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

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

War News for Tuesday, May 13, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in an northwestern neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, May 13th. No other details were released.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A fragile cease-fire failed to stop fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City where the latest clashes between Shiite extremists and U.S.-backed Iraqi forces killed 11 men and wounded 19, Iraqi hospital officials said Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if the those killed in the clashes, which escalated early Tuesday, were militants or civilians. There were women and children among the wounded, said hospital officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

#2: The U.S. military said that it responded to several attacks by militants with precision strikes, but only confirmed killing three militants. Two of the militants were killed in a Hellfire missile strike by an attack aircraft, according to the military. U.S. soldiers also suppressed "enemy fire" in four other clashes with tanks and attack aircraft, the military said. The clashes erupted late Monday, just hours after Iraq's main Shiite political bloc and supporters of firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr signed a cease-fire with the hope of ending seven-weeks of fighting that has left hundreds of people dead in the capital.

#3: The military said Tuesday that militants staged several attacks on U.S. soldiers in Sadr City and elsewhere, but there were no troop casualties.

#4: Stover also blamed the so-called "special groups" for a failed surface-to-air missile attack on a helicopter gunship over Sadr City on Saturday. The missile was fired from an unknown location in eastern Baghdad but missed the target, he said. The missile harmlessly exploded, and the rocket body landed in the Azamiyah neighborhood, where it was recovered by allied Sunni fighters and handed over to the U.S. military.

#5: Gunmen killed an army officer, Brigadier-General Nibras Fadhil Abbas, in a drive-by shooting on Monday in Nisoor square in central Baghdad, police said.

#6: A roadside bomb wounded five civilians in the Karrada district of central Baghdad, police said.

#7: Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday called upon his followers to abide by an agreement, signed between Sadrist movement and the United Iraqi Alliance, to stop fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City.

#8: At least 30 followers of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr were detained on Tuesday as a Sadr’s office in western Baghdad was raided according to an official source from the office. “The raid, which was carried out with an aerial support, ended with the arrest of 30 persons who were working in social activities with al-Sadr’s office in Shoula,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.

#9: Medical sources in Sadr hospital in Sadr city said that a seven years old died after he was run over by a vehicle of the Iraqi army and 15 other men were wounded in a air strike targeted Jamila area in east Baghdad. No confirmation reached us from the US military until time of publication

#10: Medical source in Imam Ali hospital said that five men were killed and four others were wounded in an American air strike around 5:00 a.m. No confirmation reached us from the US military until time of publication.

#11: Around 5:00 p.m. three mortar shells hit the building of the ministry of interior affairs in Bab al Sharji neighborhood in downtown Baghdad. No casualties reported.

#12: At the same time, another three mortar shells hit the building of the ministry of justice in Salihiya in downtown Baghdad casuing afire that was controlled by firefighting units.

#13: Police found four unidentified bodies throughout Baghdad (1 body in Jisr Diyala, 1 body in Tobchi, 1 body in Amil and 1 body in Sleikh)

#14: A fire broke out in Jamila market in Sadr City on Tuesday, while a military helicopter shelled gunmen inside the Shiite city in eastern Baghdad. Intermittent clashes erupted this afternoon in Sadr City areas of Jamila market, al-Hai market and Sahet 55, followed by missiles attacks by U.S. choppers.“The shelling targeted gunmen who were clashing with security forces,” eyewitnesses told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen abducted six university students from a minibus near Baquba on Monday, police said. Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, is 65 km (42 miles) north of Baghdad.

#1: A mortar attack killed a woman and wounded three people including a child in Nassiriya on Monday, police said. Nassiriya is 375 km (235 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

#1: A roadside bomb attack on a police patrol killed one policeman and wounded three others on Monday near Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Violence in Iraq’s Kirkuk province has dropped by 70 percent, and coalition and Iraqi forces have “virtually destroyed” al-Qaida in Iraq in the region, the commander of the U.S. brigade combat team in the area said today.

#2: Ten civilians were injured in a car bomb near Mahabad primary school in one of the Kurdish neighborhoods in downtown Kirkuk city on Tuesday afternoon. The explosion caused damaged some shops and cars.

#1: A bomb blast wounded two children in southeastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Five Iraqi soldiers were killed and four others wounded on Tuesday when an improvised explosive device went off near them in Ninewa province, the U.S. army in Iraq said. "An IED went off on Tuesday in the northern Iraq province of Ninewa, killing five Iraqi soldiers and injuring four others, who were rushed to the Mosul public hospital for treatment," the U.S. army said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Sulaymanyah Prv:
#1: Iranian artillery Tuesday shelled villages in northern Iraq where Iranian Kurdish rebels are believed to be operating, according to a local Iraqi Kurdish official. The artillery shelled several villages in the area of Bashdar in Sulaymanyah province in Iraq's Kurdish Autonomous Region, the official said on condition of anonymity. There were no casualties as the local population in the villages on the Iran-Iraq border had previously fled the area for fear of artillery shelling.

#1: US-led coalition forces called in airstrikes against the Taliban, killing a dozen militants during fighting in southern Afghanistan that has displaced many families, officials said Tuesday. The coalition said in a statement that its troops opened fire and called in airstrikes Monday after observing militants trying to set up an ambush. The coalition had been targeting a Taliban commander transporting weapons.

About 150 Taliban-linked militants have been killed in the past week by Afghan and international troops in southern Helmand province, the provincial governor said Tuesday. The rebels were killed in military action, including air strikes, in the province's southern Garmser district on the border with Pakistan, Helmand governor Gulab Mangal told AFP.

#2: In the northern town of Baghlan on Tuesday, a boy dropped an old mortar shell that he was trying to exchange for ice cream with a scrap metal dealer, said police officer Habib Rehman. The shell exploded, wounding 17 children and a man. Fourteen of the children were evacuated to a hospital in Baghlan. Three others were sent to the nearby town of Pul-e-Khumri, said Dr. Narmgui from the Baghlan hospital. Like many Afghans, Narmgui goes by one name.

#3: On Monday, a rocket hit a house in the eastern Kunar province, wounding two children and a man, said provincial deputy police chief Abdul Sabor Allayer. He blamed insurgents for the attack.

#4: A Pakistani soldier was killed and another injured as suspected militants attacked security check post in the country's northwestern tribal region on Tuesday, local media reported. The security forces returned fire when suspected militants fired mortars and used automatic weapons to hit check post in Bajurtribal agency, News Network International (NNI) news agency said. There was no report of casualties on the part of the militants. And there was no claim of responsibility.

#5: A US military helicopter has made an emergency landing in Afghanistan amid reports that militants shot it down. No one was seriously injured in the "hard landing" in the north-eastern province of Nuristan on Monday night, coalition forces said. The Taleban say they shot the helicopter down. The US military says the helicopter has been taken to a coalition base. "The cause of the helicopter incident is still under investigation. However, initial reports indicated it may have been caused by some form of ground fire," a statement said, the AFP news agency reports.