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

Monday, May 19, 2008

War News for Monday, May 19, 2008

The Chicago Tribune is reporting the death of a soldier, Staff Sgt. James P. Snyder was wounded in a roadside bombing, in Baghdad in January, 2008. He died Sunday, May 10th at Fort Benning Georgia six surgeries in three weeks. No other details were released.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraq’s oil exports in April dropped by more than two million barrels mainly because of the ongoing violence in the country, said Oil ministry in a statement. The ministry says that oil exports stood at 57.06 million barrels for April, down from 59.4 million the month before.

#2: U.S. soldiers killed three militants after coming under attack on Sunday in Sadr City, in eastern Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

#3: Three bodies were found in various districts of Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb wounded three people in Doura district in southern Baghdad, police said.

#5: One Katyusha rocket wounded five people near Hurriya district in northwestern Baghdad, police said.

Five civilians were wounded when a Katusha rocket hit Adan intersection in Kadhemiyah neighborhood in north Baghdad around 12:00 p.m.

#6: U.S. soldiers killed an attacker placing a roadside bomb north of Baghdad and seized munitions in others districts on Sunday, the U.S. military said.

#7: Police found three unidentified bodies throughout Baghdad (1 body on Rasheed camp road, 1 body in Mansour and 1 body Shurta the 4th).

#1: Iraqi police recovered two bodies with gunshot wounds and signs of torture from the Tigris river in Suwayra, 50 km (30 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said. They said one of the bodies was beheaded.

#1: Monday's bombing killed Lt. Col. Farhan Qassim, chief of police in Suq al-Shiyoukh, an area outside Nasiriyah, 200 miles southeast of Baghdad. The blast went off inside Qassim's office as he entered it in the morning, police in Nasiriyah said. The police officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared becoming targets themselves.

#1: Gunmen killed two policemen in a drive-by shooting on a police patrol on Sunday in central Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Iraqi solders and police launched pre-dawn raids in four neighborhoods of Basra, including two Shiite militia enclaves, arresting several suspects, Basra's operations command Maj. Gen. Mohammed Jawad Huwaidi said, without giving a precise number of arrests. The sweep was targeting gunmen believed to be behind Sunday's attack on a police checkpoint in the center of the city that killed a policeman and wounded three others, Huwaidi said.

#1: A car bomb killed one person and wounded six others in central Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Ninevah Prv:
#1: Iraqi security forces arrested 56 wanted men during operations in in Nineveh province in northern Iraq, Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said.

Sulaimaniya Prv:
#1: Iranian artillery shells were fired at the border area of Iraq's Sulaimaniya province. There were no casualities, a local government official said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two dead bodies were found with gunshot wounds and signs of torture in a deserted area near Rutba, 360 km (220 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A man was killed with his wife while she was wearing an explosive vest. The incident took place in al Mukhtar area north Falluja city west of Baghdad. Police said that they got intelligence information that the man has an explosive vest. The man gave the vest to his wife when the house was raided by the security forces. After police left the house, the explosive vest detonated killing the woman and casing serious wounds to the man who dies later, police said.

#1: An official says a suicide bomber in eastern Afghanistan has wounded four Afghan troops and a civilian translator. A provincial government spokesman Ghamai Mohammadyar said the bomber struck the troops on patrol in Bermel district of Paktika province on Monday. He said four Afghan soldiers and a civilian translator working with the U.S.-led coalition troops were wounded. The bomber died in the blast.

#2: A suicide bomber blew himself up next to a police convoy in southern Afghanistan Sunday, killing four civilians and wounding eight other people, an official said. The suicide bomber was targeting the district police chief in Musa Qala in Helmand province, but instead killed four civilians, said provincial police Chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal. Eight other people, including five policemen were wounded, he said. The bomber also died. Several shops were damaged in the blast. The police chief was not harmed, Andiwal said.

#3: A U.S.-coalition member and another civilian died in a separate roadside blast, also in the south. Also Sunday, a roadside bomb hit a U.S. military vehicle in the southern Zabul province, killing one coalition service member and an Afghani. A statement from the U.S.-led coalition said another service member was seriously injured in the attack. It did not give any further details about the casualties, or say if the civilian killed was a bystander or working with the coalition.

#4: In eastern Nangarhar province, suspected Taliban militants shot and killed two police officers Sunday in Khogyani district, said Mohammad Hashim Ghamsharik, spokesman for the provincial governor.

#5: The attack came a day after insurgents hit a NATO helicopter carrying the Helmand's Gov. Ghulab Mangal into the volatile town. The helicopter was damaged in the rocket-propelled grenade attack, but no one was injured.

#6: The Australian military on Monday said it had launched a "major push" to clear out extremist Taleban fighters from their heartland in southern Afghanistan. A series of operations would be carried out north of the soldiers' base near Tarin Kowt to clear out insurgents, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) said. "Australian soldiers have begun a major push into the Taleban heartland of Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan with the intent of pushing out the Taleban, restoring vital infrastructure and creating a safe environment for the Afghan people," the ADF said in a statement. The push would be spearheaded by engineers, infantry, cavalry and support troops, it said. Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Yeaman, commanding officer of the 4th Reconstruction Task Force, said the Australians had moved into the Baluchi region as part of joint operations with the Dutch.

#7: One Indian and one Nepalese kidnapped by a criminal gang have been released in western Afghan province of Herat after 27 days in captivity, Indian embassy in Afghanistan said Sunday. "We are pleased to inform that Mr. Sarang Mohammed Naeem, an Indian national, along with his Nepalese colleague, K.B. Gurung, abducted by a criminal gang on 21st April, have been released late last night (May 17, 2008)," the Indian embassy said in a statement.

#8: A suicide bomber killed 10 people on Sunday after attacking a bakery on a Pakistan army base near the northwestern city of Peshawar, according to police and the Pakistani military. Nineteen others were wounded in the suicide attack in Mardan, in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, according to a Pakistani military news release. The bomber also died in the attack, which happened between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time (1500-1600 GMT, 1000-1100 ET), police said. Four Pakistani security personnel were among those killed, and four others were among the injured, the military said.

#9: AN Australian soldier seriously hurt in a roadside bomb attack in southern Iraq is to be transferred to Germany for specialist treatment. The soldier suffered shrapnel wounds to his arms, neck and face when the bomb exploded near his Bushmaster vehicle outside the city of An Nasiriyah on Saturday. No other soldier was injured in the attack and the Bushmaster vehicle, although damaged, was driven from the scene.

#10: A convoy of 79 commercial trucks loaded with WFP food left southern Afghan city of Kandahar for western Herat and Nimroz provinces on May 17, Aleem Siddique, a UNAMA spokesman told a weekly press briefing here. "The convoy, which was escorted by the Afghan National Police, was attacked by anti-government elements using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades on the main ring road in Maiwand district of Kandahar province," he said. In the attack, he added, two trucks loaded with WFP food were hit by rocket-propelled grenades and burned down, which resulted in the loss of 84 tons of wheat for 10,500 people. "Thankfully, no human casualties have been reported," the UNAMAspokesman further said.

#11: In a separate incident on May 8, a commercial truck with 48 tons of WFP wheat for 6,000 people went missing on the way from Kandahar to Herat, he added.

Casualty Reports:

Marine Sgt. Jake Knospler has endured 22 surgeries since a grenade tore through his face during the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004. He has many more operations to go.