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, May 31, 2008

War News for Saturday, May 31, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Force – West Marine in a non-combat related incident in Iraq on Friday, May 30th. No other details were released and the incident is under investigation.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a coalition soldier from a suicide car bomb in the eastern Afghan Nangarhar province on Saturday, May 31st. Six other people including three civilians and three soldiers were wounded in the attack. The military has not yet confirmed the death.


May 29 airpower summary:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: U.S. forces said they captured a key "special groups" suspect in eastern Baghdad. The suspect is accused of involvement in kidnappings and managing funds for the special groups.

#2: Gunmen on a motor bike kidnapped a 10 year old girl at Zayuna neighborhood (east Baghdad).

#3: A roadside bomb was defused by the Iraqi army in the Mansour neighborhood (west Baghdad) near a restaurant .No casualties or damage were reported.


Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen assassinated the head of the Diyala morgue, Ahmed Foad, at Al-Sada, a town northeast of Baquba.

Baquba:
#1: Three civilians were killed and seven others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a passenger mini-bus in central Baaquba on Saturday, police said.

A roadside bomb exploded at the local market in downtown Baquba near a dentists’ clinic. Two people were killed, and eight others were injured

#2: A mortar round killed a woman and wounded three people, including a child, when it landed on a house in a village just east of Baquba, police said.


Nassiriya:
#1: Three rockets wounded two U.S. soldiers when they landed on their base in Nassiriya, 300 km (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.


Basra:
#1: Gunmen killed an off-duty police officer near his home in Dair neighbourhood in north Basra, 420 km (260 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan:
#1: Afghan and NATO officials say a bomb attack against a convoy of international troops has wounded four soldiers and four Afghans in eastern Afghanistan. Maj. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, confirmed the soldiers were wounded in Saturday's attack. He says it's not yet clear whether it was an improvised explosive device or a suicide car bomb. Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary says the blast in the eastern city of Jalalabad wounded four Afghans and damaged five civilian vehicles. Bashary said the attack was a suicide car bomb.

#2: An Afghan district governor for Mezan district in southern Zabul and his bodyguard were killed by unknown gunmen in Qalat, the provincial capital on Friday night, police official Abdul Matin said. He said Mohammad Younus, the district governor, was shot dead in front of his house, adding that they had started a search operation to track down the assailants, reported dpa.

#3: Canadian troops have swept through a volatile district west of Kandahar in an operation designed to ferret out nests of insurgents. The four-day swing, code-named Operation Rolling Thunder, was conducted alongside Afghan government forces. The operation saw several firefights in Zhari district, long a hotbed of Taliban activity. No Canadian casualties were reported Friday by military officials who released information about the operation. An unknown number of militants were believed killed in the operation.

#4: Unknown gunmen on Friday shot dead two local tribesmen in Shar-i-Nau area of neighbouring Afghanistan`s Paktia province. Sources said the two men identified as Syed Muhammad Ibrahim and Gulab Hussain were on way to their hometown Parachinar when armed assailants intercepted their vehicle in Shar-i-Nau area of Paktia.

#5: One Afghan soldier was killed and two others wounded when they came under fire from insurgents at a military checkpoint on Friday in Sangin District in the southern province of Helmand, the defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Friday, May 30, 2008

War News for Friday, May 30, 2008

The AFP is reporting the death of a US-led coalition soldier (CJTF-101) from hostile action in near the western town of Farah, Farah province, Afghanistan on Thursday, May 29th. No other details were released.


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: (Thursday) 2 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Saidiyah and 1 in Palestine Street.

#2: General Manager of a private Iraqi oil company, Hussein Ali Abdulhussein survived an assassination attempt in al-Masbah neighbourhood in Karrada at around 9.30 pm. He is now in the neurosurgery hospital being treated for his wounds.

#3: U.S. forces said they killed two people who they suspected were preparing a bomb attack in the New Baghdad district of the capital.

#4: An Iraqi child was killed and two were wounded when a group of children playing soccer at Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, picked up a bomb and it exploded, police said.


Diyala Prv:
#1: "A mortar attack took place on a house this morning, killing three women and wounding two members of the same family," said a police officer from Jalawla, east of Baquba. "This attack targeted Jalawla police station in the heart of the village, which is close to the victim's house," said the officer, who requested anonymity.

Earlier in the day a joint Iraqi-U.S. force detained 20 persons on alleged involvement in a mortar attack against an Iraqi army base in Diala province.The force raided "Jaghat village near al-Saadiyah district, this morning, and arrested 20 persons suspected of launching a mortar attack Thursday on the Iraqi base located near the village," the source, who requested anonymity, told VOI.

#2-3: In other incidents in the province, two roadside bombs killed a man and a child.

#2: "An explosive charge detonated, this morning, in Buhruz district near Ba'aquba, killing a shepherd," the source, who asked to be unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI).

#3: A child was killed and three others wounded when an improvised explosive device went off near a football playground in central Baaquba, thus becoming the third IED attack in the province of Diala on Friday, a security source said.

#4: The same source added that another roadside bomb exploded near a civilian car in Hibhib district, 15 km north of Ba'aquba, killing a civilian.

#5: In other incidents in the province, unidentified gunmen shot dead a member of a US-backed anti-Al-Qaeda group.


Basra:
#1: Gunmen killed on Friday colonel Ali Kadhim Salman , a police officer of Babil, near his house at Al-Deir town (30 miles north of Basra).Police arrested one of his killers an hour later of the incident.


Tarmiya:
#1: U.S. forces said they killed a man approaching them who they suspected of "hostile intent" at Tarmiya, 25 km (15 miles) north of Baghdad.


Tikrit:
#1: Iraqi security forces shot dead at least 11 suspected Al-Qaeda operatives who were hiding in a sheep truck near the northern city of Tikrit on Friday, the defence ministry said. The men were killed in fighting at a checkpoint between ousted dictator Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit and Baiji, ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed al-Askari said. "Members of the Iraqi special forces intercepted a truck transporting animals, but there were 11 Al-Qaeda fighters hiding in it," Askari told AFP, adding that one of the men was a foreigner from an unidentified Arab nation.

#2: In a separate incident in Tikrit, the US military said its troops shot dead a suspected Al-Qaeda weapons dealer and detained another man.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen killed three people in different incidents in Mosul on Thursday, police said



Afghanistan:
#1: Taliban insurgents seized a remote Afghan town overnight, patrolling the streets for some hours before withdrawing ahead of a government operation to retake it on Friday, residents and officials said. Ghazni province where the attack took place is only a two-hour drive south from the capital, Kabul, and while not as unstable as provinces such as Kandahar or Helmand, the villages around the historic city of Ghazni have seen an upsurge of Taliban activity in the past two years. Ghulam Shah, district governor of the captured district of Rashidan, had links with the Taliban and had handed over the district buildings to the militants, provincial Police Chief Khan Mohammad Mujahid told Reuters. The district police chief, meanwhile, had been taken prisoner, he said.

#2: A suicide bomber attacked US-led forces in Khost province, official said on Friday. The attacker died but no other casualties were reported in the attempt on a foreign military convoy in Sabari district, said Khaiber Pakhtoon, governor's spokesman in the south-eastern province. The bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives near a military patrol in the east of the capital, damaging shops and homes, local police chief Alishah Paktiawal said.

#3: Meanwhile, a US coalition soldier and several militants were killed while 20 insurgents were captured, officials said Friday. A statement from Bagram airbase near Kabul said the soldier was killed in combat in south-western Farah province on Thursday. The US military also claimed it killed several militants and captured 16 others Thursday in Ghazni province.

#4: Taliban in Afghanistan on Thursday claimed to have shot down a chopper of a United States private security company, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), in the restive province of Khost. "I am taking the responsibility of shooting down this copter in which all people on board have been killed," remarked Taliban`s senior commander Sirajuddin Haqqani, who called this correspondent from an undisclosed location by telephone. Haqqani, whose fighters operate in Afghanistan`s Khost, Paktia and even in the capital Kabul, claimed that 15 to 20 US soldiers were on board when his men targeted the chopper at Zambar area near Sabaro town in Khost.

#5: two US fighters on Thursday violated Pakistan`s airspace in the North Waziristan tribal agency. Official as well as tribal sources told media that two US fighters entered North Waziristan`s Saidgai and Ghulam Khan at 9:25 am and flew over the border town till 9:35 am."Both the planes flew over about 400 meters deep inside the Pakistani airspace but targeted some suspected places inside Afghanistan," said a military official from the border area, on condition that he would not be named.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

War News for Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baghdad:
#1: Gunmen threw a hand grenade at a minibus, wounding six people in central Baghdad, police said.

#2: The bodies of eight men were found in Baghdad on Wednesday, police said. Four of them were found in the al-Obaidi district in eastern Baghdad.


Diyala Prv:
Bahraz:
#1: Two Iraqi army soldiers were killed and one was injured when an improvised explosive device went off targeting their vehicle patrol in south of Baaquba, a police source said."The bomb, planted on the main road in south of Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, went off targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.


Tikrit:
#1: A tank truck was stopped at a Sahwa checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tikrit. The truck that was heading towards Baghdad was searched and the checkpoint personnel found that the driver, his assistant and 13 stowaways were wearing explosive vests ready to detonate. All 15 suicide bombers were executed.

At least 12 insurgents were killed on Thursday in clashes with members of a U.S.-backed Iraqi neighbourhood patrol near the city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, police said. The fighting erupted when insurgents jumped out of the container of a fuel tanker and attacked the patrol, said police officials. A police official said one of the insurgents blew himself up during the attack. He said 12 were killed, but did not clarify if the man who blew himself up was included in that number. "It was a fuel tanker. There were 14 terrorists inside, including Sudanese and other Arabs," said Ahmed al-Dulaimi, the head of a regional neighbourhood patrol network. "The driver shot at one of the (patrol) members, wounding him seriously. Then the clashes followed."


Mosul:
#1: A few hours earlier, a suicide bomber drove into a group of police officers and detonated his explosives in Al-Gabat, just north of Mosul, police captain Aziz Imara said. At least three people, including two policemen, were killed and 12 people were wounded, he said, adding that the blast had also damaged shops and restaurants.

#2: Three people were wounded, including two policemen, when a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in eastern Mosul, police said.

#3: A police officer was injured on Thursday in an explosive charge blast near a police vehicle patrol in eastern Mosul, a police source said. "A roadside bomb exploded this afternoon in al-Amn neighborhood in eastern Mosul, targeting a police vehicle patrol, injuring one police lieutenant," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.


Sinjar:
#1: An Iraqi official says 16 people have been killed and 14 wounded in a suicide bombing in a remote area in northwestern Iraq. The top official in the town of Sinjar says the bomber blew himself up among a crowd of men at a police recruiting center. Dakhil Qassim says 14 of those killed in Thursday's blast were recruits and the other two were policemen.


Hakurk Region:
#1: Turkish warplanes struck 16 Kurdish guerrilla targets in northern Iraq on Thursday, the military headquarters said. The latest operation was launched at 4 a.m. EDT in the Hakurk region and had been completed "successfully", the statement on the General Staff's website said. The Europe-based, pro-Kurdish news agency Firat confirmed the raids Thursday, saying warplanes taking off from a military base in southeastern Diyarbakir had hit villages in the mountainous border region. The agency said there were no immediate reports on possible casualties or damage.



Afghanistan:
#1: A suicide car bomber hit a convoy of international soldiers in Kabul on Thursday, killing three Afghans caught in the blast, police said. The attack in Kabul targeted two armored SUVs, causing minor damage to the vehicles. None of the soldiers inside the vehicles was wounded or killed, said Lt. Col. David Johnson, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition. He did not immediately know the nationalities of the troops.

#2: Meanwhile, a clash in the western province of Farah killed more than two dozen Taliban fighters, a police officer there said. A joint operation by Afghan and NATO forces in Farah, meanwhile, killed 30 Taliban fighters, said Nabi Popal, the deputy provincial police chief. One policeman and two Afghan soldiers also were killed. Afghan fighters surrounded the militants in the Bala Baluk district of Farah, Popal said, before NATO forces called in airstrikes. He said intelligence reports indicated that 30 Taliban had gathered in the area, but he did not say how he knew 30 had been killed and Popal's information could not immediately be verified.

#3: Also Thursday, a senior Taliban commander in Afghanistan's central Ghazni province contacted CBS News and said militants had kidnapped a French national near the town of Janda. The French citizen, said to be a man, and his Afghan driver were allegedly seized while traveling by car. The Taliban commander, who spoke to CBS on condition or anonymity, did not give the French national's name, but said the captive used to work for the Afghan government. CBS News could not independently verify the Taliban's claim, but the source has provided accurate information in the past. Officials on duty at the French Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry told CBS early Thursday morning they were unaware of any French nationals missing in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

War News for Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Xinhuanet is reporting the death of a ISAF soldier in an explosion in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, May 28th. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here's NATO statement.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreleased by CENTCOM. Sgt. Frank J. Gasper died in an IED explosion in Najaf, Iraq on Sunday, May 25th. No other details were released.

The DoD is reporting a second new death previously unreported by CENTCOM. Sgt. Blake W. Evans died in an IED attack in the Al Jazeera Desert, Iraq on Sunday, May 25th. No other details were released.


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Fighting between U.S. troops and militant forces in Baghdad's Sadr City killed five people and wounded eight, Iraq's Interior Ministry said Wednesday. The fighting occurred in Sadr City's Fadhailiya district, scene of several clashes between U.S.- and Iraqi-led forces and supporters of rebel Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, CNN reported.

#2: Iraq's largest Sunni Arab political bloc has suspended talks on ending its boycott of the Shiite-led government due to a dispute over which positions it would assume, the head of the bloc said Wednesday.

#3: In violence Wednesday, sporadic gunbattles broke out in a Shiite stronghold in southeastern Baghdad as detentions and raids against al-Sadr's followers continue to strain a truce that ended nearly two months of fierce clashes in the capital. Iraqi police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information, said three civilians were killed and five others wounded in the fighting that broke out about 6 a.m.

#4: A roadside bomb also struck a car in the Qara Taba district, northeast of Baghdad, killing a farmer and his son, local official Serwan Shukr said.

#5: Around 9am, police found 4 dead bodies in Ubaidi neighborhood after being informed by the American troops.

#6: Around noon, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol at Diyala bridge neighborhood.6 people were injured including 2 policemen.

#7: Around 12:30 pm, a mortar hit the ministry of planning building. No casualties recorded.


Diyala Prv:
#1: A father and a son were killed Wednesday in a bomb blast in Iraq's restive Diyala province. bomb went off on a main road linking Qura Tiba and Kafri near Baquba, 185 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, hitting a civilian vehicle, the Voices of Iraq news agency quoted a local official, Sirwan Shukr, as saying. Two passengers in the car - a father and his son - were killed and another son was injured in the blast.

#2: At least a civilian was killed and one more wounded on Wednesday in a roadside bomb explosion in Diala province, central Iraq, a police source said. “An explosive charge detonated, this morning, in al-Khwelis village near Ba’aquba, killing a civilian and wounding another,” the source, who asked to be unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.


Karbala:
#1: Two people were killed in clashes between Iraqi police and unidentified gunmen near the Shi'a holy city of Karbala, police said on Wednesday. Heavy fighting erupted on Tuesday evening between police and gunmen in the district of Al-Rafee, 30km from Karbala, local Police Chief General Shakir Jowdat told AFP. He said a search operation had been launched in the area. There were no further details about the identity of the attackers or their motive.


Amarra:
#1: An Iraqi army soldier was killed on Tuesday by unknown gunmen in central Amara city, a security source said. “Unknown armed men opened fire on an Iraqi army soldier in al-Qadissiya region, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Baiji:
#1: Police killed seven suspected al-Qaeda militants during clashes in a village just outside the town of Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, on Tuesday and Wednesday, police said. Three policemen were wounded in the clashes.


Kirkuk:
#1: Deputy Chief of Kirkuk Emergency Police Forces survived unharmed an attempt on his life in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Wednesday morning, a police source said. “An explosive charge detonated, this morning, near the motorcade of Lieutenant Colonel Fuad Shewani in central Kirkuk, wounding an escort,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq. The source added that Shewani survived the attack unharmed.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: A policeman was killed on Tuesday in a roadside bomb explosion targeting a police vehicle patrol in eastern Falluja, a police source said. “An explosive charge, planted on a road in al-Senaa neighborhood in eastern Falluja, went off, killing a policeman,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Garma:
#1: A mob stormed the house of a member of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol and stabbed him to death in the town of Garma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan:
#1: In the eastern province of Khost, meanwhile, two suicide bombers tried to attack a US military outpost but were stopped by Afghan police at a checkpoint. Police opened fire and killed both bombers, said Gen. Mohammad Ayub, the provincial police chief. He said no one else was killed. A US spokesman said he didn't immediately have any information about the incident.

Police fired on a suicide bomber who was driving a vehicle filled with explosives toward a military base with US and Afghan troops in Gurbaz district of south-eastern Khost province, said Mohammad Ayoub, provincial police chief. He said three Afghan civilians were injured in the explosion Wednesday morning.

#2: In Helmand province, a suicide bomber on a motorbike targeted a police truck but missed, said Doulad Wazir, the governor's spokesman. One civilian was killed, he said.

a man riding a motorbike packed with explosives detonated himself near a police vehicle in Lashkargah city, in southern Helmand province, provincial police chief Mohammad Hussain Andewal said. The blast killed the bomber and wounded two policemen and two civilians, he said.

#3: At least six Pakistani Taliban militants were killed in an explosion in their vehicle in the northwestern tribal areas bordering Afghanistan today. The armed Taliban cadres were travelling through the Bajaur tribal region when explosives in their vehicle went off in the Salarzai area. Six of the militants were killed while two others were injured in the explosion, TV news channels reported. There was no official word on the incident.

#4: One soldier serving the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) died of wounds and four other soldiers were wounded Wednesday in an explosion during a patrol in eastern Afghanistan, the ISAF said. In a statement, the military alliance said an improvised explosive device (IED) caused the blast and the troops found another IED in the vicinity of the explosion site along with a truck containing various IED parts.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

War News for Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The AFP is reporting the death of a US-led coalition soldier (CJTF-101) in a non-combat related injury in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. No other details were released.

The AP is reporting the death of a soldier. Kyle Phillip Norris was wounded in a roadside bombing in Iskandariya, Iraq on Thursday, May 22nd and later died of his injuries in a military hospital in Iraq according to his brother. No other details were released and we believe this to be a new death previously unreleased by the U.S. military.


Mideast weather roundup:

Baghdad, Iraq: The temperature was 102 degrees at 3:55 p.m. local time with widespread dust. Tonight will be clear with a low of 82 degrees.

Kabul, Afghanistan: The temperature was 77 degrees at 3:50 p.m. local time under partly cloudy skies. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low of 54 degrees and a chance of rain.

Kuwait City: The temperature was 100 degrees at 3 p.m. local time with blowing dust. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low of 85 degrees.


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Britain has lost almost 100 unmanned surveillance aircraft - including a £10m Reaper which had been in service for less than six months - over Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, The Herald can reveal. The unmanned aerial vehicle losses include about 50 which were shot down or suffered catastrophic mechanical failure in mid-air and another 40 damaged beyond repair by crash-landing on rough terrain. The Ministry of Defence admits that 33 have been lost over Iraq, although it has not released details of the types of robot spy planes brought down by enemy fire, severe weather or internal faults. At least 23 of the older and notoriously unreliable Phoenix drones used to locate enemy positions and movement for artillery bombardment were downed during the combat phase of the Iraq invasion in 2003.

#2: In other violence, a U.S.-allied fighter was killed and two others were wounded Tuesday when a bomb under their vehicle exploded near a market in northern Baghdad's predominantly Sunni area of Azamiyah.

Around noon a magnetic bomb attached to the car of a member of Awakening of Adhemiyah, a U.S. sponsored Sunni militia, exploded and injured the militia man.


Diyala Prv:
#1: Several rockets slammed into Ashraf city, 56 miles north of Baghdad, where PMOI, The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, take resident on Monday. A statement issued by PMOI said the attack didn’t cause any casualties.

Hibhib:
#1: At least an Iraqi soldier was killed and another wounded on Tuesday morning as gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Diala, central Iraq, a police source said. “Gunmen, believed to be from Qaeda Organization, launched an attack on a checkpoint manned by Iraqi troops in Hibhib district, killing a soldier and wounding another,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.

Gunmen attacked a checkpoint of Awakening council in Hibhib north of Baquba injuring two men and a child.


Baiji:
#1: Gunmen shot dead three Iraqi oil technicians as they were trying to fix an oil pipeline in the town of Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.


Al Salam:
#1: Iraqi security forces raided a village in Salahudin province and killed four al-Qaida leaders, a provincial police officer said on Tuesday. The troops on Monday afternoon raided the village of al-Salam, one of al-Qaida militants' redoubts located to the west of the town of Beiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, Col. Hassan Ahmed told Xinhua. During the operation, the troops fought gunmen and killed four of them, he said, adding that the four were believed to be al-Qaida leaders, one of them identified as Muhammad Faiyaadh, a minister of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq. Two Iraqi policemen were also wounded by the clashes, he added.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen killed a policeman near his station in Mosul, when attackers opened fire with machine guns shortly before noon about 100 meters from the Hadba police directorate, officials said. Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf expressed concern that the policeman was killed in broad daylight Tuesday in an area that was crowded with Iraqi policemen and pedestrians. He ordered an immediate investigation.

#2: the same source said, two unidentified gunmen opened a volley of fire at a woman in the western Mosul area of al-Shifaa, killing her instantly and escaping to an unknown place."The 45-year-old woman was stepping out of al-Shifaa hospital when the gunmen attacked her," the source said, adding the woman was not identified by anyone yet.


Tal Afar:
#1: Six people died and 44 were wounded in a blast Tuesday west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, an official said. "Six people died, including a policeman, while 44 were injured when a parked car exploded in Talafar city, 6o kilometres west of Mosul," the source added. The source expected the toll to rise as many of the 44 are severely injured.


Sulaimaniyah:
#1: One soldier of the borders' guards was killed on Monday when Iranian soldiers shot at an Iraqi patrol north of Sulaimaniyah. Officials said the incident is under investigation.



Afghanistan:
#1: An Afghan official says a roadside bomb hit a bus in western Afghanistan, killing eight civilians. Younus Rasuli, deputy governor of Farah province, says the bomb hit the vehicle Tuesday as it was travelling to neighbouring Nimroz province. He says one civilian was wounded. All the casualties were men.

One woman, a child and six men were killed when the blast hit a bus in Del Aram district of western Farah province, deputy provincial governor Mohammad Younus Rasuli said.

#2: Four policemen were killed and three others wounded in the second explosion which hit their vehicle in Logar province south of Kabul, a provincial official said.

#3: In another incident on Tuesday, U.S.-led troops killed several Taliban militants in an operation in Helmand province in the south, the U.S. military said in a statement.

#4: For two years British troops staked out a presence in this small district center in southern Afghanistan and fended off attacks from the Taliban. The constant firefights left it a ghost town, its bazaar broken and empty but for one baker, its houses and orchards reduced to rubble and weeds. But it took the Marines, specifically the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, about 96 hours to clear out the Taliban in a fierce battle in the past month and push them back about six miles.

#5: Nine police were killed in Taliban attacks in Shor Abak district of southern Kandahar, provincial police chief Sayed Aqa Saqib said. "The Taliban killed five police in an attack on their post and the other four were killed when we sent in reinforcements later," he said.

#6: Three children were killed by a blast while playing near a police station outside Kandahar city, he said, adding the explosion occurred as a Taliban militant was planting the device under a bridge.


On the Home Front:

#1: A 21-year-old Marine and Iraq war veteran from Camp Pendleton was arrested and is being investigated in the death a fellow Marine, sheriff’s officials said Friday. A second Marine suspected in the killing has been on unauthorized leave since April and is now considered a fugitive, said Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino. Lance Cpl. Christian William Carney was placed in the Camp Pendleton brig on Thursday night after sheriff’s deputies informed military personnel that he was wanted for the May 15 slaying of Pfc. Stephen Serrano. Carney, an Iraq war veteran, was then arrested Friday by sheriff’s deputies, Amormino said. Meanwhile, authorities sought a second Marine, Pfc. Alvin Reed Lovely, 20, also of Camp Pendleton, in connection with the slaying. Amormino said Lovely is considered armed and dangerous.


Casualty Reports:

1st Sgt. David Gussberry and another soldier were hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during an attack last week. Gussberry's wife says a dime-sized piece of metal went into his brain and he suffered a number of deep cuts from the attack, but he remains lucid. Gussberry was flown out of Afghanistan to Germany, where doctors sent him on to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He serves in the 489th Engineer Battalion and was working with the HHC420 Engineering Battalion Unit from Texas when he was injured.

Shawn Monroe remembers that night in October of 2003 like it just happened. He was on patrol with Iraqi police just outside Baghdad when the mortar fire began.
“The blast hit back by the rear wheel of the humvee, and the blast crossed my legs through the door,” he said. The same mortar fire that left Monroe without a leg claimed her (Rachal Bosveld) life.

Monday, May 26, 2008

War News for Monday, May 26, 2008

Photo: A U.S. armoured vehicle burns at Al Canal street, near Sadr city, Baghdad, Iraq, after a roadside bomb exploded next to a U.S. military convoy, Monday, May 26, 2008, police said. There was no immediate U.S. Army confirmation regarding the blast.(AP Photo/Mahmoud al-Badri)








MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Coalition force Soldier in a roadside bombing in Salah ad-Din Province on Monday, May 26th. Two other soldier were wounded in the attack.

NATO is reporting the death of a ISAF soldier in an explosion in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, May 25th. Two other soldiers were wounded in the attack. The British MoD is confirming the death of a British soldier two kilometres north of Sangin, Kandahar Province.

The AFP is reporting the death of a U.S. coalition soldier CJTF-101 in Afghanistan on Sunday, May 25th. No other details were released. The AP reports the attack was in Farah province.

The DoD is reporting a new death of a soldier from a hit-and-run driver while on leave from the Iraq theater of operations. Pfc. Howard A. Jones, Jr. died in Chicago, Ill. on Sunday, May 18th.

The AFP is reporting the death of a soldier in a roadside bomb attack in Najaf, An Najaf Province on Sunday, May 25th. Two other soldiers were wounded in the attack. Reuters reports the attack was in Ash-Shamiyah district in Qadisiyah province.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier from a non-combat related cause on Saturday, May 24th. No other details were released.


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Another roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army checkpoint on the road that leads to the Baghdad International Airport, wounding five people, including one Iraqi soldier and four civilians, police said. The blast sent up a huge plume of black smoke and caused vendors at nearby kiosks selling soft drinks to run for cover.

#2: The U.S. military said Sunday that the number of attacks by militants in the last week dropped to a level not seen in Iraq since March 2004. About 300 violent incidents were recorded in the seven-day period that ended Friday, down from a weekly high of nearly 1,600 in mid-June, according to a chart provided by the military.

#3: Rising prices of food, energy and other commodities worldwide pushed up Iraq's inflation rate to 16 per cent last month, compared to 11 per cent at the beginning of this year, the country's central bank said.

#4: A roadside bomb detonated in a parking lot near a police station in Baghdad's northern neighborhood of Sha'ab, wounding nine people, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The blast destroyed a minibus and caused damages to several nearby civilian cars, the source said.

#5: A third roadside bomb struck a U.S. patrol in the al-Qanat Street near Baghdad's eastern neighborhood of Sadr City, leaving a Humvee on fire, he said. The source could not say whether the U.S. soldiers sustained casualties as the troops immediately cordoned off the area. The U.S. military did not confirm the incident yet.

#6: The Iraqi government has replaced some of the top officials in state-owned oil companies in southern Iraq, tightening its grip on an industry that fuels the economy but has been outside of its direct control. The shake-up, which has largely escaped public notice, affects industries in the southern oil hub of Basra. The Baghdad government has removed the heads of the South Oil Company, which is in charge of exports, the South Gas Company and the Iraqi Oil Tankers Company since mid-May, local officials and the Oil Ministry told Reuters.

#7: Around 4:00 p.m. a mortar shell hit al Muthanna airport in west Baghdad. No news about casualties.

#8: An Iraqi soldier was killed and eight others were wounded in a parked car bomb in the entrance of Hurriyah neighborhood in west Baghdad around 6:00 p.m.

#9: Police found two unidentified bodies in Baghdad. The first body was found in Shaab neighborhood while the second body was found in Amil neighborhood.


Diyala Prv:
#1: Suspected al-Qaida fighters also kidnapped Sheik Saleh al-Karkhi and his brother after blowing up his house in the village of Busaleh in the volatile Diyala province north of the capital, a police official said, declining to be identified because he wasn't supposed to release the information. The official, who read the report at the provincial military operations command center in Baqouba, said al-Karkhi was probably abducted because he had set up two awakening councils in the area and "took it upon himself to fight al-Qaida."

#2: Four shepherds disappeared along with their livestock on Monday in the desert areas in southwest Baaquba, an official security source said. "Four herdsmen disappeared today in the desert area in Baladruz, southwest of Baaquba," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq. "Their families informed security authorities of their disappearance along with scores of livestock," he added.


Najaf:
#1: A roadside bomb exploded in the al Shamiyah area south of Najaf at around 9 p.m. on Sunday. A source from the Iraqi army has told us that an American humvee was destroyed, a soldier was killed and two others were injured. US military said in an emailed reply that they confirm the new of the death of a coalition soldier.


Taza:
#1: An ambulance driver and a policeman were wounded on Sunday when a roadside bomb exploded near an ambulance close to the town of Taza, 220 km (130 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

A driver of an ambulance and a civilian were injured when a roadside bomb exploded in Tuz Khurmatu town south of Kirkuk on Monday morning.


Tuz Khurmato:
#1: A source in the Kurdish security forces (Asayish) said that a bomb exploded near the house of a Turkmen teacher in al Askari neighborhood in downtown Tuz Khurmatu south of Kirkuk city on Monday morning.


Tarmiya:
#1: A suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed at least six members of a U.S.-backed neighborhood patrol and wounded 18 others on Monday, police said. The attack took place at a checkpoint in Tarmiya, a town just north of Baghdad.

Those killed included a policeman, two awakening council guards and a civilian, according to the police. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.


Mosul:
#1: A grenade tossed at a police patrol wounded eight people, including one policeman, in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: The body of a prison warden was found with bullets in the head and chest in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles), north of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan:
#1: In another incident Monday, two Afghan policemen were killed when Taliban militants ambushed their patrol with rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire in the central province of Ghazni, a district official said.

#2: Two Afghan security guards working for a US-owned security firm were wounded in a similar ambush in the same province on Sunday, deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Zaman said.

#3: Also Sunday, an Afghan security guard working for the same company, called USPI, was killed in an ambush in neighbouring Wardak province, a police commander said, also blaming the Taliban.

#4: United States drones have violated Pakistani airspace five times in North Waziristan. According to the Daily Times, unmanned US drones and fighter jets are spreading fear among residents. The US spy planes had been continuously violating the Pakistani airspace for the last four days. In Afghanistan, the fighter and unmanned planes of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces violated Pakistan’s airspace and intruded several kilometres inside North Waziristan tribal region on Sunday.

#5: Four Shiite Muslims were gunned down in a suspected sectarian attack in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province on Monday, police said. The victims, all belonging to the same family, were traveling in a motor rickshaw when the assailants intercepted them on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan town, area police chief Salahuddin Khan Kundi said. A policeman was also shot dead when he challenged the attackers as they fled the scene, according to Kundi.


On the home front:

#1: A nuclear powered US aircraft carrier caught on fire while sailing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America that left 24 US sailors in need of medical attention, the Navy said Friday. The large blaze erupted Thursday in the rear of the USS George Washington before quickly spreading through a cableway and causing extreme heat before it was extinguished, the Navy said. One sailor was being treated for first degree burns while 23 received medical attention for heat stress, the Navy said, adding there were no serious injuries.

Bill Culp unit was sent to Baghdad's Green Zone. As a medic, Culp's job was helping others. He helped treat a wounded soldier from Zanesville who ended up dying, his mother said. Culp died Friday of injuries suffered when a van collided with the motorcycle he was riding at Shannon and Gender roads, on the Far East Side. The 39-year-old was taken to Grant Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.


Casualty Reports:

Joseph Townsend, 22, lost both legs in a mine blast in Afghanistan earlier this year. British.

Pvt. Nathon Bagwell is now recovering from a gunshot wound he received in an April 27 attack on his platoon in Sadr City at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta. While he receives treatment for the damage done to his spine, has undergone numerous surgeries to repair the damage done when an enemy’s bullet pierced the left side of his stomach, damaged his intestines and his left kidney and shattered a vertebra in his lower spine. When he regains his strength, Bagwell will face another, 10-hour surgery that will reconnect his bladder and his left kidney, but his mother said that surgery will have to wait for another two to three months.

Private Liam Haven suffered wounds to his arm, neck and face when his Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, 17 May 2008. The 19 year old is assessed as being in a stable condition. The nature of his wounds remains medical-in-confidence. Australian

Sunday, May 25, 2008

News of the Day for Sunday, May 25, 2008

A man grieves over the body of his son, a member of a neighbourhood patrol who was killed during clashes, in a hospital in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad May 25, 2008. Gunmen killed a policeman and a neighborhood patrol member during clashes in Baquba on Sunday, police said.
REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ) And, as so often happens, this photo caption is the only report I have been able to find of this incident. It seems odd that Reuters can post this photograph and not mention the incident in its Factbox or anywhere else, but it happens regularly, with AP photos as well. -- C





Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

Car bomb near convoy of Babel Province Gov. Salim al-Muslimawi in western Baghdad injures 11, including 7 of Governor's security guards.

“Unknown gunmen shot dead Ali Hashem, the Investigation department head of the Inspection General office of Health Ministry, yesterday evening in Tunis neighborhood, eastern Baghdad,” the source, who spoke on anonymity condition, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI).

Roadside bomb targeting a police patrol injure 5, including two police. One source says there was a fatality.

Kirkuk

Roadside bomb injures 5 police, 2 civilians.

Garma (near Fallujah)

Awakening Council leader survives a bomb attack.

Hilla

Police find the body of a man dead of gunshot wounds.

Tikrit

Security officials say they arrested a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq, Ali Hussein al-Sanjari.


Other News and Analysis

LA Times Alexandra Zavis suggests that the physical presence of the Iraqi army in Sadr City does not signal political control. Excerpt:

For the first time since U.S.-led forces invaded the country in March 2003, Iraqi soldiers blanket Sadr City, the heavily populated Baghdad district that is the bastion of firebrand Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia. Tanks painted with the Iraqi flag are positioned at major intersections, and soldiers scan vehicles for weapons and fighters at newly erected checkpoints. "You see, the Iraqi army is everywhere. Nobody is targeting them," Abdul-Wahab said with obvious pride. "The Iraqi army is in control of Sadr City."

But the posters plastered across bullet-sprayed walls tell a different story. Sadr's face and that of his revered father, the slain Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq Sadr -- for whom the district is named -- are everywhere. Menacing black graffiti proclaims: "The state of Sadr: It is forbidden to be entered by the Americans and the forces of [Prime Minister Nouri] Maliki."

The cleric's fighters did not challenge the Iraqi soldiers when they deployed throughout Sadr City last week, under an agreement by the major Shiite political parties to end weeks of deadly clashes.

Iraqi officers say many senior militia leaders slipped away while the deal was being hammered out. But thousands of foot soldiers remain. Some are cooperating with the Iraqi troops, pointing out bombs and the occasional weapons cache. Others are watching and waiting.


And indeed, government attacks on prayer gatherings and places of worship have Sadrists threatening to end the truce. Excerpt:

By Aws Qusay BAGHDAD, May 24 (Reuters) - Supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr warned the Iraqi government on Saturday that it was jeopardising a fragile truce, accusing security forces of attacking worshippers loyal to him in Baghdad and Basra. Iraqi security forces fired shots to disperse worshippers in the southern oil port city of Basra during Muslim prayers on Friday and seized hundreds of Sadr supporters in southwestern Baghdad at about the same time.

Officials in Sadr's political movement, one of the biggest blocs in parliament, said on Saturday that police had targeted a mosque in Baghdad's Amil district, arresting 400 worshippers inside and outside the building during Friday prayers. The mosque is also Sadr's office in the area.

Sadrists in Basra said one person was killed and five wounded when Iraqi troops opened fire to prevent worshippers from gathering in a square. Police said the soldiers had fired shots into the air to break up an illegal gathering and that six had been wounded.

"We consider this a new page in the targeting of Sadrists by the Iraqi government and the U.S. forces," Salah al-Ubaidi, spokesman for Sadr, said in the holy Shi'ite city of Najaf. "This aggression on our Friday prayers is a new escalation which could have grave consequences for the future."

Sadrists said the government was violating recently agreed peace deals to end weeks of fighting between Sadr's Mehdi Army militia and U.S. and Iraqi forces in which hundreds have died. The truces negotiated in Basra and Baghdad have largely held and are partly credited by U.S. forces for near record-low levels of violence countrywide in the past two weeks.

They allowed some 10,000 Iraqi troops backed by tanks to enter Sadr City, Sadr's main stronghold in Baghdad, unopposed this week, to stamp the government's authority over an area largely outside its control since coming to power in 2006.

Sadrists, former allies of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki who pulled out of his government last year, held a news conference on Saturday to protest against the security force action and also met Defence Minister Abdel Qader Jassim in Baghdad. A Defence Ministry spokesman and Sadr officials said the minister had promised to ensure troops respected Friday prayers.

"We have seen a serious breach we didn't witness even under the Baathist dictator," Sadrist lawmaker Hassan al-Rubaie told the news conference, referring to Saddam Hussein, whose Sunni Arab-dominated government suppressed Shi'ites for decades.


Sadrists vow to protest these actions in parliament. Excerpt:

Baghdad, May 25, (VOI) – The Sadrists, or Iraqis loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, said they will question Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki over "his violation of the constitution and refusal to allow Sadrist bloc members to practice their religious rituals including the Friday prayers," said a Sadrist legislator.

"We will work on questioning the prime minister in Parliament for his violation of the constitution and refusal to let the Sadrist bloc members to practice their religious rituals. Security forces bulldozed a fence of a court dedicated for the Friday prayers in Basra during the early hours of Sunday," Uqeil Abdul-Hussein told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

Security forces on Friday banned the Muslim congregational prayers in al-Amil neighborhood, southern Baghdad, and the Iraqi port city of Basra, 590 km south of Baghdad, and shot rounds to disperse masses of worshippers. bdul-Hussein had threatened on Saturday that the bloc would adopt a "firm stand" if security forces banned Friday prayers in the mosques belonging to the bloc. We would use all legitimate legal and constitutional means available against whoever denies access to the next Friday prayers," he told VOI on the sidelines of a press conference in Baghdad on Saturday.


Ayatollah Ali Sistani reported to issue Fatwas approving of armed resistance to the U.S. occupation. Now this is interesting, to say the least. It seems reports of Sistani's imminent demise may have been incorrect. This is a couple of days old but hasn't been posted here previously. Note the last paragraph I quoted. The Iraqi view of the situation, even from the collaborationist government, is very different from what most Americans think it is. -- C Excerpt:

By HAMZA HENDAWI and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA – BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible — a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad.

The edicts, or fatwas, by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani suggest he seeks to sharpen his long-held opposition to American troops and counter the populist appeal of his main rivals, firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia. But — unlike al-Sadr's anti-American broadsides — the Iranian-born al-Sistani has displayed extreme caution with anything that could imperil the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The two met Thursday at the elderly cleric's base in the city of Najaf south of Baghdad.

So far, al-Sistani's fatwas have been limited to a handful of people. They also were issued verbally and in private — rather than a blanket proclamation to the general Shiite population — according to three prominent Shiite officials in regular contact with al-Sistani as well as two followers who received the edicts in Najaf. All spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Al-Sistani — who is believed to be 79 or 80 — has not been seen in public since a brief appearance in August 2004, shortly after returning from London for medical treatment for an unspecified heart condition. But his mix of religious authority and political clout makes him more powerful than any of Iraq's elected leaders.

For American officials, he represents a key stabilizing force in Iraq for refusing to support a full-scale Shiite uprising against U.S.-led forces or Sunnis — especially at the height of sectarian bloodletting after an important Shiite shrine was bombed in 2006.

It is impossible to determine whether those who received the edicts acted on them. Most attacks — except some by al-Qaida in Iraq — are carried out without claims of responsibility.

snip

A senior aide to the prime minister, al-Maliki, said he was not aware of the fatwas, but added that the "rejection of the occupation is a legal and religious principle" and that top Shiite clerics were free to make their own decisions. The aide also spoke on condition of anonymity.


Symposium in Karbala reveals a dramatic rise in drug abuse since the U.S. invasion. Excerpt:

Karbala, May 25, (VOI) – A symposium on drug addiction organized by Karbala's health department revealed that the number of drug users in the city has dramatically increased since 2004, with researchers and health experts urging prompt measures to curb the phenomenon.

"The health department organized a symposium entitled, 'For a drug-free environment,' to discuss means of putting an end to this phenomenon," the media director in Karbala's health department told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI). Among the subjects tackled during the symposium were the implications of drug addiction for society, the reasons behind its spread, and the role of the government, civil society organizations, and religious clerics in raising youth awareness of its dangers, the director explained.

On the sidelines of the symposium, a psychologist from the department, Asmahan Ibrahim, said that the number of drug users is on the rise in Karbala city.
According to her, in 2004 (one year after the collapse of the former regime) there was an estimated 41 drug users in the city. They rose to 65 in 2005 and 95 in 2006. In 2007, the number reached 367. We expect the figure to reach 600 by the end of the current year if effective measures are not taken," Asmahan said, noting that the figures include only those who have been officially registered by the health department.


McClatchy's Halimah Abdullah tells the story of an Iraq vet whose PTSD eventually drives him to suicide. Excerpt:

Until the day he died, Sgt. Brian Rand believed he was being haunted by the ghost of the Iraqi man he killed.

The ghost choked Rand while he slept in his bunk, forcing him to wake up gasping for air and clawing at his throat.

He whispered that Rand was a vampire and looked on as the soldier stabbed another member of Fort Campbell's 96th Aviation Support Battalion in the neck with a fork in the mess hall.

Eventually, the ghost told Rand he needed to kill himself.

According to family members and police reports, on Feb. 20, 2007, just a few months after being discharged from his second tour of duty in Iraq, Rand smoked half of a cigarette as he wrote a suicide note, grabbed a gun and went to the Cumberland River Center Pavilion in Clarksville, Tenn. As the predawn dark pressed in, he breathed in the wintry air and stared out at the park where he and his wife, Dena, had married.

Then he placed the gun to his head and silenced his inner ghosts.

"My brother was afraid to ask for help," said April Somdahl. "And when he finally did ask for help the military let him down."

Since the start of the Iraq war, Fort Campbell, a sprawling installation on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, has seen a spike in the number of suicides and soldiers suffering from severe post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.


Leaked British government document says Iran paid insurgents to attack British troops in Basra. Note that this is a field report by a single British officer. It is not reported what his source of information may have been, or how credible the British government considers this report to be. -- C

Quote of the Day

Shh! Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among the veterans we see in our medical facilities. Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before somebody stumbles on it?


-- Dr. Ira Katz, chief of mental health services for the Department of Veterans Affairs, who then went on to lie about it to Congress. Emanuel Margolis goes on to tell us:

The Veterans for Common Sense lawsuit has already demonstrated that the VA intentionally misled Congress and the public about the epidemic of veterans' suicides. Here are the facts squeezed out of the government to date:

• 120 veterans commit suicide every week.

• 1,000 veterans attempt suicide while in VA care every month.

• Nearly one in five service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (approximately 300,000) have post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms or major depression.

• 19 percent of post-Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been diagnosed with possible traumatic brain injury, according to a Rand Corp. Study in April.

• A higher percentage of these veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder than from any previous war because of "stop loss" or an involuntary extension of service in the military (58,300), multiple tours, greater prevalence of brain injuries, etc.


Remember this while the parade goes by.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

War News for Saturday, May 24, 2008

The AP is reporting the death of an Estonian ISAF soldier after being injured while unloading equipment from a truck in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Saturday, May 24th. Sgt. Major Ivar Brok died in a military hospital in Kandahar overnight after a spare wheel of a heavy armored vehicle rolled over him at the British Camp Bastion. Here's the Estonian MoD statement.

Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Whidbey bomb disposal unit pays a high price in Iraq war. This is the headquarters of the Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Detachment Mobil Unit 11, more simply called the EOD. The six were fellow bomb disposers, all killed in Iraq. The 160 sailors in this highly select, perpetually tested band are known for their cool under pressure. Their training never seems to end: underwater diving, parachuting and practicing ground warfare. They test themselves constantly to outthink bombmakers.

#2: Iraqi soldiers let their guard down after taking over the Baghdad stronghold of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. But residents of Sadr City slum interviewed yesterday were not so relaxed. They doubt a truce between Iraqi troops and Sadr’s Mehdi Army fighters will bring stability to the area anytime soon...

#3: U.S. and Iraqi troops swept Shiite neighborhoods in southwestern Baghdad on Friday, detaining hundreds of suspects, witnesses and police sources said on Saturday. The troops surrounded and searched the neighborhoods of Baiyaa and al-Amil for several hours starting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.local time, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The source said that more than 200 suspected militiamen loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have been detained during the raids in the two adjacent neighborhoods. Witnesses told Xinhua that the troops rounded up more than 300 people, some of them teenagers and elderly men.

#4: (Friday) 2 unidentified bodies were found in Saidiyah, southwest Baghdad by Iraqi Police today.

#5: Three people were killed when a minibus was attacked with a roadside bomb in Baghdad.
Four people were also wounded in the attack this afternoon. All the dead and wounded were passengers in the vehicle, which was hit at around 1pm in the Sunni-dominated Al-Mansur district in the capital's east.

#6: U.S. forces killed three al Qaeda militants and arrested 17 others during operations on Friday and Saturday in various areas of Iraq, the U.S. military said.

#7: A rocket blast wounded two people near the Adhamiya area of northern Baghdad, police said.

#8: Police found three unidentified bodies throughout Baghdad, one in Zayuna, one in Ubaidi, one in Dora.


Diyala Prv:
Baquba:
#1: In one incident, militants opened fire on a location of the Awakening Council in Baquba's Had Mokasar's area, killing one member, police sources told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency.

#2: At least three members of a family were wounded on Saturday as a Katyusha rocket landed on their house in Jalawlaa district, 200 km northeast of Baghdad, a police source said.

Behrez:
#2: In Baquba's Behrez area, militants attacked another meeting point of the Awakening Council, injuring two members.

Khanaqin:
#1: An Iraqi army officer with the rank of Captain was killed and five soldiers were wounded on Saturday as gunmen attacked an army base in Diala, central Iraq, a police source said. “Unknown gunmen waged an attack on an Iraqi National Guards base in al-Samah area near Khanaqin district, 155 km northeast of Ba’aquba, killing Captain Farouq al-Mandilawi and wounding five more soldiers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.


Karbala:
#1: Police forces in the Shiite holy city of Karbala killed a gunman and wounded another in clashes that broke out at a district just outside the city, police chief said on Saturday. “The clashes erupted last night in al-Hussayniya district, 20 km north of Karbala, while police forces were about to arrest two gunmen involved in killing a policeman,” Major-General Raed Shawkat, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq. The police chief added “the one-hour-long clashes left a gunman dead and the other wounded.”


Basra:
#1: Four gunmen stormed a currency exchange office in central Basra killing the owner and fled the place.


Kirkuk:
#1: Two women's bodies were found with gunshot wounds near Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Another police source said they were killed in the crossfire of a clash between two tribes.


Mosul:
#1: In the Iraqi province of Nineveh, police sources told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency that members of a US patrol opened fire on civilians, killing two and wounding a child. Sources said that US forces shot at civilians after an explosive device was detonated in the Nabi Younes area in the northern city of Mosul. No further details were mentioned about the incident, while the US military did not comment on the attack when contacted

A bomb attack targeted a U.S. foot patrol in Iraq's northern city of Mosul on Saturday, killing two Iraqi civilians and wounding three U.S. soldiers, a local police source said. The attack occurred when a gunman threw a hand grenade on the soldiers in a popular marketplace in Nabi Younis neighborhood in eastern the city of Mosul, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The U.S. troops immediately cordoned off the scene to secure the area and evacuated the casualties, the source said. The U.S. military did not confirm the incident yet.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded two Iraqi soldiers when it exploded near their vehicle in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.

#3: Mosul Mayor Zuheir al-Aaraaji said a roadside bomb wounded two guards in the convoy he was traveling in.

#4: Police found two dead bodies of two women were shot in different parts of their bodies near Perdey town north of Kirkuk. Police also found beside the deceased women a kid, about 5 years old, who was hospitalized.


Irbil:
#1: Guards of the local Kurdish security militia, Asayesh, shot and injured a taxi driver as he failed to stop at a check point and hit the concrete barrier at the militia's headquarter in Erbil yesterday


Sulaimaniyah:
#1: Medics in Iraqi Kurdistan said on Saturday that they had seen a surge in violence against women in May, with both so-called "honour" killings and female suicide on the increase. "At least 14 women died in the first 10 days of May alone," a doctor said in the region's second largest city of Sulaimaniyah. "Seven of them took their own lives, the other seven were murdered in still unexplained circumstances," apparently the victims of "honour" killings. "Over the same period, we recorded 11 attempted self-immolations -- these women were so desperate they set fire to themselves," the doctor added, asking not to be identified.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: update U.S. military officials said Saturday seven Marines and two Iraqi police officers were wounded by a roadside bomb in the city of Fallujah.A civilian interpreter was killed in the incident, military officials told CNN, which said the Iraqi Interior Ministry described the attack as a suicide car bombing that happened at a government security checkpoint.



Afghanistan:
#1: The U.S.-led coalition says several insurgents have been killed and six others detained during an operation in southern Afghanistan. A coalition statement says its troops clashed and called in airstrikes on insurgents during an operation in Garmser district of Helmand province on Friday.

#2: A police official and his driver have been killed and two gunmen injured in an explosion occurred in the Nasir Bagh area of Peshawar on Saturday. According to sources, the SHO and his driver have been killed and two gunmen injured seriously when a roadside remote-controlled bomb hit their vehicle.

About two hours later, another bomb struck a vehicle in Peshawar that was carrying local police chief Khaista Khan, killing him and his driver. Two policemen were wounded the attack, he said.

#3: Government officials in Afghanistan are expressing outrage over the decision by the U.S. military not to prosecute any of the Marines involved in a notorious shooting incident last year.
Afghanistan's human rights commission says as many as 19 civilians were killed and 50 other people were wounded by gunfire as an American convoy drove along a 10-mile stretch of road. Witnesses say the gunfire broke out after a suicide attack on the convoy. The Afghan commission concluded that the Marines fired indiscriminately at vehicles and pedestrians at six different locations as they drove away.

#4: Hundreds of NATO soldiers got a dash of Canadian music and humour last night before a Taliban rocket attack forced a troupe of entertainers to temporarily douse the lights at Kandahar Airfield. The music and jokes had been flying for about an hour when the first explosion and siren forced everyone to scurry for nearby bunkers. No one was hurt.

#5: The first attack happened in Bara, a town 10 miles east of Peshawar, when a roadside bomb exploded near a civilian vehicle, killing one person and wounding three others, the official Ata Ullah said.

#6: Five Taliban militants were killed in a mine explosion in southern Afghanistan. The Taliban militants were killed when the mine they were trying to place on a road in the Musa Qala district of southern Helmand province exploded prematurely on Friday, Mohammad Hussain Andewala, provincial police chief, said.

#7: (?) four police officers were wounded and two Taliban militants were detained in a clash, officials said Saturday.

#8: Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousif Ahmadi meanwhile said that the militants had attacked some ten Afghan security posts in the Musa Qala district.

#9: NATO spokesman James Appathurai told reporters in Brussels last week that attacks in Afghanistan were up 50 percent in April from last year. That number is not considered to be as significant as the jump between March and April. That is because attacks are up 25 percent nationwide over the past year, probably because there are more international troops in Afghanistan. Officials have reported the deaths of 68 ISAF troops across Afghanistan so far in 2008. A total of 232 were killed in 2007. Officials with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that attacks in eastern Afghanistan in the past three or four weeks have jumped to about 100 a week from 60 a week in March.



On The Home Front:

#1: A 21-year-old Marine, Cpl. Chad E. Oligschlaeger, died in his barracks Tuesday at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.First Lt. Curtis Williamson, the public information officer for 1st Marine Division, said the investigation into what caused Oligschlaeger’s death is ongoing. He could not comment further until the investigation is complete.Oligschlaeger, an Austin, Texas, native, was found unresponsive in his barracks room, where he was pronounced dead by the Marine base fire department. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. A mortarman, Oligschlaeger joined the Marine Corps on July 19, 2004, and had served in Iraq twice.


Casualty Reports:

Marine Sergeant Shurvon Phillip, 27, was in Iraq's Anbar Province, in May 2005 was riding back to his base after a patrol when an anti-tank mine exploded under his Humvee. The Humvee's other soldiers were dealt an assortment of wounds: concussions, broken bones, herniated discs. Along with a broken jaw and a broken leg, Phillip suffered one of the war's signature wounds on the American side: though no shrapnel entered his head, the blast rattled his brain profoundly. A portion of the left side of his skull had been cut away to relieve the pressure of the casing of bone against his swelling brain. "His head," Ulerie said, "looked like a ball with the air half out of it." Piero and Clay Kelly, the hospital's chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation, explained that Phillip had hardly progressed from when he first arrived at the Cleveland facility; he remained in a nearly vegetative state and was seen as having, in the words of an evaluating neurologist, "little hope for improvement." But Piero said a system of nostril-flaring that Phillip mastered with his speech therapist had made him able last spring to respond reliably to yes-or-no questions. This breakthrough, Piero said, dissuaded the team from diminishing his physical work.

Michigan National Guard veteran Sgt. Michelle Rudzitis, 33, recounted losing her right leg to a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 22, 2007. Her Humvee was the only vehicle in a convoy struck by a bomb that hurls a piece of molten copper through steel. Two in the crew were killed and two were injured, including Rudzitis, whose right leg was severely damaged. Rudzitis, a former Farmington Hills resident who lives in Traverse City, said the Humvee's extra armor had been removed because it was to be refitted with new shielding. Her description of the injuries -- her eyelashes were fused by the blast so she could not open her eyes, and she woke up in a hospital with her leg amputated.

Army National Guard Sgt. Ralph McCallum, 23, it was June 2007 and he was riding in the gunner position atop a convoy’s scout truck as it traveled through southern Iraq. A roadside bomb hidden behind a lamppost suddenly detonated, knocking McCallum off the peak of the Humvee and inside the vehicle, which soon caught on fire.Rescuers pulled him from the burning Humvee, but he came away with deep lacerations on the left side of his head as well as his left forearm, and the radial tendon in his right hand was sliced. Three soldiers inside the fortified vehicle suffered concussions.

Spc. B.J. Jackson of the Iowa National Guard woke up at Brooke Army Medical Center after he lost both legs and was severely burned by a land mine in Iraq.

Jacob "Jake" Knospler. Jake is a 26-year-old Marine. This great Marine and American served two tours in Iraq. In 2004, while fighting in Fallujah, he was injured when an enemy grenade put a hole in his cheek and upper jaw. The right side of his brain was injured and he was partially blind and deaf. There were other injuries to his body. He already had 22 surgeries.

U.S. Army Spc. Matt McCool suffered multiple skull fractures and a concussion from a bomb in Iraq in late March. McCool was treated at Walter Reed National Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and at the Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center. He later returned home.

Army veteran Rob Kislow lost his lower right leg in a firefight in Iraq two years ago

Friday, May 23, 2008

War News for Friday, May 23, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Center soldier in a roadside bombing 12 miles southwest of Baghdad on Thursday, May 22nd. no other details were released.


Reported Security incidents:

Basra:
#1: Iraqi soldiers opened fire to disperse supporters of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who were gathering for prayers in Basra on Friday, jeopardising a fragile peace in the southern city. Police said Iraqi troops fired in the air to disperse hundreds of worshippers, whom they said had no right to gather in a square in northern Basra, wounding six. But Sadr supporters accused the Iraqi armed forces of attacking the worshippers and of indiscriminately opening fire on them. They said one person was killed and five wounded.

Lake al-Tharthar:
#1: west of Samarra on Friday, the body of a woman near Lake al-Tharthar, police said. A body of a woman in her 30s showing signs of having been shot was also found in a cell under the ground," Shakir added.


Tuz Khormato:
#1: 2 Iraqi army soldiers from Sulaiman Bek were attacked by gunmen near Tuz Khormatu on the main route from Kirkuk to Baghdad Friday.


Hawija:
#1: One civilian was killed and three others wounded when an explosive charge went off in al-Rimaniya village, Huweija district, on Friday, police said. "An improvised explosive device went off near a gathering of people in al-Rimaniya village in Huweija, (70 km) west of Kirkuk, leaving one civilian killed and three others injured," a security source speaking on condition of anonymity told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Kirkuk:
#1: At least one civilian was killed on Friday, and another three wounded when a bomb went off in the northern city of Kirkuk, media reports said. The Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency said that an explosive device targeted people gathered in the al-Romaniya area in Kirkuk.


Mosul:
#1: A fire erupted in a house in northern Mosul when U.S. forces raided it on Friday, a security source in Ninewa police said."A house in the northern Mosul neighborhood of al-Rifaq was on fire while U.S. soldiers were raiding it. The U.S. soldiers detonated a stun bomb near the door, causing the house to burn," the source, who did not want to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI). The source did not say whether the house owners were arrested. "None of them was hurt," he said.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah
#1: A suicide bomber killed at least six Iraqi civilians in an attack on a checkpoint in the Sunni Arab town of Fallujah, Iraqi police said. Captain Mohammed Hussain said the suicide bomber targeted a joint Iraqi and US military checkpoint in the Al-Julan neighbourhood of Fallujah, 50 kilometres west of the capital Baghdad. "The victims were civilians," he said. There was no immediate reaction from the US military.

#2: A roadside bomb on Friday struck a dismounted joint patrol of U.S. troops and Iraqi police in the city of Fallujah in Anbar province, killing one interpreter and wounding two Iraqi policemen, a provincial police source said. The bomb detonated in the morning when U.S. troops and Iraqi police were on foot patrol in the al-Azraggiya neighborhood in northern Fallujah, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. It was unclear whether any U.S. soldier was killed or wounded by the attack as the troops immediately cordoned off the scene, allowing a U.S. helicopter to evacuate the casualties, the source said. The U.S. military has not confirmed the incident yet.

Six U.S. marines were wounded and their Arabic-speaking interpreter was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

#3: A roadside bomb exploded in Falluja when Iraqi police tried to safely dispose of it, the U.S. military said. The blast wounded two policemen.

#4: Gunmen attacked the home of Falluja's local council leader Hameed al-Hashin but were repelled by his guards returning fire. No one was hurt.

#5: A police officer was killed and four were wounded when a suicide car bomber drover into the compound of a police station in Falluja, police said.



Afghanistan:
#1: A government official says a suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan has killed four Afghan soldiers and a child. Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi says the suicide bomber blew himself up as the Afghan army convoy slowed to pass a pothole-riddled section of the road.
Azimi says the attack Friday killed four soldiers and a child. Four other soldiers were wounded.
The attack occurred about 12 kilometres west of Khost city.


Casualty Reports:

Private Liam Haven, Brisbane-based soldier, was inside a Bushmaster armoured vehicle near An Nasiriyah in the early hours of last Saturday when a roadside bomb exploded, injuring his arm, neck and face. He has undergone surgery in Germany. "The 19-year-old is assessed as being in a stable condition," a Defence statement said.

Jesse Schertz, 24, is also a Marine, injured in Iraq almost four years ago when a car bomb exploded near his convoy. "They had homemade napalm and stuff like that, so we got a lot of burns," said Schertz. "I had burns from my face, my hands, caught shrapnel in my ankle and broke my leg." Doctors amputated his leg. Schertz spent 15 months in the hospital.

Army Specialist Josh Eckley serving two tours in Iraq and surviving a devastating Humvee explosion that left him fighting for his life.