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

Monday, September 27, 2010

War News for Monday, September 27, 2010

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, September 26th.

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Reported security incidents

#1: An anchorman for Iraq’s state sponsored al-Iraqiyah television was seriously injured when a bomb attached to his car exploded, the broadcaster said. The attack on Alaa Mohsen took place today in the al- Sayidiya neighborhood of southern Baghdad, al-Iraqiyah said.

#2: Unknown gunmen on Monday used guns with silencers to kill an Iraqi cop working for the police academy in Baghdad. “The policeman was killed in the Salah al-Din Intersection, western Baghdad, when he was on his way to work,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Kurdish rebels fighting Iran's government from bases across the border in Iraq are denying that Iranian forces carried out a cross-border raid. Iran's state television reported Sunday that Revolutionary Guard forces crossed into Iraq and killed 30 fighters from a group involved in a bombing last week of a military parade in northwestern Iran. Iranian officials have blamed the attack on Kurdish rebels. Sherzad Kamanger, a spokesman for Iranian Kurdish rebels based in Iraq's Qandil Mountains, said Monday that there have been no recent battles with the Iranians, though there was some Iranian artillery shelling late Sunday on four border villages that injured one civilian.

#1: A roadside bomb went off today targeting a police officer’s car in the al-Qaddissiya neighborhood, 15 km north of Tikrit, wounding him, his wife, and their 6-year old daughter,” a local police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: “Another roadside bomb went off today within the first blast’s area targeting the car of a local businessman, wounding him and damaging his car,” the source added.

#1: Three bombings targeted an awakening force patrol wounding three members, in Al Risala District, central Baiji. Unknown gunmen detonated bombs early Monday near the house of police major Faez Jalili and the house of his brother, a traffic policeman, seriously wounding the police major, his son, his brother and his wife. The houses were subject to major damages.

#1: In a separate incident, unknown gunmen shot dead Dr. Mohammed Anan Saleh while he was leaving his house in Tiseein District, central Kirkuk.

#2: Kirkuk Rescue Police Chief was wounded along with three of his bodyguards and a boy in a car bomb explosion that targeted his convoy in southern Kirkuk, a security source told Alsumaria News.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO helicopters in eastern Afghanistan launched rare major airstrikes into Pakistan, reportedly killing more than 50 militants, officials said Monday. The first strike took place Saturday after insurgents based in Pakistan attacked an Afghan outpost in Khost province, which is located right across the border from Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area, said U.S. Capt. Ryan Donald, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. "The ISAF helicopters did cross into Pakistan territory to engage the insurgents," Donald said. "ISAF maintains the right to self-defense, and that's why they crossed the Pakistan border." The strike killed 49 militants, said U.S. Maj. Michael Johnson, another ISAF spokesman. The second attack occurred when helicopters returned to the border area and were attacked by insurgents based in Pakistan, said Donald. "The helicopters returned to the scene and they received direct small arms fire and, once again operating in self-defense, they engaged the insurgents," Donald said. The strike killed at least four militants, Johnson said.

#2: international forces began a key combat phase to drive out Taliban fighters around the southern city of Kandahar. International and Afghan forces in the south, meanwhile, were moving into two or three areas around Kandahar city in southern Afghanistan at once to pressure the Taliban "so they don't get the chance to run away," Shah Mohammad Ahmadi, chief of Arghandab district northwest of the city, said Monday. NATO said militants have fought back with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire. It said no Afghan or coalition troops have been killed in the operation.

#3: In another volatile section of the nation, British officials said Monday that they were in contact with Afghan authorities about the disappearance of a British aid worker and three of her Afghan colleagues. The four were ambushed Sunday as they traveled in two vehicles in northeastern Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan. Police fought a gunbattle with the kidnappers near the attack site before the assailants fled, Kunar police chief Khalilullah Zaiyi said.

#4: Seven Taliban militants were killed in two separate incidents Sunday night in country's eastern Paktika province, spokesman of provincial administration said Monday. "In the first incident, four militants including a group commander Gul Mohammad were killed as warplanes of international troops pounded their position in Mata Khan district late Sunday," Mukhlis Afghan told Xinhua. He said, Gul Mohammad was a homemade and roadside bombs expert and was involved in organizing of dozens of roadside bombings targeting security forces in the province. Three other militants, in separate incident, were killed in Waza Khwa district, he further said. "A group of militants stormed police outpost in Waza Khwa district but police repelled the attack, killing three rebels," Afghan added. No police or civilians were injured in the incidents, he emphasized.

#5: Two US drone strikes targeting vehicles killed seven militants on Sunday in Pakistan's rugged tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said. Both attacks took place in Asar village of Datta Khel town, some 50km (31 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district known as a hub for Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants. "The US drone fired three missiles at the militants' vehicle, killing four rebels," a senior security official in the area said of the first strike, adding that the nationalities of those killed were not immediately known. Another senior security official in the area confirmed the strike and toll. The second strike, also targeting a vehicle, killed three rebels in the same village. "Four missiles fired from a US drone on another vehicle which was going to the site of the first attack for rescue work, killing three militants," a senior security official in the area said.

#6: Swedish documentary filmmaker Pål Hollender fled Afghanistan on Sunday night to seek medical treatment in Dubai after he was shot in the arm while filming a new documentary in the country.

#7: Seven Taliban militants were killed Monday as Afghan and NATO-led forces raided their hideouts in Deyak district of the southern Ghanzi province, provincial police chief said. "Troops with Afghan National Army (ANA) and police backed by NATO-led forces conducted a cleanup operation in Alo Khil village of Deyak district this morning as a result seven insurgents have been killed," Zarawar Zahid told Xinhua. The operation launched at 9 a.m. local time is still going on to wipe out insurgents and ensure viable peace there, the police cheif further said.