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

Thursday, April 17, 2008

War News for Thursday, April 17, 2008

#1: Iraqi airline companies cancelled Thursday all air flights due to a strong sand storm hitting Baghdad and different Iraqi cities. An official in one of Iraq's airline companies told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that strong sand storms hit Iraq since the early morning of Thursday, which resulted in postponing and cancelling all domestic and foreign air flights. The storm is considered the strongest since 2008, stopping US helicopters from hovering over Baghdad.

#2: On another front, at least two people were killed and 16 wounded in overnight clashes and airstrikes in Baghdad's Sadr City, as Iraqi and U.S. troops battled Shiite militants in the capital.

The U.S. military says an unmanned drone has killed two gunmen in Baghdad's Sadr City district. The military says the drone identified the two men carrying AK-47 rifles.

#3: A roadside bomb went off after midday near a police patrol in the Jesr Diyala suburb in southeastern Baghdad, killing two policemen and wounding 10 others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#4: Earlier in the day, another roadside bomb detonated near a police patrol in Baghdad's southeastern neighborhood of Wihda, injuring two civilians, he said.

#5: In a separate incident, unknown gunmen opened fire on shops in the al-Rubaie thoroughfare in the Zaiyounah neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, wounding three shop owners and damaging several shops, he added.

#6: A roadside bomb targeted a US Military convoy in Bayaa, southwest Baghdad at noon Thursday. No comment from the US Military was available at the time of publication.

#6: A roadside bomb exploded in the industrial street 52, Karrada, downtown Baghdad at 10 am Thursday, injuring 2 civilians.

#8: A roadside bomb targeted a US Military convoy in Abu Disheer, south Baghdad at 11 am Thursday. No comment from the US Military was available at the time of publication.

#9: A Katyusha rocket fell behind the Mansour Milia Hotel on the river bank in central Baghdad at 4.45 pm today. One civilian was injured.

#10: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol near the new Diala Bridge in Zafaraniyah, southeast Baghdad at 3 pm Thursday, killing 1 policeman and 1 civilian. The explosion also injured 6 policemen and 4 civilians.

#11: 1 Katyusha rocket fell inside the Green Zone at 4 pm today. No casualties were reported.
Doura Local Council Member, Saad al-Nuaimi was assassinated by gunmen at 5 pm today. He was driving his car near the bridge intersection and his son, Saifuddin was with him. Al-Nuaimi was killed outright, but his son, although severely injured, survived.

Explosions were heard across the city as salvos of rockets or mortar shells were fired into the high-security district. The U.S. Embassy confirmed the attacks but said no casualties were reported.

#12: A roadside bomb targeted a Sahwa checkpoint, the US sponsored militia in Akhtal Street, Adhamiyah, north Baghdad at 5.30 pm Thursday. The explosion killed 5 Sahwa members, 1 civilian and injured 2 children.

#13: 4 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi police. 2 in Shaab, 1 in al-Amin and 1 in Doura.

#14: Iraqi security forces killed a gunman and arrested ten suspects during the past 24 hours, a Baghdad security spokesman said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: 4 MNFI servicemen and 1 Iraqi Army officer were wounded during a raid conducted by the joint force in Jalowlaa district near the town of Khanaqin, northeast Diyala, said Iraqi Police. A gunman targeted them with a hand grenade from one of the houses in the area being searched, said Iraqi police. No comment from the US Military was available at the time of publication.

#1: A suicide bomber struck a funeral in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing 49 mourners in the latest attack in a region where al Qaeda militants have regrouped, police said. They said more than 50 people had been wounded when the bomber detonated a suicide vest in a Sunni Arab village near the town of Adhaim in Diyala province. One wounded mourner said the funeral had been for two members of a U.S.-backed neighborhood security unit who were killed recently.

Internationally disputed waters:
#1: update Fifteen British sailors and Marines were seized by Iran in internationally disputed waters and not in Iraq’s maritime territory as Parliament was told, according to new official documents released to The Times. The Britons were seized because the US-led coalition designated a sea boundary for Iran’s territorial waters without telling the Iranians where it was, internal Ministry of Defence briefing papers reveal. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act detail for the first time the blunders last spring that led to what an all-party committee of MPs came to describe as a “national embarrassment”.

#1: Three civilians were wounded on Thursday by a bomb blast in northern Mosul, a police source said. “Anti-shields bomb went off this morning, targeting a police vehicle patrol in al-Majmouaa al-Thaqafiya region in northern Mosul, wounding three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: At least five militants were killed and 20 injured on Thursday in a militant attack on tribesmen in the Kurram Tribal Agency in northwestern Pakistan. According to officials, the militants attacked the tribesmen over charges that they had violated Islam by selling alcohol and drugs. Government administrator Syed Alam Khan said clash began on Wednesday.

#2: update NATO admitted on Thursday that a helicopter mistakenly dropped military supplies in the wrong place in southern Afghanistan and that they had subsequently disappeared. Afghan media said the ammunition including rocket-propelled grenades as well as food and water was seized by Taliban militants, but NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not say who took the supplies. "On March 25, a private helicopter company was contracted, on behalf of an ISAF unit, to resupply an Afghan National Police (ANP) outpost located in a remote mountain area" of Zabul provine, an ISAF statement said.

#3: update A new US Marine force that began deploying in Afghanistan last month said Thursday it had suffered the first casualties since it began operations in country, losing two soldiers in a bomb blast. The 2,300-strong US Marine Expeditionary Unit confirmed that two soldiers, whose deaths were announced on Wednesday by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), belonged to the unit.

#4: Afghan and foreign troops battled militants who ambushed their patrol in central Afghanistan on Thursday, leaving nine Taliban fighters dead, a government official said. The clash occurred in the Gilan district of Ghazni province, said district chief Abdul Wali Thofan. There were no casualties among the troops, he said. He did not specify where the foreign forces came from, but most of the troops in Ghazni are American.

#5: Separately, a roadside bomb struck a Canadian military vehicle in southern Afghanistan, the heart of the Taliban-led insurgency. No one died in the blast on Thursday near Spin Boldak, a town on the Pakistani border, said Lt. Cmdr Pierre Babinsky, a spokesman for NATO troops in the south. He declined to say whether any soldiers were wounded.

#6: A suicide attack near a mosque in western Afghanistan killed 23 including two police commanders and wounded 31 mostly civilians on Thursday evening, provincial governor said. The attack took place in Zarang city, the capital of Nimruz province as civilians and police forces were attending an evening prayer, Gholum Dastagir Azaad, provincial police chief told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. He said that the police chief of Khashroad district and the border police chief of the province were among dead people.