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 28, 2008

War News for Saturday, June 28, 2008

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in a vehicle rollover in the central area Helmand province, Afghanistan on Friday, June 27th. Two other soldiers were wounded in the accident.

CJTF-101 (happy news) is reporting the death of a coalition soldier during a reconnaissance patrol in the Gulistan District, Farah province, Afghanistan on Thursday, June 26th. Five other soldiers and two Afghani soldiers were wounded in the attack.

The Khaleej Times (AFP) is reporting the death of an Azerbaijani soldier in an undisclosed incident while carrying out his duties in Iraq. No other details were released.

Officials: 30K Troops Heading To Iraq In '09 (unconfirmed)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The flight crew of a C-130 Hercules executed an emergency landing in a barren field northeast of Baghdad International Airport at about 1:45 p.m. local time June 27. All crewmembers and passengers are accounted for, and have been transported to nearby Sather Air Base, Iraq, for evaluation and any treatment, as required. Damage to the aircraft has not been determined. There is no indication of any hostile/enemy fire in this incident. Soldiers of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team responded to the location with a quick-reaction force to maintain a security perimeter.

#2: U.S. and Iraqi forces killed three militants, including an al Qaeda cell leader, and captured a dozen suspected militants in various operations in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

#3: Around 4 p.m. gunmen threw a hand grenade targeting civilians in Beirut Square injuring two civilians.

#4: Police found three dead bodies throughout Baghdad, one in Fedheliyah, one in Palestine Street, one in Saidiyah.Police found three dead bodies throughout Baghdad, one in Fedheliyah, one in Palestine Street, one in Saidiyah.

#1: #3: Police raiding a suspected al Qaeda hide-out found a secret prison and the bodies of seven Iraqis bearing gunshot wounds and torture marks, Iraqi police said on Saturday. Police said they believed the six men and one woman, only two of whom have so far been identified, had been kidnapped. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. military. Police arrested 11 suspected al Qaeda members in the raid on a house in Benat al-Hassan, on the outskirts of Samarra, early on Saturday, said Captain Muthana Shakir, commander of Iraq's Rapid Intervention Force in Samarra, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad. No prisoners were found alive at the house. There were no clashes during the raid. Police found all suspects sleeping when they stormed the building.

#1: Around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, a bomb attached to the car Shwaish Ahmed, an explosive expert in Salahuddin province police, exploded in Al Dour town, about 15 miles south of Tikrit, as he was visiting relatives. Ahmed survived and the explosion caused damages to the nearby houses.

Al Tharthar:
#1: Police found 25 decomposed bodies in Al Tharthar area south of Samarra today. Police said the bodies were of civilians

#1: The Iraqi police found the body of a civilian bearing gunshot wounds in central Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two policemen on Saturday were wounded when a roadside bombing targeted their patrol, western Mosul, said a source from Ninewa police. "A roadside bombing targeted an Iraqi police patrol at al-Yarmook neighborhood, western Mosul" the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Pakistani forces bombarded suspected militant hide-outs with mortar shells Saturday as the government launched a major offensive against Taliban fighters threatening the main city in the country's volatile northwest, officials said. The government had said it preferred to try to defuse tension with the groups through negotiations, but with threats to the city of Peshawar growing in recent weeks, the military decided to take action. Khyber also is a key route for U.S. military supplies into neighboring Afghanistan. A round-the-clock curfew was imposed in the Bara area bordering Peshawar, and heavy contingents of troops were deployed. By Saturday afternoon, the paramilitary Frontier Corps began shelling suspected militant hide-outs in the mountains in Khyber, said local official Muhammad Siddiq Khan.

#2: Unknown armed men shot dead a tribal elder in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, police said Saturday. "Two armed men riding a motorbike opened fire on Hajji Abdul Bari, an influential chieftain in Gereshk district, on Friday, and killed him on the spot," police chief of Helmand province Mohammad Hussain Andiwal told Xinhua.

#3: Six security guards were killed and three injured when gunmen attacked their posts near a mine in the eastern Afghan province of Khost, a local official said Saturday. The guards were from a private Afghan security company and were hired by the government to secure a chromate mine in the province's Spera district, provincial spokesman Khaibar Pashtun said. "Six guards were killed and three others were injured" late on Friday, Pashtun said. "We believe the killers were chromate smugglers."

#4: A military vehicle of the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan was blown up in the central Maidan Wardak province Saturday. The press office of the coalition troops in Bagram confirmed to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that one of their convoys was hit by a roadside bomb in Maidan Wardak, but said the troops were not injured. Witnesses said the vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb Saturday morning on the Kabul-Kandahar highway in Saidabad district. The district chief of Saidabad, Fazl Rahman Muslim, said three civilians - two men and a woman - travelling in a car close to the convoy were wounded in the blast

#5: Elsewhere, the Taleban claimed to downed a US helicopter in the south-eastern Paktia province, with the coalition forces giving a different version of the incident. Mujahid told dpa by phone that a US Chinook hecopter was brought down by machine-gun fire in Wazi Zadran district near a US military base on Saturday morning, killing all aboard. However, coalition troops said in a statement that their helicopter made an emergency landing because of a technical problem, not hostile firing. "A coalition helicopter made a hard landing in Paktya province today, due to mechanical issues. No coalition service members were killed. There were no reports of enemy fire," said the statement from Bagram.