The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Thursday, February 12, 2009

War News for Thursday, February 12, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British soldier in a shooting incident at the Contingency Operating Base in Basra, Iraq on Thursday, February 12th.

Feb. 10 airpower summary:

Soldiers possibly exposed to chemicals:

Military struggles to track Afghans' weapons:

Iraqi parliamentarians demand reparations for 1981 Israeli attack:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: An Iraqi woman working for the Philippine Embassy in Iraq was killed by unknown assailants inside her home last week, the Philippine government said today. Vergine Elias Jamil, a caretaker of the Philippine chancery since November 1985, was murdered on the night of Feb. 5 along with two other companions, it said in a statement.

#2: Iraqi army defused a roadside bomb in Zafaraniyah neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad around 11 a.m.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb detonated in Khan alNis in downtown Baquba around 11:15 a.m. The bomb was put inside the garbage. Three people were wounded including two rubbish collectors.

Al Saadiya:
#1: Iraqi security forces on Thursday found two unknown corpses in Diala province, a security source said. “The forces found the two bodies near al-Rabiyaa village in south of al-Saadiya district in Diala,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The bodies, belong to two young men; 18 and 25 years old, were sent to the morgue,” he added.

#1: Two civilians were killed and three others were wounded when a roadside bomb went off north of Baaquba city, a security source from Diala province said on Thursday. “The explosive charge targeted a civilian car in al-Idheem district of al-Khaliss suburb, 15 km north of Baaquba,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Policemen in Babel found the body of a civilian man in the northern part of the province on Thursday, a security source said. “The body, of a taxi cab driver, was found in an orchard in the in the district of al-Iskandariya, (50 km) north of Hilla city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding “the body showed signs of having been shot.” “Initial investigations showed that the man was killed after two unidentified gunmen stopped him for a ride on Tuesday (Feb. 10),” he said, noting the man’s family had reported him missing.

#1: The Diwaniya hospital on Thursday received an unknown body of a civilian man, said a medical source. “The hospital received an unknown body of a civilian in Ghamas region in west of Diwaniya,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that the man is believed to have choked to death.

#2: Five rockets hit a camp of U.S. forces west of Diwaniya, southern Iraq, according to a security source in the city with no reported casualties. “The attack targeted the ECHO camp, 3 km west of Diwaniya,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Rockets were launched from the city’s al-Askari neighborhood,” he added. The source asserted that the rockets landed inside the camp, adding he had no information about casualties.

#1: At least 12 people were killed and some 30 others were wounded in a bomb explosion targeted Shiite pilgrims in the holy city of Karbala on Thursday, Iraqi local television reported.

#1: The Iranian artillery bombed the border villages in eastern Arbil and Sulaimaniyah on Wednesday night. No casualties or damage reported.

#1: Two civilians were injured on Wednesday night by unknown gunmen in central Kirkuk, a source from the joint coordination center said on Thursday. “Unknown armed men on Wednesday night (Feb. 11) opened fire at a house in al-Masli region in central Kirkuk, injuring a man and his wife, who was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Police had confiscated 4 local made launchers in Wahid Huzairan ( the 1st of June) neighborhood when a missile was launched from it on Wednesday night.

#3: Police detonated a roadside bomb under control near Abu Alook cemetery in Kirkuk on Wednesday night. No casualties reported.

#1: A police official says a car bomb has killed four policemen and wounded three others in northern Iraq. The official says Thursday's attack targeted a police patrol in the city of Mosul and the wounded included one policeman and two civilians.

#2: Gunmen killed Abdul-Kareem al-Sherabi, a senior member of the Sunni Arab secularist party National Dialogue Front, in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, police said.

#3: Gunmen opened fire on Akram Khalaf, a candidate of the national movement for reform and development in Sarij Khana in Mosul in the afternoon. He was injured and transformed to hospital for treatment.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Gunmen killed a former army officer on Wednesday in the town of Khaldiya, 85 km (50 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his body attacked the provincial police headquarters Thursday in south-eastern province of Paktika, killing one policeman, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Ten other policemen were wounded in the attack in Shrena, the provincial capital, the statement said.

An elderly man, who appeared to have difficulty walking, blew himself up and killed a policeman who was helping him in Afghanistan on Thursday, a local official said. The suicide bombing happened outside the offices of the governor of the eastern province of Paktika. Police at the entrance to the governor's office were assisting the man, who had trouble walking, when he set off explosives strapped to his body, provincial spokesman Hameedullah Zohak told AFP. One policeman died and five were wounded, one critically, in the suicide blast, he said.

#2: Another suicide bomber attacked an Afghan army convoy Wednesday in the south-western province of Nimruz, killing one Afghan soldier and wounding two, the Defence Ministry said.

#3: A loud blast was heard in the east of the Afghan capital on Thursday, but the Defence Ministry said it was a controlled explosion carried out by the Afghan army.

#4: One officer was killed and another wounded when Taliban militants fired rockets at a police station in a tribal region of northwest Pakistan early Thursday, police said. The attack targeted the Shahbazkhel police station 70 kilometres (43 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan district bordering Afghanistan and a Taliban stronghold. "One policeman was killed and another injured when militants fired rockets at Shahbazkhel police station," local police official Noor Khan told AFP.

#5: Separately, a group claiming to be Taliban said that they fired four rockets overnight at a government compound near the western city of Herat. There were no casualties, officials said.