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, February 17, 2010

War News for Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Russian military chief warns US against striking Iran:

Iraq ranks first violent country for 2nd time:

Friendly fire’ probe after soldier dies in Afghanistan:

Reported security incidents

#1: “They forces managed to defuse three Katyusha rockets in Khour al-Zubair region in western Basra,” the source added.

#1: U.S. forces released on Tuesday an ambulance driver after he was arrested in the north of Amara, according to Amara mayor. “U.S. troops which raided al-Duwaiyjat village in Ali al-Sharqi district, north of Amara, released Abdulreda Saleh Jameel, an ambulance’s driver, after arresting them while transporting one of the wounded during a security operation, during which 10 were killed, 5 were wounded and 22 detained,” Rafia Abduljabar told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “They released him after repeated requests from the Missan council and the Missan health department,” he added.

#1: Police forces found on Wednesday the bodies of two women in a grave in eastern Arbil, while they found a corpse of a man in the northern section of the city, a police source said. “Policemen found the bodies of two women in Sheikh Ahmad grave in eastern Arbil,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The two bodies bores signs of gunshot wounds,” he added. “Police found also a body of an Arab nationality man. His age ranges between 30 to 40, in a grave in northern Arbil,” he added.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: A member of the Asayesh (Kurdish for security) forces has been killed by unknown gunmen in south of Kirkuk City, a local security source said on Wednesday. “On Wednesday morning (Feb. 17), unidentified armed men opened fire on a commissioner of Asayesh forces in front of his house in downtown Touz Khormato district (80 km south of Kirkuk),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An officer of the Kirkuk emergency department was wounded on Tuesday by gunmen in central Kirkuk, according to a senior police officer. “Major Senan Najat Mohammad was seriously wounded on Tuesday evening (Feb. 16) when unknown gunmen tried to kill him,” Colonel Ghazi Ali told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The gunmen shot the officer using a gun with silencer in Turuq Baghdad region in central Kirkuk,” he added.

#2: Unknown gunmen kidnapped a journalist working for al-Ahd radio station in central Kirkuk, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO). “Four unknown gunmen kidnapped on Wednesday morning (Feb. 17) the correspondent of al-Ahd radio, Houssam Dawood al-Aqabi, from al-Nasr neighborhood in central Kirkuk and took him to unknown place,” the JFO said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: "Unidentified gunmen shot one policeman near his house in the al- Quds district of eastern Mosul,

#2: while the other (policeman) was shot in Tel al- Ruman area in western Mosul," said the source.

#3: A Christian student was found dead in the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday, the fourth in as many days, amid warnings of rising violence against the minority ahead of March 7 polls. The bullet-riddled body of Wissam George, a 20-year-old Assyrian Christian, was recovered on a street in the south Mosul residential neighbourhood of Wadi al-Ain at around 1:00 pm (1000 GMT).

#3: A child was wounded on Tuesday in a bomb explosion that targeted a police vehicle patrol in western Mosul, a police source said. “A hand grenade went off on Tuesday evening (Feb. 16) targeting a police vehicle patrol in Mosul al-Jadieda region in western Mosul, injuring a passing 9-year-old child,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: Five people were wounded in an improvised explosive device blast in western Mosul, a security source said on Wednesday. “An improvised explosive device went off on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 17) targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol in al-Yarmouk neighborhood, western Mosul, injuring five persons, including a soldier,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO forces say an air strike in eastern Afghanistan has killed more than a dozen insurgents near the Pakistani border. The military coalition said today that a Nato patrol saw a group of individuals yesterday and identified them as insurgents. The soldiers called in air support and precision-guided munitions were dropped on the location.

#2: A US drone strike killed at least four Islamist insurgents Wednesday at a compound close to the Afghan border in Pakistan's militant-infested tribal belt, security officials said. The attack was the third since Sunday in North Waziristan district, a stronghold of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Haqqani network known for staging attacks across the border on US and NATO troops fighting the Taliban. Pakistani officials and residents said the aircraft fired two missiles into a militant compound in Tabi Tolkhel village, just five kilometres (three miles) from the border with the Afghan province of Khost. "According to initial reports four militants were killed and two wounded," a security official said, requesting anonymity.

#3: U.S. and Afghan troops moved into two key parts of Marjah on Tuesday in an effort to restart government services and confront Taliban holdouts, who continued to shoot at coalition forces. It was the fourth day of fighting in Marjah, the opium-smuggling and logistical base for Taliban insurgents in southern Helmand province. Facing little resistance, troops secured the central police station and the area where they hope to build a municipal building, moving west by foot on a mined road to achieve a key objective of U.S. commanders. To the north, in the Koru Chreh bazaar area, where troops had been subjected to repeated small-arms fire and grenade attacks since they arrived Saturday, several hundred U.S. Marines conducted a daylong operation to target insurgent gunmen and sweep for makeshift bombs. The most intense fighting of the day occurred to the south of the municipal center, where the battalion's Alpha Company was engaged in an almost daylong exchange of gunfire with insurgents.

#4: Some 280 anti- government militants have been killed and 180 others injured over the past year in northern Afghanistan's Kunduz province, provincial governor Mohammad Omar said Wednesday. "During anti-insurgency drive over the past year in Kunduz province by the security forces, 280 rebels have been killed, 180 injured and 20 captured," Omar told a press conference. There were 12 foreign fighters among those killed during the operations, including militants from Chechen and Uzbekistan, he said. Thirty-three Afghan policemen and four Afghan soldiers have also been killed over the same period, the governor added.

MoD: Sapper Guy Mellors

DoD: Cpl. Jacob H. Turbett

DoD: Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal