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, May 3, 2008

War News for Saturday, May 03, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Friday, May 2nd.. No other details were released.

The Georgian MoD is reporting the deaths of two Georgian servicemen in a roadside bombing in Diyala Province on Saturday, May 3rd. One additional soldier and an interpreter were wounded in the attack.

The BBC is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in a mine explosion in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The other soldiers were wounded in the incident. No other details were released and we assume the death occurred on Friday, May 2nd. Here's the British MoD statement and here's NATO's statement.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by CENTCOM. Staff Sgt. Chad A. Caldwell died during combat operations in Mosul, Ninawa Province on Wednesday, April 30th. No other details were released.

The DoD is reporting the death of Sgt. Jerry L. DeLoach who died of a non-combat related injury after being evacuated from Iraq to Fort Knox, Kentucky on July 7, 2007. No other details were released.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: U.S. soldiers killed 14 suspected Shiite militants in Baghdad, the military said Saturday, as clashes continued in the embattled Sadr City slum and surrounding militia strongholds. A U.S. helicopter allegedly fired a missile Saturday at an apparent target about 50 yards away from Sadr City's general hospital, wounding about 28 people and damaging at least seven ambulances, hospital officials said. The U.S. military did not have immediate comment on the alleged strike, but said in a statement that American forces "only engage hostile threats and take every precaution to protect innocent civilians."

A US air strike damaged a hospital in the Iraqi capital's violent Shiite stronghold of Sadr City on Saturday, injuring 20 people, as American forces claimed to have killed 14 militiamen. The US military said it carried out the strike in Sadr City, a bastion of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, where US troops in separate confrontations killed at least 14 militiamen since Friday. "I can confirm that we conducted a strike in Sadr City this morning," a US military spokesman told AFP. "The targets were known criminal elements. Battle damage assessment is currently ongoing." However, witnesses and an AFP reporter at the scene said the main Al-Sadr hospital had been badly damaged and a fleet of ambulances were destroyed.

On Friday, an M1A1 Abrams tanks engaged "criminals" with one round from its main gun after Iraqi army soldiers reported being attacked by small arms fire from a house, the military said.
"Three criminals were killed in the engagements," the military said.

Later Friday, a US warplane also dropped a bomb and killed two others.

Nine other militants were killed in other exchanges, some of them early on Saturday.

#2: U.S. soldiers killed four militants early Saturday elsewhere in Baghdad, the military said.

#3: The American military also announced Saturday that a U.S. soldier died of wounds sustained in a roadside bomb that struck the soldier's vehicle during a combat patrol in eastern Baghdad on Friday. The announcement comes a day after the military said another roadside bomb attack in eastern Baghdad killed a U.S. soldier.

#4: Meanwhile, two civilians were killed and seven others wounded in Baghdad's central Salihiyah district Friday evening after a mortar round apparently fired by Shiite extremists toward the U.S.-protected Green Zone fell short.

#5: Gunmen shot and wounded three members of an Iraqi television crew in eastern Baghdad, an Iraqi media watchdog said. "A group of armed men carrying pistols and automatic guns targeted our colleagues and fired at them," the Iraqi Journalists Observatory said in a statement. Cameraman Hameed Hasim was hit in the stomach and mouth and underwent an emergency operation at Baghdad's Al-Kindi hospital, a medic at the hospital said. Reporter Hassan al-Rikabi and driver Azim Habeeb were also wounded in Monday's attack in Baghdad's Al-Rubaie street. The crew work for Beladi TV, which is owned by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Dawa Party.

#6: A roadside bomb killed a civilian and wounded eight other people, including six traffic policemen, when it exploded near a traffic patrol in Jamiaa district, western Baghdad, police said.

#7: Meanwhile, two civilians were killed and seven others wounded in Baghdad's central Salihiyah district Friday evening after a mortar round apparently fired by Shiite extremists toward the U.S.-protected Green Zone fell short.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Two Georgian servicemen were killed and one was injured in Iraq on May 2, the Georgian Ministry of Defense said on Saturday. Lieutenant Giorgi Margiev and Corporal Zura Gvenetadze died after their Hummer was hit by an improvised explosive device in the province of Diyala while being on patrol mission, Giga Tatishvili, deputy chief of staff said on May 3. He said that Sergeant Tengiz Mirtskhulava and a local interpreter were wounded with no life-threatening injuries.

#1: An official of the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP)'s local committee was assassinated by a group of gunmen in al-Saadiya area, south of the district of Khanaqin, 155 km northeast of Baaquba, on Saturday, a committee member said. "An armed group assassinated Abdul-Kareem Mahmoud, the ICP official, in his orchard in Saadiya, (35 km) south of Khanaqin. The incident is being investigated," Hawri Repwar told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#2: Also in Khanaqin, a six-year-old child was killed when an improvised explosive device went off near a house in al-Shurta neighborhood, Maj. Ahmed Haqqi, the official in charge of the Khanaqin's investigations office, said.

#1: A mortar killed one child and wounded two other children in Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol, killing two Iraqi soldiers and wounding four others on the outskirts of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police and army sources said.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded three policemen when it struck their patrol in central Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Three policemen were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their patrol in eastern Mosul on Saturday, police said."The IED targeted a patrol of the Ninewa Emergency Contingent in al-Zuhur neighborhood, eastern Mosul, wounding three policemen," a security source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Tal Afar:
#1: Two civilians were wounded when two rockets landed into an outdoor souk (market) in central Talafar district, 60 km west of Mosul, a local police official said on Saturday. "The two rockets, which fell in al-Ulwa souk, al-Whida neighborhood, injured two civilians and caused damage to a number of stores in the area," Brig. Ibrahim al-Juburi, the Talafar district police chief, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A British soldier has been killed and three others injured when their patrol vehicle hit a mine in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in London announced Saturday. The incident happened when the soldiers were providing protection for a routine patrol in the Nowzad area of northern Helmand, described as the limits of Taleban-controlled territory. The MoD said the casualties were taken to the Security Assistance Force (ISAF) medical facilities at Camp Bastion when one soldier was pronounced dead on arrival. The three other Britons were receiving treatment for their injuries, which were said not be serious.

#2: The United Nations on Saturday was investigating reports that a controlled explosion of old ordnance has caused more damage to one of the famed Bamiyan Buddha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban seven year ago. Najibullah Harar, chief of information and culture for Bamiyan, said the blast conducted by NATO-led troops near the smaller of the two statues on Thursday had caused cracks in what is left of the 114 foot-high ancient structure and its side walls.

#3: Afghan troops backed by the international forces eliminated 17 suspected Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan's southern Zabul province, a local official said Saturday. The mop-up occurred in Shar-e-Safa district on Friday, in which17 Taliban militants were killed and three others were captured, Faridullah Khan, a senior police officer in Zabul provincial capital Qalat, told Xinhua. There were no casualties on Afghan and the international troops, Khan stressed.

Casualty Reports:

U.S. Army Sgt. Matt Lammers, 26, served two tours in Iraq as an infantryman, one in 2004 and one in 2007. He was injured both times, but on his second tour he lost his left arm and both legs from an explosive.