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

Friday, June 12, 2009

War News for Friday, June 12, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier in an IED attack near Kandahar, Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Thursday, June 11th.

June 9 airpower summary:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: The head of the Iraqi parliament's biggest Sunni Muslim bloc was killed on Friday, officials said, an assassination which could undermine efforts for sectarian reconciliation in Iraq. Harith al-Ubaidi was head of the Accordance Front and also a member of the parliament's human rights committee. He was leaving a mosque in west Baghdad after Friday prayers when he was killed.
"He was at a mosque. An armed man shot him with a pistol, then threw a grenade at him inside the Al-Shawaf mosque," said Saleem al-Jubouri, a spokesman for the Accordance Front. However, a military source who declined to be named said the attacker was a suicide bomber, who ran up to Ubaidi and hugged him before detonating one or more grenades.

#2: Thursday A civilian was killed and four others were injured by a roadside bomb that targeted a US convoy in Shaab neighborhood in north Baghdad around 8 a.m. No American casualties were reported.

#3: Thursday Three civilians were injured when an adhesive bomb attached to a car detonated in Mansour neighborhood in west Baghdad around 12 p.m.

#4: Thursday Four civilians were injured by a roadside bomb near Mustanisiriyah University in Waziriyah neighborhood in east Baghdad around 12 p.m.

#5: A roadside bomb wounded six civilians in eastern Baghdad's New Baghdad district, police said.

#6: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Mashtal neighbourhood, eastern Baghdad Friday morning destroying one military vehicle. No casualties were reported by the U.S. Military.

Diyala Prv:
#1: One child was killed and two children others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in the area of Hamrin, south of Khanaqin district on Thursday, a local security source said. “An IED planted on a main road in Hamrin, northern al-Saadiya district, (35 km) south of Khanaqin, went off, killing a seven-year-old child and wounding two others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen raided an Iraqi soldier’s home in the town of Baladruz in the province of Diyala and killed his 17-year-old daughter, a security source said, adding that the mother was seriously wounded. It was not immediately clear if the soldier was at home during the attack in Diyala, which remains one of Iraq’s most dangerous areas.

#1: A police officer shot dead two government-backed militia members as they were planting a bomb in the north of Mussayab, 60 km (37 miles) south of the capital, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb targeted civilians in al Iskan neighbourhood, a commercial area specialized in car dealerships in the western part of the city of Karbala, not far from the Shrine of Imam al Hussein late Thursday killing two civilians and injuring four.

#1: Police patrols found a body of a 17-year-old young man in al-Balaj region in north of Tikrit,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq, noting that the body bore signs of gunshot wounds. “Local residents identified the victim as Ali Shoukr and he is one of the region’s residents,” he added.

#1: A boy and his sister, 14 and 12, were killed when the C5K rocket they were playing with exploded in al-Neft neighborhood in Baiji district,” he said, noting that investigation indicated that their father was hiding the rocket at his house.

#1: A roadside bomb targeted Police and Sahwa forces on the main highway near Dibis village, Hawijah district in the west of Kirkuk province Thursday without causing any casualties only some damages to the vehicles.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The second attack occurred around the same time in Noshehra city in the volatile northwest near Swat and the lawless tribal belt where al-Qaida and the Taliban have strongholds. Attackers rammed a pickup truck loaded with explosives into the wall of a mosque in an area of the city used to house military officials, police official Aziz Khan said. At least three people were killed and more than 100 wounded, with others possibly trapped in the rubble, Khan said. "We fear that there could be more deaths. We are waiting for the equipment to remove the debris," he said.

#2: Elsewhere Friday, gunmen in Peshawar attacked the home of Lt. Gen. Masood Aslam, the army commander of the Swat offensive, prompting a battle with guards that killed two militants; and military jets began bombarding suspected militant strongholds in the tribal region of Bajur. Casualties were not immediately known there.

#3: In another tribal region, Hangu, suspected militants detonated a roadside bomb that killed the regional police chief and four other officers, said Farid Khan, a police official.

#4: In Peshawar late Thursday, one officer was killed and a dozen other people were wounded when assailants lobbed a grenade at a police checkpoint. When police rushed to respond, a suicide bomber ran forward and blew himself up, said police Superintendent Nisar Marwad.

#5: NATO mortar rounds killed two Afghan civilians during a clash with insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. The fighting in eastern Kunar province Thursday began when insurgents attacked NATO forces. The troops fired mortar rounds in response, killing two civilians and wounding five, NATO said in a statement. The statement issued late Thursday did not provide further details on the clash or say whether any insurgents were killed in the firefight. NATO said it was investigating the incident.

#6: Separately, four other Afghan civilians died in Kunar when a truck collided with a NATO vehicle, the coalition said. Two Afghans died in Thursday's crash, while the other two died later of their injuries while undergoing treatment, it said in a statement. Four others were injured.

#7: Afghan police killed 12 insurgents in a clash in southern Helmand province on Thursday, the interior ministry said. One police officer was wounded.

#8: A roadside bomb killed three Afghan soldiers in southeastern Paktia province, provincial officials said.

#9: Taliban insurgents shot dead a local police chief and his driver in an ambush in northwestern Faryab overnight, the interior ministry said.