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, June 18, 2009

War News for Thursday, June 18, 2009

The DoD is reporting the death of a soldier at the Brooke Army Medical Center. Spc. Jonathan C. O’Neill died Monday, June 15th from wounds suffered in an IED attack in Paktya Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, June 2nd.

Number of VA claims poised to hit 1 million:

Two Turkish soldiers wounded in clash with PKK:

Possible Iraq war inquiry U-turn:

Mutiny in 3 Pak infantry brigades?:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi servicemen on Wednesday killed a suicide bomber before he could blow himself up in the capital Baghdad, according to an official statement. “A force from the 24 th Brigade, 6 th Division killed a terrorist wearing an explosive belt before he could detonate himself in al-Uwaisat area, Abu Ghraib sector,” read a statement released by Baghdad’s Operations Command (BOC) and received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The force has successfully managed to defuse the explosive belt, the statement noted.

Iraqi security forces shot dead two suicide bombers during a raid on insurgents' hideouts in west of Baghdad, the Iraqi military said on Wednesday. Early in the morning, Iraqi security forces surrounded the Uwaisat district in Abu Ghraib area, some 20 km west of the city, Baghdad operations command said in a statement. During the operation, the troops were attacked by a suicide bomber who tried to blow up his explosive-belt, but they shot him dead along with another insurgent wearing explosive-belt, the statement said.

#2: A huge fire engulfed the building of the Iraqi Ministry of Health in central Baghdad on Thursday, an Interior Ministry source said. Firefighters are battling the huge fire which started around 1:00 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) at the sixth story of the 11-story building in Bab al-Muadham area, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. There is no immediate confirmation about burns or deaths and only 18 people were hospitalized for being chocked by the heavy smoke, the source said. He said preliminary police investigation believes the fire might be the result of an electric short-circuit.

#3: One mortar shell hit the fortified Green Zone, central Baghdad, with no report on casualties, said a police source.

Around 9 a.m. mortar shells hit the green zone in downtown Baghdad. No news about casualties had been reported

Diyala Prv:
#1: Iraqi Police found six unidentified bodies in Azraq al Kshkool village, 45 km to the east of Baquba Wednesday. The bodies were found in several locations, all had evidence of several gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

#1: A roadside bomb exploded on Thursday morning near the convoy of Ahmad Thamer al-Zarkoshi, mayor of the town of Saadiyah, some 120 km northeast of Baghdad, wounding Zarkoshi and five of his bodyguards, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Three pedestrians were also wounded by the blast that damaged two of the convoy's vehicles, the source said.

Zarkoushi is in critical condition,” he noted. This is the fourth attempt on Zarkoushi’s life in two years.

#2: Also in the town (Saadiya), another roadside bomb struck the car of an Iraqi Army officer, wounding him and two of his sons who were in the car, the source added.

#1: Separately, two Iraqi soldiers were wounded by a roadside bomb explosion in the town of Maqdadiyah, 100 km northeast of Baghdad, and two more civilians were wounded by a bomb explosion in a village east of the capital city of Baquba, he said.

#1: Two civilians on Wednesday were wounded in an explosive charge blast that occurred in Jalawlaa district, according to a local source. “An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in front of a barbershop in Suz area, downtown Jalawlaa (30 km southwest of Khanaqin), injuring two civilians and causing damage to several nearby stores,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Wassit Prv:
#1: A Wassit University employee who killed a female student earlier today has died in hospital after shooting himself, a local medic said on Wednesday. “The employee shot himself in the head after he had opened fire on a female student,” the medic told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “A medical team has tried to save the employee’s life, but to no avail…,” the medic noted, adding that the injury has destroyed his brain cells.Earlier today, an employee from the engineering department in Wassit University killed a student in the 3rd grade of the Faculty of Science with his personal pistol.

#2: A policeman was killed on Thursday by a fellow cop in northern Wassit, a police source said. “A policeman from the civil defense department in al-Nuaamaniya district, north of Kut, opened fire on his fellow cop, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians on Wednesday when it targeted a police patrol in central Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles), north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Two policemen were fatally shot in two separate gun battles with insurgents in the east of the city, police told the German Press Agency dpa, without giving details.

#2: In a third firefight, in the Yarmuk neighbourhood of western Mosul, Iraqi soldiers killed one insurgent and arrested five others after coming under attack, police said.

#3: On Wednesday, a woman was killed during clashes between gunmen and police forces in al-Saa area, downtown Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The woman, who happened to be at the scene of the clashes, died in hospital from her wounds,” the source noted.

#4: Wednesday “Meanwhile, a policeman was wounded when a gunman fired at him in Ghazi St., downtown Mosul,” according to the same source.

#5: Two simultaneous explosions caused material damage to a number of stores in central Mosul, according to a security source. “Two explosive charges went off simultaneously late Wednesday (June 17) in al-Sergkhana region in central Mosul, causing material damage to five stores,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He gave no more details.

#6: Gunmen in a speeding car shot dead a civilian in northern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#7: A soldier accidentally killed another soldier when his rifle went off by mistake in eastern Mosul, north of Baghdad, police said.

#8: One Iraqi soldier was injured by a roadside bomb that targeted a patrol of the Iraqi army in al Arabi neighborhood in north Mosul on Thursday morning.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Missiles fired from suspected U.S. drone aircraft at an insurgent training camp in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border killed nine militants on Thursday, intelligence officials said. Two of the pilotless aircraft were used in Thursday's strikes in the Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold of South Waziristan, the intelligence officials said. At least four missiles were fired at the camp near a village west of the region's main town of Wana, they said.

#2: A motorised patrol of Finnish peacekeepers was targeted by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Thursday, the Finnish Defence Forces said in a statement the same day. Nobody was hurt by the explosion. According to the statement six Finnish peacekeepers were on patrol Sheberghan, northern Afghanistan, when a motorcycle or bicycle loaded with explosives was detonated near the first of their two vehicles.

#3: A bomb strapped to a parked bicycle exploded near a construction office in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing one employee and a child about 11 years old, police said. It was unclear whether the construction company was the target of the attack in the city of Kandahar. The city's deputy police chief, Abdulah Khan, said officers were investigating but did not yet know if the attack was connected to the Taliban insurgency. Khan said four employees of the construction company were wounded in the blast.

#4: Two Afghan policemen and six Taliban insurgents were killed during a firefight in Spera district in southeastern Khost province on Wednesday, provincial governor spokesman Kochai Naseri said. Twelve insurgents were wounded in the fighting and 15 more were detained, Naseri said.

Two police were killed and two others were injured Wednesday evening as Taliban insurgents attacked their convoy in Khost province of eastern Afghanistan, said Kochai Nasiri spokesman for provincial administration on Thursday. "Two police were killed and two more wounded in a gun battle which took place in Spera district, after their convoy being struck by a roadside bomb," Nasiri told Xinhua. He also added that over six Taliban militants were also killed as police returned fire.

#5: Four Afghan employees working for an American aid organisation were wounded when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the nothern city of Kunduz, police officer Abdul Rahman Aqtaash said

Four Afghan engineers were wounded as a remote control roadside bomb hit their car in Afghanistan's northern province of Kunduz on Thursday, said Mahbobullah Syedi the spokesperson of provincial governor. "The blast took place in Hasqalan area near Kunduz city, capital of Kunduz province, today at 9:10 a.m. local time (0440 GMT), wounding four Afghan engineers working for a nongovernmental organization which is involving in implementation of building and reconstruction projects in the province," Syedi told Xinhua. He also said that the slightly wounded engineers were evacuated to hospital by police and no one has been arrested yet.