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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

War News for Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aug. 10 airpower summary:

Swine flu cases climb among US soldiers in Iraq:

Kuwait Foils Plan to Attack Refinery, Official Says:

Shiites in Iraq Show Restraint as Sunnis Keep Attacking:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: At least eight people were killed and 30 others injured in two separate car bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital Tuesday night, the police said. The first explosion occurred near a Shia mosque in the Al-Amin district of Baghdad, while the second explosion took place near a coffee shop in the same district. Eight people were killed and 30 injured in the bombings, a police official said requesting anonymity. The number of deaths in each of the incidents was not immediately known. The explosions also damaged nearby buildings.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three civilians on Wednesday were injured when an explosive charge went off near Diala’s Baaquba city, according to a local security source. “This noon, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a civilian vehicle on the main road linking Jalawlaa and al-Saadiya districts (100 km north of Baaquba), wounding three persons,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Two women were kidnapped in Buhruz, southern Baquba, at 10 a.m. Tuesday and the police were able to capture the gang, four men, and release the women at 5 p.m. on the same day.

#3: One man was kidnapped in Nahr al Hijiyah neighbourhood in Baquba on Tuesday.

#4: One woman was kidnapped in al Amin neighbourhood, central Baquba, Monday. Police were able to capture the gang, three men, and free her Wednesday morning.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded three civilians when it exploded inside a bus station in Mahmudiya town, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen shot dead an off-duty police officer as he was leaving a funeral service in Qaiyara town, 290 km (180 miles) north of Baghdad late on Tuesday, police said.

#1: One policeman was killed and five others were wounded Wednesday in an improvised explosive device explosion in central Kirkuk, the province districts’ police chief said. “The bomb went off at 8:30am on Wednesday (Aug. 12) in al-Quds street, central Kirkuk, targeting a police vehicle patrol, killing a policeman and injuring five,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Near the northern city of Mosul, three Iraqis were killed and three wounded when unknown armed men threw a bomb at their house in the northern city of Mosul, the police said.
The attack took place in the Beaaj neighbourhood west of Mosul. The wounded included a policeman and two women, all of the same family.

#2: An improvised explosive device went off Tuesday in northern Mosul without causing casualties, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off Tuesday (Aug. 11) in al-Magmouaa al-Thaqafiya region, northern Mosul, without leaving casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A senior police officer was killed by unknown gunmen in south of Mosul, a security source said on Wednesday. “Unidentified gunmen killed Brigadier Abdulhamied Khalaf Asfour late Tuesday (Aug. 11) when they opened fire on him near his house in al-Zawiya village in al-Qayara district, south of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. "The man was the media official of the Ninewa police,” he added.

#4: A joint force on Wednesday managed to detonate a truck bomb in west of Mosul, without causing casualties, according to a security source. “A joint force of police and army personnel managed early Wednesday to detonate a truck bomb in al-Rayhaniya village in Hamiydat district, west of Mosul, without causing casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The truck was loaded with 24 barrels of TNT,” he continued.

#5: A bomb attached to a car killed one person and wounded another in northern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#6: Gunmen killed an old man near his home in northeastern Mosul, north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Iraqi policemen foiled on Wednesday a suicide car bomb attack targeted a police station in the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, wounding eight people, a well-informed police source said. Policemen guarding the outer checkpoint of the Qadsiyah police station in central Ramadi had suspicion on a car trying to approach their checkpoint and ordered the driver to stop and fired warning shots in the air, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. As the driver refused to stop, they opened fire on him and his car, causing the car to blow up close to their checkpoint, the source said. The blast, occurring among concrete barriers of the checkpoint, effectively reduced the casualty, with four policemen and four civilians wounded, the source added.

Meanwhile, in Ramadi, a policeman was killed and four wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his car near a security checkpoint in the western neighbourhood of Taamim, police sources told dpa. Ramadi is some 100 kilometres west of Baghdad.

#2: Gunmen wounded a policeman when they attacked an Iraqi police patrol east of Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Two Afghan men have been shot in an incident involving Australian troops deployed north of Tarin Kowt as part of pre-election security operations. The two men were travelling on a motorcycle when they failed to comply with verbal and visual signals to stop at a Vehicle Check Point. The men were shot at by the soldiers of the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF), resulting in the death of one man and the wounding of another.

AN Afghan police officer has been shot dead and another wounded by Australian soldiers after they failed to stop at a security checkpoint.The two Afghan men were travelling on a motorcycle when they failed to comply with verbal and visual signals to stop at the checkpoint at Dorafshan, north of the Australian base at Tarin Kowt. The Australian soldier came under small arms fire following the incident.

#2: A roadside bombing has wounded two Associated Press Journalists embedded with the U.S. military in southern Afghanistan. Photographer Emilio Morenatti and AP Television News videographer Andi Jatmiko were traveling with the military when their vehicle was struck by the bomb Tuesday. Both were immediately taken to a military hospital in Kandahar. Jatmiko suffered leg Injuries and two broken ribs. Morenatti, badly wounded in the leg, underwent an operation that resulted in the loss of his foot.

#3: A police bomb disposal team were returning to the capital late Tuesday after defusing a bomb in Paghman district some 30 kilometres west of Kabul when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, the interior ministry said. ‘Five brave policemen were martyred and four others were wounded,’ ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP.

#3: Militants also attacked a government compound in Archi district, in northern Kunduz province, killing the district police chief and a guard, said local governor Shaik Dadi. After the militants attacked the compound, the police chief emerged from his headquarters to help, Dadi said, adding: ‘The Taliban ambushed him and killed him.’ ‘The Archi district police chief and one of his bodyguards were killed and three other police were wounded,’ he said.

#4: A man with explosive vest in his body attempted to enter a police check point, was shot dead by Afghan National Police (ANP) in Afghanistan eastern Khost province on Tuesday, Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, reported Xinhua. "It was 5 p.m. local time (GMT1230) as a suicide bomber was shot dead after identified by ANP forces in Sabari district," the statement added. The bomber was attempting to blow himself up in Khalbsad outpost, it added that only the bomber was killed in the incident but no causality on ANP side.

#5: Two intelligence officials and a militant commander say clashes between rival militant groups in northwestern Pakistan have killed about 70 fighters. The officials say the clashes broke out on Wednesday in Jandola between fighters loyal to Pakistan's Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, and those of Turkistan Bitani, a militant commander allied with the government. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. Bitani told the AP that a total of about 60 to 70 fighters had died, and that the clashes broke out when his group was attacked by Mehsud's group.

#6: Helicopter-borne U.S. Marines backed by Harrier jets stormed a Taliban-held town in southern Afghanistan before dawn Wednesday in an operation to secure the country ahead of presidential elections. The troops exchanged heavy fire with insurgents, killing at least seven. Associated Press journalists traveling with the first wave said militants fired small arms, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades after helicopters dropped the troops over Taliban lines. Fighting lasted more than eight hours, as Harrier jets streaked overhead and dropped flares in a show of force.

The Taliban put up such fierce resistance that Marines said they suspected the militants knew the assault was coming. Other Marines met heavy resistance as they fought to seize control of the mountains surrounding Dahaneh in the southern province of Helmand. Another convoy of Marines rolled into the town despite roadside bomb attacks and gunfire. It was the first time NATO troops had entered Dahaneh, which has been under Taliban control for years. A combined force of some 500 U.S. and Afghan troops took part in the attack, which included helicopters, snipers, and female Marines brought in to interact with Afghan women during the compound-by-compound search conducted by Afghan forces who accompanied the Americans.

#7: Afghan forces in conjunction with the international troops have eliminated eight Taliban insurgents in the western Farah province, a press release of Defense Ministry issued here Wednesday said. The operation, conducted in harmony with the international forces late Tuesday night, left eight rebels dead and injured several others, the press release added. A number of arms and ammunition and two satellite telephone sets were seized during the operation lasted for a while. It also stressed that there were no casualties on the troops.

#8: In another incident, a Bushmaster struck an improvised explosive device during a routine patrol in Oruzgan Province, but no Australians were wounded.