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, May 16, 2008

War News for Friday, May 16, 2008

#1: Gunmen ambushed an Iranian Embassy convoy in Baghdad, wounding three Iranians, including two diplomats, and an Iraqi. Iranian Embassy spokesman Manoucher Taslimi says the convoy was en route to a revered Shiite shrine in the northern neighbourhood of Kazimiyah when it came under fire. The attack happened at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday as the convoy approached a bridge that links Kazimiyah with the predominantly Sunni area of Azamiyah, according to Taslimi. He says those wounded, including two Iranian diplomats and an Iranian and an Iraqi administrative employee, were in stable condition.

The Interior Ministry official said five people were wounded when the two-vehicle Iranian convoy exchanged fire with Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint near the bridge after most of the Iranians failed to produce identification cards. "The checkpoint staff asked them for ID cards, but nobody had one except for one Iranian called Abu al-Fadhil," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information. Reports indicate the Iraqi security forces "handled the situation appropriately and with a high degree of professionalism, once again demonstrating their capability at maintaining security in their districts," Russell said in an e-mailed statement.

#2: 3 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Fdhailiyah; 1 in Iskan and 1 in Bayaa.

#3: A roadside bomb exploded at a bus station in central Baghdad, killing one civilian and wounding three others, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb hit an Iraqi army convoy in southeastern Baghdad, wounding two civilians, police said.

#5: The U.S. military said it killed one gunman and wounded another in eastern Baghdad on Thursday when their vehicle came under attack.

#6: 3 mortar rounds slammed into the Ghazaliyah police station, west Baghdad, which is being used as a US military base at 11.15 am. No casualties were reported.

#7: 3 mortar rounds slammed into the former Central Markets building in Shaab, North Baghdad, which is being used as a US military base at 11.15 am. No casualties were reported.

#8: Medical sources inside Sadr city reported 11 injuries and 2 deaths including women and children brought in from al-Shamaiyah and Rashad neighbourhoods, two eastern suburbs of Baghdad, at 4 pm Friday.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Five people were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in northeast of Baaquba city on Friday, an official security source in Diala said. "The IED, planted in al-Aasry neighborhood in Jalawlaa, Khanaqin district, (155 km) northeast of Baaquba, wounded five civilians, including four children from the same family," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: U.S. and Iraqi security forces detained nine gunmen during a raid on Thursday in Mahaweel town, 75 km (45 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: U.S. forces detained 12 suspects on Thursday in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said

#1: 3 prominent doctors were kidnapped by gunmen on the way between Tikrit and Baiji, close to al-Hamra village, 20 km to the north of Tikrit. They are Dr. Sabbar Mahrooz Abdullah, administrator of Tikrit Teaching Hospital, his deputy and specialist Dr. Ahmed Salah.

#1-2: U.S. and Iraqi troops moved against al-Qaida on two separate fronts Thursday, with house-to-house searches in Mosul and an operation in the desert to stanch the flow of insurgents and weapons to that northern city.

#1: There were no reported clashes during the searches in known al-Qaida strongholds in the western and eastern parts of Mosul, Iraq's third largest city, where insurgents are believed to use the cover of sheep and produce markets to smuggle cash, weapons and foreign fighters from nearby Syria.

#2: American Marines were operating farther south, near Lake Tharthar, a remote desert region that has been a refuge for al-Qaida fighters and a back channel for supplying the network in the north. We're trying to shut down the rat lines,'' Marine Brig. Gen. Richard Mills, who is heading up the operation, told a briefing at a mobile command post set up in the Mameluke desert. U.S. Marines on Thursday searched an abandoned mud house, uncovering six weapons caches including material for building roadside bombs.

Since the Marines' operation began five weeks ago, they have killed six Sunni insurgents in clashes - including five killed when a Harrier jet dropped two bombs on a desert house after a clash in which a U.S. Marine was wounded, Brig. Gen. Randolph Alles said.

#3: A physician was killed by a stray bullet in his home in western Mosul. Dr. Muhammad Abdul-Hakim Lawind, a physician at the Ibn Sina Teaching Hospital, was killed when he received a stray bullet in the head while inside his home in al-Najjar neighborhood, western Mosul," the source, who refused to give his name, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#4: In the 17 Tamuz neighborhood, western Mosul, a child was wounded when an Iraqi army force detonated an IED," the source said, adding the child happened to be near the scene.

#5: A woman was shot down inside her home in eastern Mosul during a late hour of Thursday night, a Ninewa police source said on Friday. A 30-year-old woman was shot down in her home in the eastern Mosul neighborhood of al-Bakr. The woman's brother said she was killed by stray bullets," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A suicide bomber blew up his explosive vehicle near a police station in central Falluja city on Friday with no word yet on casualties, an official security source in Anbar province said. "A suicide bomber attacked a police station in the al-Dhubbat neighborhood in central Falluja on Friday afternoon. Fire broke out in the attack site," the source, who refused to give his name, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

A suicide car bomb killed four policemen and wounded nine other people in Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. Police beat up a Reuters cameraman and a photographer when they tried to film the aftermath of the bombing. The photographer had to be treated in hospital.

#2: 1 policeman was shot at by gunmen in al-Ameriyah/Fallujah, 30 km to the south of Fallujah city at 4 pm. The bullet lodged in his stomach and his situation is critical.

#1: Two Canadian soldiers had a close call in Afghanistan on Friday, escaping a suicide attack with only minor injuries. Two Afghan soldiers were also injured in the attack just west of Kandahar City in Zhari district, said CTV's Paul Workman, reporting from Kandahar. The troops were on a foot patrol in a village when the attack took place.

#2: In other violence, militants attacked the compound of a district chief in neighbouring Zabul province Thursday night. A one-hour gun battle broke out, leaving five Taliban dead and six wounded, said the district chief, Barat Khan, according to reports.

#3: In Khost province in Afghanistan's east, troops comprising Afghan and foreign forces attacked insurgents who were planting roadside bombs in the early morning hours on Friday. Two militants were killed in the skirmish and another died later in hospital.

#4: Suspected Islamic militants have killed a Pakistani soldier in revenge for an alleged U.S. missile strike near the Afghan border, an official said Friday. Authorities found the bullet-riddled body of the paramilitary soldier early Friday about 6 miles north of Damadola, a village in the northwestern tribal region of Bajur.