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, June 14, 2008

War News for Saturday, June 14, 2008

The DoD is reporting a new death. Sgt. Steve A. McCoy died at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday, June 10, of wounds suffered in an improvised explosive device attack in Baghdad on Sunday, March 23. No other details were released.

The Washington Post (AP) is reporting the deaths of four American ISAF soldiers in a roadside bombing in Farah province, Afghanistan on Saturday, June 14th. One additional soldier was wounded in the attack. As always no other details were released but it is possible that they were U.S. Marines.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A force from the Iraqi army arrested eight wanted individuals and found two arms depots in southern and eastern Baghdad, a spokesman for Baghdad's operations command said on Saturday.

#2: Two civilians were killed and seven others were injured when a bomb exploded inside a bus in Fdheliyah intersection in east Baghdad around 1:00 p.m.

#3: In a separate incident, another roadside bomb detonated near a police patrol in the al-Nidhal street in Baghdad's central neighborhood of Karradah, wounding four civilians, the source said.

#4: A third roadside bomb went off near a U.S. patrol near an intersection in the Shiite-dominated neighborhood of Kadhmiyah, but the U.S. military has not confirmed the incident yet.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A Sahwa (Awakening) tribal fighter was killed and another wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their headquarters south of the city of Baaquba, an official security source in Diala said on Saturday. An IED ripped through a Sahwa headquarters in the village of Youssuf Hammadi, Bani Saad district, (20 km south of Baaquba), killing one fighter and wounding another," the source, who declined to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#2: Three border guards were injured in an IED explosion on the main street of Khanaqin- Naftkhana northeast Diyala province on Saturday morning.

#1: Iraqi forces backed by US troops have poured into the southern Shiite stronghold of Amara in a fresh offensive to drive militiamen out of the violence-wracked city, security officials said on Saturday. Large numbers of heavily armed soldiers have taken up positions in and around the city ahead of an operation that local police said would target "outlaws". "Many Iraqi and American troops are everywhere inside and outside Amara waiting for the start of the security operation," a local police official told AFP. "The operations will target outlaws."

#2: On Friday, American jets fired on militants who were trying to launch rockets at Iraqi security forces and coalition troops in Amarah, said Lt. Col. Chris Charleville, a U.S. military spokesman in Basra. He had no information about casualties in the air attack. The British military denied Iraqi reports that three Iraqi policemen were wounded.

#1: An Iraqi policeman was wounded in an armed attack on a security checkpoint in northern Basra city, a local police source said on Saturday. "At the early hours of Saturday morning, unknown gunmen attacked a checkpoint in al-Abla area, northern Basra," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq-(VOI). "The attack wounded a policeman, who was taken to the hospital," the source noted.

#1: Two Iraqi servicemen were killed and another was wounded in an explosive charge attack near Balad district, the Multi-National Force (MNF) said on Saturday. "Two soldiers from the Iraqi army were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near Balad district (110 km north of Baghdad), Salah al-Din province, on June 13," according to an MNF statement received by Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq. "Another Iraqi soldier was injured in the attack," the statement added, providing no further details.

#1: A roadside bomb killed a traffic policeman and wounded six others when it blew up near their patrol in central Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi Army patrol in the town of Dhuluiya 70 km (45 miles) north of Baghdad, on Friday, killing three Iraqi soldiers and wounding one, a source in the Iraqi Army said.

#1: An IED exploded on Kirkuk – Taza street south of Kirkuk city on Saturday morning. No casualties reported.

#1: A member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network was killed and another 15 were arrested when US forces discovered a hideout of the organization, the US military said on Saturday. In a statement, the US military said forces uncovered a hideout of the al-Qaeda near Biaj area, some 130 kilometres south-east of the northern city of Mosul.

#1: A force from the Iraqi army on Saturday opened fire on a civilian, whom it described as "mentally ill," after they mistakenly identified him as a suicide bomber, a security source from Ninewa said. "On Saturday, an Iraqi army force opened fire on a civilian, after they mistook him for a suicide bomber in Hay al-Zahra area, eastern Mosul," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq. "The man was wounded in the leg and was taken to a hospital for treatment," the source noted, adding that the man "turned out to be mentally ill."

#2: A woman was injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in eastern Mosul city, a local security source said on Saturday. "On Saturday, an explosive charge detonated in al-Darkazliya area, eastern Mosul, wounding a woman.

#3: Gunmen shot dead an off-duty policeman and his brother near their house in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: update More than 600 prisoners escaped during a brazen Taliban bomb and rocket attack on the main prison in southern Afghanistan that knocked down the front gate and demolished a prison floor, officials said on Saturday. At least nine police officers were killed in the attack. The complex attack took place on Friday which included a truck bombing at the main gate, a suicide bomber who struck a back wall and rockets fired from inside the prison courtyard which set off a series of explosions that rattled Kandahar, which is the country's second biggest city. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi said, 30 insurgents on motorbikes and two suicide bombers attacked Sarposa Prison and freed about 400 Taliban members. Police official Mohammad Jamal Khan said more than 600 prisoners escaped. Nine police officers and eight prisoners were killed and another 12 police officers were wounded. More than 30 nearby shops were damaged.

An Afghan police chief says almost 900 prisoners have escaped in a Taliban bomb and rocket attack on the main prison in southern Afghanistan. However, Brig. Gen. Carolos Branco, a spokesman for NATO‘s International Security Assistance Force, is giving a slightly higher number. He says 1,100 prisoners escaped. It was not immediately clear why the two numbers were different.

A local politician said 15 policemen were killed in the Taliban storming of the prison and subsequent clashes. He did not have more details.

#2: Afghan and foreign troops were hunting on Saturday hundreds of prisoners, including militants, who escaped the main prison in southern Kandahar city after a raid by Taliban insurgents, the government said. So far none of the prisoners have been tracked down, deputy justice minister Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai, told Reuters.