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, July 25, 2011

War News for Monday, July 25, 2011

The Italian MoD is reporting the death of an Italian ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack northwest of the Bala Murghab valley, Haret Province, Afghanistan on Monday, July 25th. Two additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here's the ISAF release.

Reported security incidents

#1: An explosive charge blew off against a U.S. Army patrol in southern Iraq’s City of Basra on Sunday night, but losses were not known. “An American patrol, heading for Shueiba, 35 km to the west of Basra, has become target for an explosive Charge on its road, but results were not known,” the policed source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: Iranian shelling on border villages in Sidekan District in Arbil province left behind 5 people among killed and wounded, eye witnesses in Arbil reported on Monday. “Iranian shelling resumed on Saturday night targeting border villages in Sidekan District in Arbil. Shelling lasted till Monday morning killing two civilians and wounding three others”, head of Sidekan District Qader Ahmad Sora said in a statement to Alsumarianews. “Shelling caused a state of panic among villagers”, Sora added. “Two civilians were seriously wounded due to Iranian shelling while armed clashes resurged between Iranian Forces and Kurdistan Workers Party on the borders”, reported eye witnesses from Sidekan District, Arbil.

#1: An Iraqi soldier has been injured in an explosive charge blast west of Mosul, the center of Ninewa Province, on Monday, a Ninewa security source reported. “An explosive charge blew off on Monday morning against an Iraqi Army patrol in west Mosul’s 17th July district, injuring a soldier, who was among the patrol members,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, giving no further details.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded a policeman late on Sunday when it exploded near a police patrol in Mosul, north of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A NATO helicopter crashed in the restive east of Afghanistan on Monday, and foreign troops battled an insurgent attack during the rescue operation, the coalition force said. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the crew and passengers received only minor injures in the incident. A police official said the helicopter appeared to have been downed by a rocket-propelled grenade. "An (ISAF) helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan today," said an ISAF statement. "As coalition rescue forces approached the crash site, they came under enemy fire. "Coalition forces returned fire, with small arms, while working to secure the site of the crash. All passengers and crew members have been secured and safely transported to a nearby base." "Last night a Chinook helicopter was hit and crashed. We don't know about casualties but the helicopter is totally destroyed. It appeared it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade," said police chief Gul Rahman. He said other ISAF helicopters had flown in and returned fire on the gunmen and that the bodies of two insurgents had been found at dawn.

#2: NATO's force in Afghanistan admitted today that one of its helicopters had accidentally wounded five children in the southern province of Helmand. "A known insurgent was targeted by a coalition helicopter. As a result of the engagement five local children were regrettably injured," the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement. The wounded were evacuated to an ISAF medical centre and were being treated, it said, adding that it was continuing to investigate the incident that occurred on Saturday in the Nahr-i-Saraj district.

#3: Four rockets fired from Afghanistan landed in Bajaur Agency on Sunday, however, no loss of life was reported. Local sources said that about four rockets, fired from Kunar province of Afghanistan Sunday afternoon landed at Katkot, a bordering area of Bajaur Agency on Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

#4: Clash between anti-government militants and police left 11 people dead including 10 insurgents and a policeman in Kandahar province, 450 km south of Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, according to a press release of Kandahar' s provincial administration on Monday. "The armed militants raided some checkpoints of Border Police in Shurabak and Rigistan districts late Sunday night and police resisted as a result 10 rebels and one police constable were killed," the press release added. Two more policemen sustained injuries in the firefight that lasted for a while, it further said.

It/MoD: Caporal Maggiore David Tobini