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

Monday, July 21, 2008

War News for Monday, July 21, 2008

The Charleston Daily Mail is reporting the death of a U.S.-led coalition (CJTF - 101) soldier in a roadside bombing in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Sunday, July 20th. We assume this to be an American.

CNN is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier while fighting in Khost province, Afghanistan on Sunday, July 20th. No details were released. We assume this also to be an American. Here's NATO statement.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Armed men blew up the house of Iraqi lawmaker Mithal al-Alusy in west Baghdad Monday, nearly four years after one of several assassination attempts on his life resulted in the death of his two sons. There were no fatalities in the explosion, since the house was empty at the time, but it was extensively damaged, security sources said.

#2: Five civilians were injured in an explosion of a bomb that was attached to a private car in al Tobchi neighborhood in west Baghdad around 12:00 p.m.

#3: A parked car bomb killed one person and wounded four others on Sunday in Alawi district, central Baghdad, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen kidnapped four brothers after raiding their house south of Baaquba city on Monday, an official security source in Diala said. "Al-Qaeda gunmen stormed a house in the village of al-Bawashi south of Buhrez district, (5 km) south of Baaquba, and kidnapped four brothers and led them an unknown place," the source, who declined to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Gunmen attacked alBowashi village south of Baquba city targeting Sahwa councils members (awakening councils) killing one member of Sahwa and kidnapping four.

#1: Unidentified gunmen shot down a tribal chief of al-Ubayd clan in Baaquba on Monday, an official security source in Diala said. "Unidentified gunmen showered the vehicle of Sheikh Abdelghafour Abdullah with bullets in the district of Abi Saida, Baaquba, killing him instantly," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A civilian man was killed by unidentified gunmen near his house in western Kut city on Monday, a police source in the province of Wassit said. "Unidentified gunmen on a motorbike on Monday morning opened fire at a civilian man standing in front of his home in the area of al-Izza, western Kut, killing him instantl," the source, who declined to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Ninewa Prv:
#1: Gunmen killed two people when they opened fire on their vehicle in southeastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen killed two brothers and their cousin in a drive-by shooting in northern Mosul on Sunday, police said.

#3: One body was found with gunshot wounds to the head in western Mosul, police said.

Tal Afar:
#1: Three policemen were killed and two others wounded on Monday when clashes erupted between two Turkmen clans in the district of Talafar, western Ninewa, an official source from the Iraqi army in the provinces said. "Clashes erupted today between the Turkmen clans of al-Gulagh and al-Bazi in Talafar district, (60 km) western Mosul. Policemen intervened to end the clashes but three of them were killed and two others wounded," Lt. Colonel Adel al-Birwari told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A bomb exploded inside the garden of the house of the father of Falluja police deputy chief Lieutenant Colonel Esa Sayer in al Shurta district in downtown Falluja city west of Baghdad around 6:00 a.m. Five people were injured including a 5 years kid who was seriously injured.

#2: A bomb exploded inside the garden of the house of CPT Asif Ghazi, an officer in Falluja police. The explosion took place in al Mualimeen district in downtown Falluja around 6:00 a.m. the explosion caused damages to the house. No casualties reported. Two other bombs were found near the house and there were detonated under control.

#3: (?) Five people were wounded by two roadside bombs exploding within minutes of each other on different streets in central Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, police said

#1: Two Turkish engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan last week have been freed after their employers apparently paid a ransom, police said on Monday.

#2: About 20 Taliban rebels were also killed overnight after international helicopters attacked them in the eastern province of Khost, local government spokesman Khaibar Pashtun told AFP. The choppers were called in after the rebels ambushed a police convoy, killing a policeman, Pashtun said.

#3: Elsewhere in Khost an Afghan driver was killed after militants attacked a convoy supplying a foreign military base there, a police official said.

#4: Dozens of Taliban militants meanwhile captured a remote district in central Ghazni province overnight, killing one policeman and injuring two others, a government spokesman said. Local security forces had fled the centre of Ajiristan district, about 200 kilometres southwest of Kabul, the interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said. "Security forces abandoned the district centre after Taliban attacked. They withdrew under lots of pressure," he said. "We're working on a plan to retake the district."

#5: U.S.-led coalition air strike killed "several militants" in an open area in western Farah on Sunday, a U.S. military statement said.

#6: Taliban attacked a police post in eastern Kunar and kidnapped three officers late Sunday, police said. Three Taliban were killed and nine others wounded in the clash with police who suffered no casualties, he added.

#7: Taliban insurgents fired rockets on a fuel truck killing six civilians including two truck drivers on Sunday in Laghman province, which also lies in the east, a senior police official said.

#8: A missile strike by the insurgents wounded nine civilians in southeastern Paktika province on Sunday, the defence ministry said.

#9: An Afghan soldier was killed in an attack by the militants in Wardak province which lies on a vital highway, linking Kabul with southern and western regions, it added.

#10: Six Royal Irish Regiment soldiers have been injured in an attack by the Taleban in Afghanistan. An Army spokesperson said the soldiers were in Helmand province at the time of the incident. The extent of their injuries is not known. The news comes after it was revealed another member of the regiment lost a leg during an attack in the same area earlier this month.

Casualty Reports:

US Army Staff Sgt. Nathan Reedlost most of his right leg and suffered other injuries after a car bomb blast in Iraq on May 29, 2006. The explosion also caused shrapnel wounds to his right arm and left leg.

Ranger Andy Allen, 19, lost his leg after an explosion in Afghanistan when he was on foot patrol north of the town of Musa Qal'eh in Helmand province last week. Ranger Allen was in an area close to the so-called Green Zone, beside the Helmand River, when the improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated by Taliban insurgents last Monday.