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, February 7, 2009

War News for Saturday, February 07, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a U.S. Soldier soldier from non-combat related injury in near Balad Ruz on Saturday, February 6th. No other details were released.

Feb. 5 airpower summary:

Al-Sadr candidates appeal results:

Iraq oil minister says OPEC to cut production:

KBR wins contract despite criminal probe of deaths:

U.S. Military Violated Security Agreement Twice in 2 Weeks, Iraqi Leaders Say:

Number of detainees reduced – U.S. adviser: The number of Iraqi detainees in U.S.-run prisons has dropped to 14,900, due to the daily release of 50 prisoners, a U.S. adviser said on Saturday.

Kyrgyzstan says U.S. air base decision is final:

Iraqi gov't talks with insurgent groups: newspaper:

AUSA Military Weaponry Tradeshow: (off topic but there's some interesting stuff here.)

Reported Security incidents:

#1: A roadside bomb planted by the wall of a store that sells alcoholic beverages in the main thoroughfare of Mansour neighbourhood, western Baghdad was found by a police patrol and later detonated at 10.45 p.m. Friday under control causing material damages to the store.

#2: Gunmen in a speeding car threw a hand grenade at a supermarket in 14 Ramadhan Street in Mansour, western Baghdad at 10.30 p.m. causing material damages to the store.

#3: A roadside bomb in the Mansour neighbourhood of western Baghdad wounded two policemen, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: An Iraqi army soldier was killed and two others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their vehicle in Diala on Friday, an official security source said. “An IED went off near a Hummer vehicle of the Iraqi army on the road linking Jalawlaa and al-Saadiya areas, leaving one soldier killed and two others injured,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Iraqi army forces found to unidentified bodies in Diala province on Friday, according to an official military source. “Iraqi army soldiers found two bodies of people aging 20-30 years old in the area of al-Saadiya, (35 km) southern Khanaqin district,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “There were no signs of the bodies having been shot. We don’t know how they were killed so far but the investigations will show all details,” the source added.

Arab Jabour:
#1: A policeman was killed and three others were wounded when an explosive charge detonated northeast of Baaquba city, a security source said on Saturday. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in Hamrin’s Arab Jabour, Saadiya district (155 km northeast of Baaquba), killing a cop and wounding three others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Around 9 p.m. gunmen broke out the house of Kanan Majeed a lawyer in Kanan town east Baquba and killed him.

#1: The al-Zahraa Hospital morgue in al-Kut city on Friday received an unidentified body showing signs of having been tortured and shot, a morgue source said. “The tied-legged decomposed body, of an unidentified civilian man, was salvaged from a river in northern al-Suwayra district, (135 km) north of Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A U.S. patrol on Saturday wounded two civilians who were on their way to the holy Shiite city of Karbala for the Arbaeen pilgrimage, a security source said. “Random fire by U.S. patrolmen in Afak district, (30 km) east of Diwaniya, injured a man and a woman local residents of Missan province who were going on foot to Karbala to perform the rituals of Imam Hussein bin Ali’s Arbaeen pilgrimage,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Gunmen kidnapped Talib al-Masoudi, who ran in Jan. 31 provincial elections as a candidate from the Shi'ite Fadhila party, from the Husseiniya neighbourhood in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Friday Police forces found and safely defused a 5 km bomb planted by the outer wall of the mosque in Iblah neighbourhood, northern Basra, where Ali al Safi, one of the prominent representatives of Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani gives sermons.

#1: Iraqi police killed three militants including a Syrian national, and arrested another 13 suspected militants near Balad, 80 km (50 miles), north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two shepherds were wounded by a landmine explosion on the fringes of a town southwest of Arbil province on Friday, according to an official security source. “An Italian-made landmine went off near two brother shepherds on the road linking Makhmour and al-Kuweir districts, (30 km) southwest of Arbil, wounding them,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The incident occurred about 16 km west of Kuweir district,” the source said, adding one of them is seriously wounded.

#1: An unknown body on Saturday was found near Makhmour district, according to a military source. “Today, an army force found a body of a young man on the main road between Makhmour district and al-Qayara, near Alawa Mahmoud village (30 km west of Makhmour),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body bore signs of gunshot wounds and was taken to the morgue,” the source added.

Ninevah Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded a soldier when it struck his patrol in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

#2: An exchange of fire between Iraqi police forces and unknown gunmen Saturday left five people dead, including a militia member, security sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. Another militia member was wounded, the source added. The shooting took place in the Mithaq area of Mosul, some 400 KM north of Baghdad.

#3: A civilian man was wounded when unidentified gunmen opened fire at a police patrol in western Mosul on Friday, a police source in Ninewa said. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a patrol of the 5th Emergency Police Department in al-Shifaa neighborhood, western Mosul, wounding a civilian man who happened to be near the attack scene,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: A militant wounded a policeman when he hurled a hand-grenade at a police checkpoint in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles), north of Baghdad, police said.

Tal Afar:
#1: Gunmen in a speeding car opened fire and killed two civilians in Tal Afar, 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The Taliban said Saturday it had killed a Polish engineer kidnapped last year in Pakistan, but the Polish embassy in Islamabad was not able to confirm the claim. Piotr Stanczak was seized on September 28 by armed men who killed his two drivers and bodyguard in restive northwest Pakistan, where he was working for a Polish energy company. "We have beheaded the Polish engineer after the government failed to meet our demands and we will not hand over his body," a Taliban spokesman said by telephone. The claim to have murdered Stanczak came just hours after Polish Prime.

#2: Nahim Jan Shinwari, the district governor for Goshta district of eastern Nangarhar province and one of bodyguards were killed when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb in Bati Kot district of the province on Saturday, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the provincial governor said. Shinwari's driver was wounded in the attack, he said.

#3: Also on Saturday, Taliban militants shot dead a senior member for the provincial council of Nangarhar in Dare Noor district, Abdulzai said.

#4: US-led coalition forces killed an Afghan civilian and wounded two others including a woman and a child in south-eastern Khost province on Friday after the vehicle the victims were travelling in failed to stop at a military checkpoint, the US military said in a statement.
The statement said the forces gave flashlights and fired warning shots before they targeted the vehicle, which was approaching them at high speed.

#5: In another incident, Afghan police backed by coalition forces killed ten suspected Taliban fighters in a clash in Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province on Friday, Afghan interior ministry said in a statement. The militants attacked the joint forces after they arrested three rebels, who had been involved in roadside bombing in the area, the statement said, adding that there was no casualties among the combined forces.

#6: Eight persons, including six policemen, were killed when militants attacked and blew up a police post in Pakistan's Punjab province before dawn today.Witnesses said a group of armed militants first opened fire at the police post at Qudratabad in Mianwali district and then blew it up. The post collapsed after the powerful explosion, they said.Two Civil Defence volunteers, who were guarding the post, were gunned down by the militants. An assistant sub-inspector and five constables, who were sleeping inside, died when the building collapsed and they were buried under the debris, officials said.DSP Jamat Ali Bukhari said the attack was launched at 3.30 am and the post that was targeted was an important one.

Assailants threw a bomb at a police checkpoint in eastern Pakistan before dawn Saturday, killing seven officers, police said.District Police Chief Malik Tassadaq Hayyat said the attack came near the town of Mianwali in eastern Punjab province. He said residents also heard gunfire before the explosion that knocked down the roadside checkpoint.

#7: Meanwhile, suspected militants attacked a terminal used for supplies to NATO in Afghanistan and burned at least two vehicles, police said Saturday. No one claimed responsibility for the late Friday attack on the terminal in the northwestern city of Peshawar. Police official Attique Shah said they had stepped up security.

#8: The two attacks came hours after authorities said security forces backed by helicopter gunships had killed 52 militants in two raids in northwestern Pakistan, a lawless region where the Taliban and al-Qaida increasingly hold sway. The raids took place Friday near the Khyber region, said Fazal Mahmood, the No. 2 government representative in the area. They destroyed five militant hide-outs, a large ammunition depot and eight vehicles, he said. It was not possible to independently verify his account because the region is dangerous to visit.

Government helicopter gunships killed 52 militants in two attacks in northwestern Pakistan, a lawless region where the Taliban and al-Qaeda increasingly hold sway, an official said. The attacks took place on Friday near the Khyber region, said Fazal Mahmood, the No. 2 government representative in the area. They destroyed five militant hide-outs, a large ammunition depot and eight vehicles, he said.

#9: Taliban militants shot dead a police officer in Afghanistan's eastern Laghman province, an official said Saturday. "The enemies ambushed the vehicle of Abdul Aziz, the commander of police in Qarghai district, Friday night, killing him on the spot," district chief of Qarghai Mohammad Arif told Xinhua. He said one police was also killed in fire fight between the guards of Abdul Aziz and the insurgents. Meantime, Zabihullah Mujahid, who claims to speak for the Taliban, claimed responsibility, saying one Taliban fighter was also killed in the gun battle lasted for a while.

#10: A roadside bomb killed the chief of Bati Kot district in Nangarhar province, 140 km (90) miles east of Kabul, Abdulzai said.

Casualty Reports:

PFC Brian Claeys, 20, in the Army's 2nd Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, was injured on May 23, 2008 while serving in the Diyala Province in Iraq. A member of the quick reactionary force, Claeys said the vehicle he was in was struck by a roadside bomb while his team was escorting recovery assets from a vehicle that was previously stuck by a similar explosive device.Claeys said he suffered moderate head injuries in the blast, injuries that he said has caused lasting brain damage. The injury is serious enough that the 2006 Pittsburg High School graduate has been medically discharged.

Spc. Endi Herrera with the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Herrera was badly injured in Iraq and has spent the past 13 months in recovery.

British Major Phil Packer, 36, of London, suffered a back injury in a rocket attack in Basra. He was told he would never walk again after being injured in Iraq.