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, June 13, 2008

War News for Friday, June 13, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in a western neighborhood of Baghdad on Thursday, June 12th. No other details were released.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - West Marine from a a non-combat related incident in Al Anbar province on Wednesday, June 11th. No other details were released.

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two British ISAF soldiers from enemy fire in in the vicinity of their base at Forward Operating Base Gibraltar in the Upper Gereshk Valley, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Thursday, June 12th. One additional soldier was wounded in the attack. Here is the NATO statement.

The AP is reporting the death of a Romanian ISAF soldier, Claudiu Marius Covrig, in a RPG attack on the highway between Kabul and Qalat, a town near Kandahar city, Afghanistan. Three additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here is the NATO statement.

June 11 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: At least two people were killed Friday and another three were wounded in violent clashes between militants and US troops, Iraqi police sources said. Sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that a US patrol clashed with illegal militants in Baghdad's industrial district, killing two passengers, one of them is a woman. Sources said the clashes also injured another three civilians. The intense clashes lasted for two hours and no injuries or deaths were reported from the US forces, sources added.

#2: A huge fire destroyed dozens of shops in the Shourja wholesale market in downtown Baghdad on Friday, an Interior Ministry source said. The flames flared at about 1:00 a.m. on Friday (2200 GMT on Thursday) in a three-story building, in Baghdad's oldest wholesale market of Shourja, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. "It was not clear yet what caused the fire in the building, which named the al-Madinah al-Munawara," the source said.

#3: Police found two dead bodies in Baghdad: one in Jisr Diyala in Rusafa bank (east Baghdad) and one in Saidiyah in Karkh bank (southwest Baghdad).

#4: A roadside bomb detonated a pickup truck in Yusufiyah (south of Baghdad). One person was killed and three others were wounded.

#5: A roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in Dora neighborhood. No casualties were reported.

#1: U.S. troops killed five suspected Shiite gunmen and detained two others Friday in a raid south of Baghdad, according to the U.S. military, and Iraqi police said two civilians were killed when they were caught in the crossfire. The troops responded after coming under attack from small-arms fire and grenades as they approached the residence of a "special groups" leader suspected of "running a criminal enterprise" near Hillah, the military said. Capt. Muthanna Khalid, a spokesman for the Babil provincial police, said two civilians, including a woman, were killed and three others wounded during the gunbattle that broke out at about 4 a.m. Hillah is about 60 miles south of Baghdad.

Al Madaen:
#1: Police forces found on Friday morning two unidentified bodies in southeast of Baghdad, a police source said. “Policemen found two unknown bodies in al-Madaen region in southeast of Baghdad,” the source, who asked to be unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: A roadside bomb inside a pickup truck killed one person and wounded three others in Yusufiya, 20 km (12 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A police officer was killed during an operation to free a hostage near Diwaniya, 150 km (95 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Salah al-Din prv:
#1: Two Iraqi army troopers were killed and a third was wounded in a roadside bomb blast targeting their patrol in Salah al-Din province on Friday, a military source said. "A roadside bomb went off against an army patrol on al-Bu Slebi area, 20 km east of Deloyia, leaving two troopers dead, and third wounded," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq. The source noted "one of the killed was an officer with the rank of lieutenant".

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: Gunmen shot dead three people, including a tribal leader and his son, near Tuz Khurmato, 170 km (105 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb detonated at a policeman's house in Baiji (west of Kirkuk) . The policeman was injured.

#1: Three policemen were wounded on Friday in a roadside bomb explosion in northern Mosul, a police source said. “An explosive device went off this afternoon targeting a police vehicle patrol in al-Zeraaei neighborhood in northern Mosul, injuring thee policemen, who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. “The explosion caused material damage to the police vehicle in addition to two more nearby civilian cars,” he added.

#1: A soldier serving with NATO-led forces and an Afghan policeman were killed in separate Taliban ambushes on Friday in the southern province of Zabul, a police official said. Five police and three foreign soldiers were wounded.

The Defense Ministry says one Romanian soldier was killed and three others were wounded in Afghanistan when the vehicles in which they were riding came under attack. The ministry says the soldiers were on patrol Friday on the highway between Kabul and Qalat, a town near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. The ministry says they were about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Qalat when they were attacked with grenades, and two vehicles were hit.

#2: Seven Taliban fighters were killed in a NATO air strike in Ghazni province overnight, an official from the province said on Friday.

#3: In neighboring Paktia, two women and more than a dozen Taliban militants, were killed in air bombardment by U.S.-led forces late on Thursday night, an official said.

#4: Also in Paktia, four U.S. soldiers were wounded in a clash with Taliban insurgents on Thursday.

#5: The suicide car blast in the eastern province of Nangarhar only killed the bomber, said Abdul Ghafoor, spokesman for the Nangarhar police department, reported dpa. The bombing took place in the Bareekab area on the Jalalabad-Torkham highway, the spokesman said without providing information about any casualties among the foreign troops or their nationalities. Most foreign soldiers stationed in the province are American.

#6: A supply helicopter, contracted by International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF), was damaged today while conducting an emergency landing in Konar Province. The aircraft was forced to make the emergency landing at an ISAF base due to mechanical problems. No one was injured during the emergency landing.

#7: Militants attacked the city's main prison with a suicide car bombing and rockets late today, killing police and setting prisoners free, Afghan officials said. The Afghan president's brother said hundreds of prisoners escaped. Justice Minister Sarwar Danish said a suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle at the prison's gates in the southern Afghan city. Danish said he did not have immediate details on how many prisoners might have escaped. But a prison official at the scene, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly, said most prisoners escaped. The prison holds common criminals but also Taliban militants fighting NATO troops and the Afghan government.