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

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

War News for Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Monday, August 23rd.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, August 24th.

Two Iraq judges killed in violence claimed by Al-Qaeda: Al-Qaeda says avenging death sentences being handed down to Sunnis in Shiite prisons.

U.S. General Cites Goals to Train Afghan Forces

Reported security incidents

#1: Gunmen opened fire and wounded two policemen when they attacked their checkpoint in Baghdad's western district of Amiriya late on Monday, an interior ministry source said. Another civilian was injured in the attack.

#2: A mortar wounded a civilian when it landed on a house in northern Baghdad late on Monday, an interior ministry source said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: One civilian was killed and another one was wounded Monday in a bomb explosion in north of Baaquba, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off near a motorcycle in al-Azim region, north of Baaquba, killing a civilians and injuring another one,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Thi Qar:
#1: A roadside bomb went off on Monday near a convoy of the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team (P.R.T) southwest of Nassiriya city, causing no casualties or damage. “A local-made anti-shields bomb went off at 9:30 am on Monday (Aug. 23) in southwest of Nassiriya targeting two vehicles of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (P.R.T),” the Thi-Qar police department said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion left no damage or casualties,” the statement added.

#1: Gunmen disguised as Iraqi soldiers killed five oil workers transporting salaries and stole almost 400,000 dollars (316,500 euros), the head of security for the state-owned oil company said Tuesday. The attack occurred on Monday afternoon near the town of Sayniyah in Salaheddin province north of Baghdad as the salaries were being taken to an oil pumping station in Haditha, in western Anbar province. "Five employees of K-3, a unit of the North Oil Company, were kidnapped near the village of al-Bushmanah, west of Sayniyah, by gunmen wearing army uniforms," said Colonel Adnan Mohammed Abdulrazzaq, security chief for the state-owned North Oil Company.

Unknown gunmen killed seven employees of the Baiji refinery and seized their salaries, according to a source from local police department. “An armed group attacked a vehicle of the Baiji refinery, western Baiji, killing seven employees, assigned to bring the salaries,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that they stole 750 million dinars.

Northern Iraq:
#1: The Iranian artillery on Monday shelled mountainous areas on borders in Kurdistan region, according to an official security source from the Kurdistan region’s Peshmerga forces. “The Iranian artillery shelled border regions on Qandil mountains on Wadi Rasoul in Bashdar region, north of Sulaimaniya,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The shelling set a nearby forest ablaze,” he added. The Iranian army is shelling these areas under the pretext they harbor the PJAK fighters.

#1: Three soldiers were wounded on Monday in a hand grenade explosion in northern Mosul, according to a security source. “Unknown gunmen threw the bomb on a military checkpoint in al-Qahera neighborhood, northern Mosul, on Monday (Aug. 23), wounding three soldiers,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Four civil servants working for the Haditha Refinery were killed on Tuesday in an armed attack in western the al-Anbar province. “Unknown gunmen used light arms today to open fire targeting a civilian car driven by four civil servants working for the Haditha refinery, western the al-Anbar province,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He explained that the incident occurred after the four victims received their salaries in the al-Seniya district of Haditha.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan and international forces have killed about 40 Taliban fighters east of the Afghan capital Kabul as part of operations to provide security ahead of parliamentary elections next month, NATO said Tuesday. Fighting in Kabul province began Friday, involving Afghan, U.S. and French troops and both air and ground assaults, the coalition said. Eight Taliban leaders were captured and a large quantity of explosives and other weapons destroyed, it said. Troops were taking the fight to the insurgents in an area where they "used to feel pretty secure operating in," Brig. Gen. Steve Townsend, the U.S. deputy commander in eastern Afghanistan, was quoted as saying in a news release.

#2: Heavy fighting overnight was also reported in the southwestern provinces of Nimroz and Uruzgan, adjoining the insurgent strongholds of Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Numerous Taliban were killed, but the Afghan police and army managed to avoid casualties, according to an army news release and Nimroz police chief Abdul Jabbar Pardali.

#3: Also Tuesday, NATO said it was investigating allegations that eight civilians were killed and 12 injured in a coalition raid on a remote mountain village in the northern province of Baghlan. The chief of Baghlan's Tala Wabarfak district, Mohammad Ismail, said the deaths - six men, one woman, and one child - reportedly came in the early hours of Sunday morning in the village of Tergaran. Villagers told him troops flown in aboard five or six helicopters also destroyed several houses during the five-hour operation, Ismail said. Two people were reportedly arrested and taken away he said, adding that Taliban have on occasion been active in the area, a 10-hour walk from the nearest town over which the government exercises little influence.

#4: NATO said U.S. troops fired warning shots on Monday to disperse a protest in eastern Afghanistan over the arrest of a religious leader suspected of a rocket attack. The alliance said no civilian injuries were reported from the demonstration, but Gen. Faqir Ahmad, the deputy police chief of Parwan province, said one civilian was killed by gunfire from an unknown source. NATO said about 300 people surrounded a patrol and attacked vehicles with rocks and iron bars outside the main coalition air base at Bagram in Parwan province. "After several attempts to stop the attack and disperse the crowd, coalition troops received small-arms fire directed at them," NATO said in a news release. Coalition forces then fired the warning shots.

#5: Missiles fired from a U.S. drone aircraft killed 13 militants and seven civilians in Pakistan's North Waziristan region Monday, Pakistani intelligence officials said. They said the missiles were fired at a militant hideout. Most of the militants killed were members of the Afghan Taliban, the officials said, but four women and three children were also among the dead. "The missiles hit a militant compound and a house adjacent to it. We have confirmed reports of 20 dead," said one of the intelligence officials.

#6: Four civilians, including one policeman, were killed and eight wounded in three attacks by insurgents in Takhar, Paktika and Helmand provinces on Sunday and Monday, the Interior Ministry said.

#7: Seven civilians in Paktika province were wounded by an improved explosive device placed in a wheelbarrow, apparently intended to target the local police chief, ISAF said.

DoD: Spc. Christopher S. Wright

DoD: Lance Cpl. Nathaniel J. A. Schultz

DoD: Pfc. Alexis V. Maldonado

FR/DoD: Lt. Lorenzo Mezzasalma

FR/DoD: Corporal Jean-Nicolas Panezyck


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