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

Thursday, June 26, 2008

War News for Thursday, June 26, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier in a roadside bombing in eastern Baghdad. on Wednesday, June 25th. No other details were released.

The Santa Barbara News-Press is reporting the deaths of three U.S.-led coalition soldiers from an attack in Lagar Province on Thursday, June 26th. An Afghan interpreter was also killed in the attack.

The Santa Barbara News-Press is reporting the deaths of three Marines from a suicide bomb attack in Karmah, Al Anbar province, Iraq on Thursday, June 26th. Two Iraqi interpreters and at least 20 Iraqis were also killed in the attack.

June 24 airpower summary:

Military facing $100 billion in equipment repairs

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A car bomb also killed three people and wounded seven in Baghdad's Karradah district, witnesses and police said.

#2: update American soldiers fatally shot three Iraqi bank employees as their car passed a convoy near Baghdad International Airport, according to an Interior Ministry official and Yarmouk Hospital, where the bodies were brought. The attack was one of two bloody episodes Wednesday in which the American military and Iraqi officials offered sharply different accounts of what had happened.Iraqi authorities said at least eight civilians had been killed by American soldiers. American military officials said that in each case they opened fire after coming under attack, and that they were unaware of any civilian deaths. Officials at the hospital identified the bodies of the victims as those of Hafed Abdul Mahdi, director of the bank at the airport, and Surur Shadid Ahmed and Maha Adnan Yunis, women who worked at the bank.

#2: A number of students were wounded on Thursday in a shooting that took place in a tests center in northern Baghdad, eyewitnesses said."A number of students protested against bad services when Education Minister Khudier al-Khuzaaei paid a visit to their tests center in Sabaa Abkar region in northern Baghdad, the matter that made the ministry's bodyguards to start shooting, wounding five students," Qassem Hassan, a student, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. "The test was cancelled after the intense shooting, which forced the students to leave the tests room," Hassan explained, noting that one of the wounded students is in critical condition.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Four shepherds were wounded in a bomb blast in Muqdadiya on Thursday. "An explosive device was detonated in the main street in Shirween region in Muqdadiya, northeast of Baaquba, wounding three shepherds," a police source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. He did not give further details.

#1: South of Baghdad, a bomb exploded on a minibus near one of the most revered Shiite shrines in the holy city of Karbala. At least two people including a young boy were killed, and 14 were wounded, police said.

#1: The two extremists were killed in Sharqat, about 135 miles north of Baghdad, after they refused to surrender to U.S. troops who had surrounded the building where the pair had taken refuge, the U.S. said in a statement. One of the dead was identified as a militant cell leader who was the target of the raid, the U.S. said. Three people were taken into custody.

#1: Hours earlier, an American helicopter fired missiles into a home near Tikrit, killing a family of five, local officials and a relative said. The episode began when Afar Ahmed Zidan thought he heard thieves prowling near his home, said a cousin, Hussain al-Azawi. Zidan fired at them, al-Azawi said.

#1: An Iraqi army soldier was killed late Wednesday by unknown gunman in south of Kirkuk, and security forces managed to arrest the killer, an Iraqi army source said on Thursday."Iraqi army forces, backed by U.S. troops, waged a crackdown operation in Yankaga village in Touz Khormato district, south of Kirkuk," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#1: A car bomb and a roadside bomb went off coordinately near a convoy of the governor of Nineveh province in the capital city of Mosul on Thursday, killing eight people and wounding 18 others, a provincial police source said. The double bombing took place after midday and apparently targeted the convoy of governor Duraid Kashmoulah in the Bab al-Toub area in central Mosul, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Kashmoulah narrowly escaped unhurt and five of his bodyguards were among the wounded, the source said.

A car bomb exploded near the provincial governor's office in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, killing 18 people and wounding 62, Governor Duraid Kashmula said.
The bomb exploded soon after two Katyusha rockets landed near Kashmula's office in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Three people were wounded, including a policeman,by a roadside bombing against police patrol in Mosul on Thursday ,a Ninewa police source said. This explosion is the second of its type in Mosul today, after a car bomb attack that killed 17 persons, and wounded 62 others. "A roadside bomb went off targeting a police patrol at al-Borsa neighborhood, western Mosul, wounding three persons including a policeman," a Ninewa police source , who requested anonmity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: Two gunmen were killed on Thursday while planting a bomb in eastern Sulaimaniya, a senior police source said. An explosive charge went off, killing the two gunmen who were trying to plant it in Sikawiz border village in Benjwin district in eastern Sulaimaniya," Hassan Nouri told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. "The explosion killed one gunman and seriously injured the other, who later died of his wounds in the hospital," he explained.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt Thursday inside a municipal government building west of Baghdad, killing at least 12 people attending a meeting of tribal sheiks, police said. Col. Fawzi Fraih, civil defense director of Anbar province, said the sheiks were members of a group opposed to al-Qaida in Iraq and were meeting with Americans when the attack occurred in Karmah, about 20 miles west of Baghdad. The U.S. military would not confirm whether Americans were inside the building during the attack, the third against a municipal government meeting in Iraq this week. Police said the bomber entered the building through a back door, but it was unclear how he managed to evade security for the meeting, which drew community leaders in the town where Sunnis have turned against al-Qaida in Iraq. The media office for Anbar province said the dead included the town's administrative director and at least two chiefs of major Sunni tribes in the area.

At least 20 people were killed Thursday when a suicide bomber targeted a meeting of clan chiefs and tribal leaders in a village to the west of Baghdad, media reports said. Al-Arabiya news channel said that the blast occurred when a suicide attacker detonated himself in the local council in Karma village in Anbar province. The attacker managed to enter through an unguarded gate, al- Arabiya said.

Details of the bombing were sketchy, but U.S. officials confirmed that American service members were among the casualties in the Anbar explosion, which came just days before the United States was to turn Anbar security over to the Iraqis. That plan is now on hold, U.S. officials said.

#1: A mortar round targeted al-Faris Police Station in al-Amiriyah, Fallujah at 8 a.m. Thursday, killing one civilian and seriously injuring one policeman. Two police vehicles were completely destroyed.

#1: A Coalition forces’ helicopter crashed Wednesday in Konar province. No Coalition forces’ Soldiers were seriously injured and all have been returned safely from the incident. The aircraft has been secured.

A spokesman for the troops said there were only two soldiers on board and they had "minor injuries".

#2: A bomb hit troops from the U.S.-led coalition patrolling south of the Afghan capital on Thursday, causing an unspecified number of casualties, the coalition said. The bomb hit the coalition convoy on Thursday morning during a patrol in Wardak province, the coalition said in a statement. Coalition forces secured the scene, but that "the exact number and nature of casualties" was not immediately clear, it said.

#3: PAKISTANI Taliban have threatened to "brutally slaughter" any truck driver caught supplying oil and goods to NATO-led troops in Afghanistan, one of the country’s leading newspapers says. The Pakistani Dawn newspaper said the Taliban, who have given the drivers one week to comply with the ban, posted leaflets in a Mosque near Karachi warning hauliers against supplying equipment to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and US-led troops. One read: "After the deadline, if any truck or trawler is caught supplying diesel, petrol or goods, not only will the vehicle be set on fire but the driver will also be brutally slaughtered. "These attacks will be carried out starting from Karachi to Peshawar, Chaman, Kandahar and Bagram until such time that the supply line of the Christian army is severed."
Pamphlets were also distributed among truck drivers in Mauripur. One truck driver told Dawn: "These threats have affected our work and supplies to Afghanistan have dropped to some extent. Not everyone is willing to go ahead with such a risky trip now."

Casualty Reports:

Staff Sgt. Michael Kacer, Company B, 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, lost his left arm and suffered unspecified hearing loss and internal injuries, as well as vision problems, said his father, Michael T. Kacer. He learned that his son was critically injured by a rocket or mortar. From Afghanistan, Sgt. Kacer was initially flown to Germany before being transferred to Walter Reed on Sunday.