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 27, 2008

War News for Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The AFP is reporting the death of a US-led coalition soldier (CJTF-101) in a non-combat related injury in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. No other details were released.

The AP is reporting the death of a soldier. Kyle Phillip Norris was wounded in a roadside bombing in Iskandariya, Iraq on Thursday, May 22nd and later died of his injuries in a military hospital in Iraq according to his brother. No other details were released and we believe this to be a new death previously unreleased by the U.S. military.

Mideast weather roundup:

Baghdad, Iraq: The temperature was 102 degrees at 3:55 p.m. local time with widespread dust. Tonight will be clear with a low of 82 degrees.

Kabul, Afghanistan: The temperature was 77 degrees at 3:50 p.m. local time under partly cloudy skies. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low of 54 degrees and a chance of rain.

Kuwait City: The temperature was 100 degrees at 3 p.m. local time with blowing dust. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low of 85 degrees.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Britain has lost almost 100 unmanned surveillance aircraft - including a £10m Reaper which had been in service for less than six months - over Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, The Herald can reveal. The unmanned aerial vehicle losses include about 50 which were shot down or suffered catastrophic mechanical failure in mid-air and another 40 damaged beyond repair by crash-landing on rough terrain. The Ministry of Defence admits that 33 have been lost over Iraq, although it has not released details of the types of robot spy planes brought down by enemy fire, severe weather or internal faults. At least 23 of the older and notoriously unreliable Phoenix drones used to locate enemy positions and movement for artillery bombardment were downed during the combat phase of the Iraq invasion in 2003.

#2: In other violence, a U.S.-allied fighter was killed and two others were wounded Tuesday when a bomb under their vehicle exploded near a market in northern Baghdad's predominantly Sunni area of Azamiyah.

Around noon a magnetic bomb attached to the car of a member of Awakening of Adhemiyah, a U.S. sponsored Sunni militia, exploded and injured the militia man.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Several rockets slammed into Ashraf city, 56 miles north of Baghdad, where PMOI, The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, take resident on Monday. A statement issued by PMOI said the attack didn’t cause any casualties.

#1: At least an Iraqi soldier was killed and another wounded on Tuesday morning as gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Diala, central Iraq, a police source said. “Gunmen, believed to be from Qaeda Organization, launched an attack on a checkpoint manned by Iraqi troops in Hibhib district, killing a soldier and wounding another,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.

Gunmen attacked a checkpoint of Awakening council in Hibhib north of Baquba injuring two men and a child.

#1: Gunmen shot dead three Iraqi oil technicians as they were trying to fix an oil pipeline in the town of Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Salam:
#1: Iraqi security forces raided a village in Salahudin province and killed four al-Qaida leaders, a provincial police officer said on Tuesday. The troops on Monday afternoon raided the village of al-Salam, one of al-Qaida militants' redoubts located to the west of the town of Beiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, Col. Hassan Ahmed told Xinhua. During the operation, the troops fought gunmen and killed four of them, he said, adding that the four were believed to be al-Qaida leaders, one of them identified as Muhammad Faiyaadh, a minister of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq. Two Iraqi policemen were also wounded by the clashes, he added.

#1: Gunmen killed a policeman near his station in Mosul, when attackers opened fire with machine guns shortly before noon about 100 meters from the Hadba police directorate, officials said. Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf expressed concern that the policeman was killed in broad daylight Tuesday in an area that was crowded with Iraqi policemen and pedestrians. He ordered an immediate investigation.

#2: the same source said, two unidentified gunmen opened a volley of fire at a woman in the western Mosul area of al-Shifaa, killing her instantly and escaping to an unknown place."The 45-year-old woman was stepping out of al-Shifaa hospital when the gunmen attacked her," the source said, adding the woman was not identified by anyone yet.

Tal Afar:
#1: Six people died and 44 were wounded in a blast Tuesday west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, an official said. "Six people died, including a policeman, while 44 were injured when a parked car exploded in Talafar city, 6o kilometres west of Mosul," the source added. The source expected the toll to rise as many of the 44 are severely injured.

#1: One soldier of the borders' guards was killed on Monday when Iranian soldiers shot at an Iraqi patrol north of Sulaimaniyah. Officials said the incident is under investigation.

#1: An Afghan official says a roadside bomb hit a bus in western Afghanistan, killing eight civilians. Younus Rasuli, deputy governor of Farah province, says the bomb hit the vehicle Tuesday as it was travelling to neighbouring Nimroz province. He says one civilian was wounded. All the casualties were men.

One woman, a child and six men were killed when the blast hit a bus in Del Aram district of western Farah province, deputy provincial governor Mohammad Younus Rasuli said.

#2: Four policemen were killed and three others wounded in the second explosion which hit their vehicle in Logar province south of Kabul, a provincial official said.

#3: In another incident on Tuesday, U.S.-led troops killed several Taliban militants in an operation in Helmand province in the south, the U.S. military said in a statement.

#4: For two years British troops staked out a presence in this small district center in southern Afghanistan and fended off attacks from the Taliban. The constant firefights left it a ghost town, its bazaar broken and empty but for one baker, its houses and orchards reduced to rubble and weeds. But it took the Marines, specifically the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, about 96 hours to clear out the Taliban in a fierce battle in the past month and push them back about six miles.

#5: Nine police were killed in Taliban attacks in Shor Abak district of southern Kandahar, provincial police chief Sayed Aqa Saqib said. "The Taliban killed five police in an attack on their post and the other four were killed when we sent in reinforcements later," he said.

#6: Three children were killed by a blast while playing near a police station outside Kandahar city, he said, adding the explosion occurred as a Taliban militant was planting the device under a bridge.

On the Home Front:

#1: A 21-year-old Marine and Iraq war veteran from Camp Pendleton was arrested and is being investigated in the death a fellow Marine, sheriff’s officials said Friday. A second Marine suspected in the killing has been on unauthorized leave since April and is now considered a fugitive, said Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino. Lance Cpl. Christian William Carney was placed in the Camp Pendleton brig on Thursday night after sheriff’s deputies informed military personnel that he was wanted for the May 15 slaying of Pfc. Stephen Serrano. Carney, an Iraq war veteran, was then arrested Friday by sheriff’s deputies, Amormino said. Meanwhile, authorities sought a second Marine, Pfc. Alvin Reed Lovely, 20, also of Camp Pendleton, in connection with the slaying. Amormino said Lovely is considered armed and dangerous.

Casualty Reports:

1st Sgt. David Gussberry and another soldier were hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during an attack last week. Gussberry's wife says a dime-sized piece of metal went into his brain and he suffered a number of deep cuts from the attack, but he remains lucid. Gussberry was flown out of Afghanistan to Germany, where doctors sent him on to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He serves in the 489th Engineer Battalion and was working with the HHC420 Engineering Battalion Unit from Texas when he was injured.

Shawn Monroe remembers that night in October of 2003 like it just happened. He was on patrol with Iraqi police just outside Baghdad when the mortar fire began.
“The blast hit back by the rear wheel of the humvee, and the blast crossed my legs through the door,” he said. The same mortar fire that left Monroe without a leg claimed her (Rachal Bosveld) life.