people were wounded including two members of Sahwa council in Mansour.

#8: Police found three bodies in Baghdad as the following (1 body in Mansour, 1 body in Baladiyat and the last body was found in Palestine Street.

Diyala Prv:
#1: At least one policeman and two civilians were wounded on Saturday as fighters belong to the anti-Qaeda Popular Committees opened fire at a checkpoint manned by Iraqi police in Diala, central Iraq, a security source said. "The attack took place near Sarajiq village of al-Khalis district," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq

Three civilians were killed including a policeman and two other civilians were wounded when a check point of the local supporting committees opened fire on their car in Sarajiq village in Salam district, part of Khalis town 9miles north of Baquba around 9:00 a.m. local police of Salam district said.

#1: One body was found with gunshot wounds to the head in Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Four Katyusha missiles fell on a U.S. base in Hilla while five others in its environs on Friday night but left no casualties, a police source in Babel province said on Saturday."Four Katyusha rockets fell on a house of a member of the former Baath Party command, which the U.S. intelligence corps took as headquarters in southern Hilla," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: One decapitated body was found in Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police found two bodies with signs of torture and gunshot wounds in Mahaweel, 75 km (45 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Unknown gunmen abducted on Saturday the son of Basra Engineering College's dean, eyewitnesses said.An eyewitness and relative of the hostage told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq that unidentified armed men kidnapped Zuhair Salih Ismael, son of Professor Salih Ismael, Basra Engineering College's dean, from Al-Tanoma area – east of Basra city, and took him to an unknown place.

#1: An American helicopter mistakenly opened fire on an Awakening Councils’ group patrol in Salahudin province, killing six fighters of the group, a provincial police source said Saturday. The incident took place at dawn in the Um al-Talayeb village south of the city of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Two more fighters of the patrol were wounded by the helicopter attack and were transported by the US ground forces to their base for treatment, the source said.

#1: In Kirkuk, some 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, at least one civilian was killed and nine others were injured when a bomb targeting an Iraqi patrol went off in the al-Dahab al-Aswad area, security sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Sources said that the vehicles of Iraqi police officers were damaged in the attack.

A civilian was killed and five policemen were injured in an IED explosion in al Tayran square in downtown Kirkuk city on Saturday morning.

#1: The Iranian shelling of border areas in northern Iraq is ongoing but left no casualties, the chief of the border district of Zarawa said on Saturday. "The Iranian artillery shells, which began on Wednesday, are targeting the villages of Rizka, Mardo, Shinawa, Sorkola, Basti, and Spikola of the Qalaat Daza border district, (160 km) northeast of Sulaimaniya. The attacks left no casualties but forcibly-displaced inhabitants of eight villages," Azad Wasso told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Afghan police backed by U.S. troops killed three Taliban fighters and captured three more in a 40-minute gunbattle in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, a Reuters witness said. The firefight erupted after some 40 Afghan police officers, backed by a small team of U.S. mentors entered a village in the Shajoy district of Zabul province. Taliban fighters fired on the troops before retreating to a nearby hill on motorcycles. The police and U.S. mentors chased the militants and surrounded them.

#2: In northern Afghanistan, the governor of Khanaqa district in Jowzjan province was killed in a knife attack on Saturday, a provincial spokesman said, blaming Taliban insurgents.

#3: A commander of the highway police in the northern province of Kunduz was shot dead in an ambush late Friday, said the provincial police's General Mohammad Ayob Salangi, who blamed the attack on the Taliban.

Casualty Reports:

Army Staff Sergeant Calvin Stroupe, 28, was on duty in Iraq when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his jeep over the weekend. Stroupe suffered a concussion, broken ribs and bleeding in the brain. Stroupe spent three days in intensive care but is expected to recover. He’s already ready to return to work.