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, September 30, 2008

War News for Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of three U.S.-led coalition soldiers in an IED attack in a southern Province in Afghanistan on Monday, September 29th. As always no other details were released.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier at a Coalition force’s Combat Support Hospital after a small-arms fire attack in a northern neighborhood Baghdad on Tuesday, September 30th.


Iran Sends 160 Fuel Trucks to Iraq Everyday:

Fighting Between Pakistani Troops, Militants Displaces Thousands: Pakistani officials put the number of displaced Bajur people at 500,000, most of whom sought shelter from their relatives across northwestern Pakistan, and 100,000 taking refuge in government camps.

Taliban chief vows 'safe retreat' for foreign troops: statement: (a joke?)


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Monday Police found one dead body in Saidiyah in Karkh bank (south Baghdad) today.

#2: Monday Mortars hit Hurriyah neighborhood (northwest Baghdad). Five people were injured with one house was damaged.

#3: Monday Mortars hit Ghazaliyah neighborhood (northwest Baghdad) near Um Al-Qura mosque. Three people were injured with some houses nearby were damaged.

#4: Monday Mortars hit Abu Ghraib (west of Baghdad). One person was injured with two houses were damaged.

#5: Iraqi police say a parked car bomb in Baghdad has killed three civilians and injured eight others. Police say the victims were having lunch at a kebab restaurant in Baghdad's mainly Shiite Karradah neighborhood when the explosion occurred around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

#6: The Iraqi army killed two militants, including a Syrian fighter, and arrested two other foreign fighters, from Syria and Yemen, in Abu Ghraib, just west of Baghdad, a security source said.

#7: Iraqi explosive experts detonated under control a bomb in Amil neighborhood in west Baghdad around 12:00 p.m.

#8: Police found two unidentified bodies in Baghdad. The first body was found in Talbiyah neighborhood and the second body was found in Amil neighborhood


Diyala Prv:
Jalawla:
#1: A member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) on Tuesday was wounded in a blast that ripped through Diala's Jalawlaa district, a police source said. "Today, a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) in al-Jamaheer neighborhood, northern Jalawlaa, went off while a vehicle carrying Jamal al-Sayyid Khaleely, a KDP member, was passing the location, seriously wounding him and causing damage to the vehicle," the source told Aswat al-Iraq.


Mosul:
#1: Monday Around 5:30 pm a car bomb detonated in Nabi Yunis neighborhood in Mosul before the Iraqi army experts defuse it. Nine people were injured including 5 Peshmerga members of the PDK.

#2: Gunmen stormed a coffee shop and killed an employee on Monday in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: A body of a woman was found with gunshot wounds to her head on Monday in eastern Mosul, police said.

#4: Around 7:30 p.m. gunmen attacked al Baladiyat police station in downtown Mosul city injuring tow policemen.



Afghanistan:
#1: Afghanistan's ambassador-designate, who was kidnapped last week in Pakistan's northwest region, has been freed, sources told Pakistan's News International.

#2: A British soldier shot dead a civilian who failed to stop his motorbike as it approached a patrol in southern Afghanistan. The man did not react to warning shots in Sangin district, Helmand province, the Ministry of Defence said, leading to fears that he was a suicide bomber.

#3: Pakistani troops backed by gunship helicopters killed 13 Taliban militants in fresh clashes in the troubled tribal district of Bajaur on the Afghan border, officials said Tuesday. Four Islamist insurgents were killed Tuesday and two were wounded in the shelling of a suspected vehicle in the town of Mamoond, a security official said on condition of anonymity. Troops killed another five extremists after a group of militants launched an attack on a military checkpost in the same town, sparking a gunbattle that lasted nearly one hour, the official said. A further four militants were killed overnight when jets pounded suspected hideouts in the area, security officials said.

Monday, September 29, 2008

War News for Monday, September 29, 2008

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an eastern province of Afghanistan on Sunday, September 28th. The DPA is reporting the U.S. soldier died when an insurgent in a police uniform attacked the soldiers with small-arms fire in Paktia Province. Two additional soldiers were wounded.

We have attained a series of articles referring to an Italian soldier, Caporal Maggiore (Lance Cpl.) Alessandro Caroppo who apparently died of natural causes after an attack on his convoy in Afghanistan on Sunday, September 21st. At this time we do not have an official release but we are including him in our official count. Here's the ISAF release.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting the death of a U.S. soldier from small-arms fire in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday September 29th. No other details were released.


Sept. 27 airpower summary:

The number of roadside bombs in Iraq that exploded or were discovered and neutralized tumbled from a high of about 2,600 per month in March and June of 2007 to 555 in August 2008, a decrease of 79 percent. The roadside bomb casualty figures, declassified for the first time by CentCom and provided to Military Times on Sept. 17 by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Sunday Police found two dead bodies throughout Baghdad, one near Al Rasheed Camp and one in Hurriyah.


Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: Three members of al-Qaeda, including a leading operative, were killed in a raid conducted by Iraqi army forces east of Baaquba city on Monday, according to an official army source. "Troops from the Iraqi army's 5th Division in Diala raided on Monday some strongholds of al-Qaeda in the area of Anjar, south of Baladruz district, (45 km) east of Baaquba, killing three members, including and amir (leader)," Brig. Khaled Jawad told Aswat al-Iraq.


Iskandariya:
#1: A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded three others when it struck their car in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said


Samarra:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded the mayor of Samarra, Mahmoud Khalif, and four of his guards in central Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.


Mosul:
#1: "On Sunday evening, a sticky improvised explosive device (IED) targeted Ahmed Salem al-Rawi, a tribal notable from al-Rawiya, while he was driving his personal car in the Fifth Bridge Tunnel, western Mosul," the source told Aswat all-Iraq. Rawi was seriously wounded, the source noted, adding that the blast occurred a few moments after he had driven his car out of the garage.

#2: Gunmen killed two brothers working for the Iraqi security forces while they were off duty in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: A car bomb wounded four people in Mosul, police said.

#4: A body was found bearing gunshot wounds in eastern Mosul, police said.

#5: Sunday night, a bomb was put under a taxi car detonated in Abu Tamam intersection in Mosul city. Only the taxi driver was injured in that incident.



Afghanistan:
#1: Pakistani forces seeking to conquer a Taliban and al-Qaida stronghold near the border with Afghanistan killed 15 insurgents in ongoing clashes, officials said Monday. There was no word of casualties on the government side. It was not possible to verify the toll in the Bajur region, where journalists cannot move freely because of poor security. Fazl Rabi, a local police official, said troops repelled an overnight attack by 50 militants against a camp about 6 miles north of Khar, Bajur's main town. He said militants also attacked paramilitary troops before dawn in the Tang Khata area of Bajur. Rabi and another government official counted a total of 15 militants killed and more than a dozen wounded in overnight clashes. Two intelligence officials said three troops died in fighting in the past two days. They asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to talk on the record to media.

#2: Meanwhile, artillery fire directed at suspected militant hideouts in an area called Badali struck two houses and killed two civilians, said Niazur Rehman, a local resident.

#3: Gunmen in the southern city of Kandahar tried to kill Mohammad Hashim, the provincial council chief of neighboring Zabul province, said Fauwzia, a council member who goes by one name. The attack late Sunday sparked a clash between Hashim's bodyguards and the militants in which four bodyguards were killed, she said.

#4: In Ghazni province, Abdul Rahim Deeceewal, the district chief of Andar, said a targeted airstrike killed a Taliban leader as well as three other people in Andar.


Casualty Reports:

Matt Keil returned to Colorado to make a new life after he nearly died in Iraq. His injuries left him a quadriplegic.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

News of the Day for Sunday, September 28, 2008


A Kurdish peshmerga fighter mans his position in the northeastern town of Khanaqin on September 24. A member of the Kurdish peshmerga died when Iraqi police on Saturday raided a peshmerga security post in the troubled town of Jalawla, Salah Koikha, spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (AFP/File/Ali Yussef)


UPDATE: Comparatively late in the day, news services have reported an eruption of violence in Baghdad, and additional violence in Diyala. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports:

  1. Car bomb followed by suicide bomb attack in Karrada kills 20 and injures 72.

  2. Car bomb attack in southwestern Baghdad shortly before Iftar kills at least 12 and injures 35.

  3. Bomb attached to a car explodes on a bridge in southwestern Baghdad, killing the driver. It appears the unidentified driver was the victim of an assassination.



Reported Security Incidents

Unspecified location southeast of Baghdad

MND-Center soldier killed in a vehicle rollover. No further information at this time pending notification of next of kin.

Baghdad

Roadside bomb attack on Iraqi Army patrol in Mansour district injures 3 soldiers. Update: One soldier now reported killed, 3 injured.

Jalawla, Diyala Province

KDP leader Riya Qahtan killed by Iraqi (Arab) police under disputed circumstances. Immediate claims can be misleading, of course, and we may come to understand this incident better in the future. But here is the account of Peshmerga spokesman Jabar Yawer: "The shooting occurred after two Sunni Arab police officers stopped three members of the Kurdish secret service at a market and demanded they show identification. They refused, and within minutes police reinforcements arrived at the scene, arrested them, and took them to police headquarters, Yawer said. Qahtan then went to the police station and persuaded officers to release the detainees, who had been working as guards for his party. But as the group was leaving, two police opened fire and shot Qahtan." Note: According to AFP, "An Iraqi security official said police targeted a cell of the peshmerga secret service known as Asayish." I present an excerpt from the AFP overview of the ethnic tensions in the Khanaqin-Jalawla area below. -- C

This Arab Times article says that an Iraqi policeman also died in this incident, and describes it more as a gunfight than the arrest and assassination described elsewhere. Again, we'll see if a clearer picture emerges.

al-Sa'adiya, Diyala Province

Mayor Ahmed Thamir al-Zarkoshi and 7 of his bodyguards injured by double bomb attack on his convoy. (Al-Zarkoshi is Kurdish.)

Bani Saad (south of Baquba)

Three civilians killed by attackers alleged to belong to al Qaeda.

Balad Ruz

Three Iraqi soldiers injured in roadside bomb attack.

Kirkuk

Drive-by shooting injures a policeman. This may be the same incident described in more detail by VoI: Lt. Col. Hussein Ali, a police academy trainer, survives an ambush attack. One of his guards is injured.

Near Tikrit

Roadside bomb attack on Governor of Salahuddin province injures 3 bodyguards.

Mosul

Gunmen kill the coach of a table tennis club. Obviously more to this story than we are told.

Tuz Khurmato

Three police injured, one militant reported killed and two injured, in a gun battle.

Other News of the Day

Although much has been made of the Iraqi Parliament finally approving a provincial elections law, this may not be much of a step forward after all. First, the law simply sidesteps the most contentious issue, the status of the disputed territories in the Kurdish border region (see below); and it also failed to assure minority representation, as originally proposed. In other words, the Iraqi political process continues to fail to produce substantial progress toward ethnic and sectarian reconciliation. -- C Maliki expresses concern over removal of minority rights provision from the elections law as Christian demonstrate in Qaraqosh. (Qaraqosh is a largely Christian city near Mosul, although the KUNA article describes it as part of Mosul.) Excerpt:

By Mohammad al-Ghuzi BAGHDAD, Sept 28 (KUNA) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday voiced concern over the abolition of an article bearing on minority rights in the provincial election bill. l-Maliki expressed his concern in a message to the Iraqi parliament speaker and his two deputies. e urged the parliament and the independent election watchdog to change their minds and dispel the fears and anxiety of inherent societal components that boast of belonging to Iraq.

"We hoped that the parliament could pass the draft law submitted by the cabinet, which protects the representation of minorities as per the constitution and in line with our orientations towards a just representation of all components of the Iraqi people and defending their rights," he said.


Does anybody remember Mullah Krekar? I do - he's the head of Ansar al-Sunna, formerly Ansar al-Islam, the Kurdish Islamist organization that Colin Powell claimed as proof that Saddam Hussein harbored terrorists. Of course, Ansar al-Islam was holed up in Iraqi Kurdistan, completely out of reach of Saddam Hussein, and one of its objectives was to kill him. In fact, Mullah Krekar had received asylum in Norway because Saddam Hussein was trying to kill him. But truth and logic never stopped Colin Powell. Anyway, regarding Mullah Krekar, he's baaaaaack. Mullah Krekar threatened to kill Mariwan Halabjaee threatens to kill Kurdish writer Mariwan Halabjaee. But it's not just Mullah Krekar that Halabjaee has to contend with -- it's the freedom-loving Kurdish government. Excerpt:

As reported in Aftenposten and Dagbladet, in September 2008 Mullah Krekar threatened to kill Mariwan Halabjaee in an audio file published on the Kurdish website Renesans.nu. Mullah Krekar was the original leader of the Islamist terrorist group Ansar al-Islam in Iraq.

Mr. Halabjaee is the author of the book Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam. The allegedly "blasphemous" book is about how Islam is allegedly used to oppress women. Mullah Krekar compared Mr. Halabjaee with, among others, Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Mr. Halabjaee was forced to flee to Norway from Iraqi Kurdistan because the Islamic League of Kurdistan issued a fatwa to kill him. In August 2006, Mr. Halabjaee was granted political asylum in Norway. In December 2007, Mr. Halabjaee was convicted in absentia in Iraqi Kurdistan for the crime of blasphemy.


Cholera epidemic continues, appears to worsen. You would think that with the Iraqi government sitting on $79 billion, and the U.S. spending $10 billion a month or so, somebody could find a few million to build water treatment plants.

BAGHDAD, 28 September 2008 (IRIN) - More than 300 confirmed cholera cases have been registered in central and southern Iraq since an outbreak began on 20 August, with almost 50 percent of the cases occurring in the past week, the health ministry's cholera unit has said.

"The number of cholera cases has reached 327 in nine provinces: Babil 200 cases, Baghdad 61 cases, Basra 29 cases, Karbala 26 cases, Anbar four cases, Najaf three cases, Diwaniya two cases, Diyala one case and Maysan one case," said Ihsan Jaafar, director-general of the public health directorate and spokesman for the ministry's cholera control unit.


In-depth News, Commentary and Analysis

AFP's Amal Jayasinghe offers an update and backgrounder on the Arab-Kurdish territorial struggle. It's astonishing how both U.S. presidential candidates, and the U.S. corporate media, are largely ignoring this very dangerous situation -- C Excerpt:

Saddam's "Arabisation" campaign sought to change the demography of Khanaqin, which originally had a vast majority of Kurds and a smaller minority of Shiite Arabs, Turkmen and Jews. With the fall of Saddam's regime, the Kurds are back and the Arabs are nowhere to be seen, at least in Khanaqin.

"Ninety percent of the people who were forced out of Khanaqin have returned," said the city's mayor, Mohammed Mala Hassan, 52. "I want the others to return too, but I have no money to provide them with the basic facilities."



Khanaqin, which is close to the Iranian border, has emerged as a new flashpoint because of its untapped oil wealth and proximity to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. Khanaqin mayor wants his region, which includes 175 villages, to be attached to the KRG and break away from the authority of the restive Iraqi province of Diyala where the majority are Arabs.

Aziz said he was forced to teach his subject in Arabic at a school in the Shiite majority province of Babil where they were forced to settle by the previous regime. "I am happy to be back here because I can now educate my three children in Kurdish," he said, pointing to two boys aged 10 and seven years and a girl of one. "I am happy to see my land."

The highway from the Iraqi capital Baghdad to Khanaqin is regarded as one of the most dangerous because of the regular roadside bomb attacks, landmine explosions and ambushes by Al-Qaeda-led insurgents. On the highway, Iraqi soldiers have their camps on hilltops with checkposts at regular intervals.


Quote of the Day

Barack Obama not only had the good judgment to oppose the war in Iraq, he argued for the need "to end the mindset that took us into" that war. So it was troubling that tonight---in the first of the three presidential debates-- a man of such good judgment called for an end to the war in Iraq in order to escalate US military forces in Afghanistan. . . . A few weeks ago, a friend sent me an e-mail. "Here is a future dictionary entry for Afghanistan," he wrote. "Afghanistan. The place where the dreams and hopes of the Obama Presidency are buried."


Katrina Vanden Heuvel

Saturday, September 27, 2008

War News for Saturday, September 27, 2008

Baghdad:
#1: A police officer and two civilians were injured by an adhesive bomb that was attached to the car of the police officer in al Mansour neighborhood in west Baghdad around 1:00 p.m.


Diyala Prv:
Baquba:
#1: An armed group kidnapped a civilian man in central Baaquba city on Friday, according to an official security source in Diala province. “An armed group suspected of belonging to al-Qaeda network kidnapped a civilian person in Khan al-Lawalwa area, New Baaquba neighborhood, central Baaquba, and led him to an unknown place,” the source, who asked that his name not be mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq.

Jalawla:
#1: A member of the Kurdish peshmerga died when Iraqi police on Saturday raided a peshmerga security post in the troubled town of Jalawla, Salah Koikha, spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, a leading Kurdish political party, told AFP. An Iraqi security official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the incident, saying the troops targeted a cell of the peshmerga secret service known as Asayish.

A policeman and a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party were killed and two policemen others wounded in armed clashes between the Emergency Police personnel and gunmen from the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barazani's KDP, a security source said.


Touz Khormato:
#1: Four police personnel on Saturday were wounded and three wanted persons were arrested during a search raid in northern Touz Khormato, a senior police source said. "On Saturday, an emergency police force carried out a raid on a restaurant in northern Touz Khormato (100 km east of Tikrit) to arrest persons who are wanted by the security apparatus," the mayor of Touz Khormato district, Mohammed Rasheed, told Aswat al-Iraq.Members of the force engaged in clashes with the wanted individuals, the mayor noted, adding that four policemen were injured and three wanted men were arrested.


Mosul:
#1: A municipal council member on Saturday was wounded along with his wife in an armed attack west of Mosul city, a senior official said. "On Saturday, unknown gunmen opened fire on Issa Hammoud, a municipal council member in al-Biaaj district (126 km west of Mosul), while he was driving his private car with his family inside on the main road between al-Biaaj and Sinjar (120 km west of Mosul), wounding him and his wife," the mayor of Ninewa's al-Biaaj district told Aswat al-Iraq.

#2: "A force from the Iraqi army annihilated two gunmen during a late hour of Friday evening while attempting to attack an army checkpoint in Adan neighborhood, eastern Mosul," the source told Aswat al-Iraq, adding the Iraqi troops found two guns in the possession of the attackers.

#3: Meanwhile, an IED went off in al-Ghabat, western Mosul, leaving a civilian and his wife wounded. They were rushed to a hospital. "The explosive charge went off but apparently did not target any military or security facilities or personnel," the source said.

Friday, September 26, 2008

War News for Friday, September 26, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Center soldier in a roadside bombing near Iskandariyah, Iraq on Thursday, September 25th. No other details were released.

Sept. 24 airpower summary:

Sept. 25 airpower summary:

Philippines: 11 killed in clashes:

32 killed in fresh clashes in S Philippines:

Pakistan warns US troops after exchange of fire:

Guantánamo prosecutor quits over ethics concerns:

Russia pledges closer ties with U.S. foe Venezuela: (Russia announced this week it was making available to Venezuela a $1 billion loan to cover purchases of arms and military equipment from Russian manufacturers.)

Russia Offers Chavez $1 Billion for Weapons:



Baghdad:
#1: Earlier, Two children playing on the streets of Baghdad were killed in a drive-by grenade attack. A group of armed men drove by a group of children on Thursday night in the al-Amel neighbourhood in the western part of the Iraqi capital and threw a grenade at them, the VOI said. Two children were wounded in the attack.

#2: In Baghdad, unknown gunmen shot a civilian dead while he was driving his private car on the main road of al-Rasheed camp districts, south Baghdad.


Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: Three civilians were killed when a bomb exploded near their vehicle in Baquba, Iraqi police said on Friday. The attack took place in the Bahraz district, south of Baquba. A woman was also injured.


Mussayab:
#1: Militants killed one U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol member and wounded another in an attack on their checkpoint on Thursday in Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.


Samarra:
#1: Gunmen killed two neighbourhood patrol members and one policeman when they attacked their checkpoint just south of Samarra, 100 km north of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said.


Kirkuk:
#1: In Kirkuk, chief of Kirkuk’s districts and suburbs police said “a roadside bomb wounded a police officer when it went off against a patrol near the Fourth Bridge, south Kirkuk”.


Mosul:
#1: A Sunni cleric's guards killed one gunman when they responded to gunfire in central Mosul, 390 km north of Baghdad, police said. Two guards were wounded in the attack.


Kandil mountains:
#1: At least 10 Turkish fighter planes bombed suspected Kurdish guerrilla positions in northern Iraq, Turkish military officials said on Friday. The strikes began after 8 p.m. British time on Thursday in two separate regions in northern Iraq, senior security sources told Reuters. Brigadier General Metin Gurak, head of the General Staff's media office, told reporters Turkish jets successfully hit 16 suspected PKK targets in the Kandil mountains before returning to their bases in Turkey. A PKK spokesman said there had been about two hours of air strikes on the Kandil mountains from about 10 p.m. on Thursday. "We have one wounded PKK member, and the bombing was not just in our areas, but also close to inhabited villages," PKK spokesman Ahmed Danees said.


Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Gunmen opened fire upon a checkpoint in Bhadeed al-Nasir killing one soldier and seriously injuring four others.



Afghanistan:
#1: Police raided a militant hide-out in southern Pakistan, triggering a gunbattle during which three suicide bombers blew themselves up along with a handcuffed prisoner, officials said. The three militants who died in the raid in Karachi were suspected of planning an attack on a "high-profile" target in the city, said Sindh police Chief Babar Khattak, who gave no more details. The prisoner whose body was discovered in the rubble was identified as a wealthy supplier of fuel and goods to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, senior police official Aleem Jaffry told The Associated Press. He died in the explosions, Khattak said.

#2: Meanwhile, a bomb blast caused a train to derail in eastern Punjab province, killing four people and wounding 15 others, authorities said. The prime minister said he had ordered an investigation into the blast.

#3: Meanwhile, a government official said at least 11 militants were killed Friday and another 16 wounded in ongoing clashes between security forces and militants in the Bajur tribal region.

#4: A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-packed vest in a market in eastern Afghanistan on Friday morning, killing five men and wounding seven others, a provincial governor said. The attack took place in the main market in Zazi Maidan district of south-eastern province of Khost when a bomber detonated his explosive among the people, Arsala Jamal, provincial governor told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "All five dead men were civilians. They were local shopkeepers," Jamal said, adding the site of the attack was close to the main police headquarters in the district and an intelligence office. However, Mohammad Younuz Zadran, district chief of the Zazi Maidan said that the attack was against police officers, who were shopping at the time of the blast. Zadran said two of the dead men were police officers.

#5: A suicide attacker exploded himself near the vehicle of intelligent service members in eastern Afghan province of Khost, killing two intelligent agents and two civilians on Friday morning, said a police official. Abdul Qayum Baqizai, the provincial police chief told Xinua that it occurred at 10 a.m. (GMT 0530) in the Jaji Maidan district when a suicide bomber with explosive material strapped to his body exploded himself next to the vehicle of Afghan intelligent service member killing two agents and two civilian passers-by. "Seven more were injured in the blast including a former senior intelligent official named General Azizullah," Baqizai said.

#6: An Afghanistan official said that 20 Taliban militants were killed when they ambushed one logistic convoy for NATO troops escorted by a U.S. security company USPI on Friday morning in southern Afghan province of Kandahar. Zalmai Ayubi, the provincial government spokesman told Xinhua that it occurred at around 10 a.m.(GMT 0530) when the logistic convoy passing Jalai district of Kandahar was attacked by a number of Taliban insurgents. "Afghan police came in reinforcement and called in NATO air strike support," Ayubi said. "Hours' fire fighting left 20 militants dead and two trucks destroyed." However, he did not provide any information about the casualties on neither police nor the security guards. Meanwhile, Afzal Khan, a USPI staff, told Xinhua that at least one USPI security guard was killed in the clash and six more were wounded.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

War News for Thursday, September 25, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - North soldier in a suicide bombing in Diyala Province on Wednesday, September 24th. No other details were released.


Sept. 23 airpower summary:

Iran to launch satellite carrier rocket to space:

House approves $612B defense bill with military pay raise:

Violence up in Baghdad: Iraqi army:

Iraq hunts for al-Qaeda gunmen: (article on yesterdays Baquba ambush)

Iraq’s Health Ministry is reporting a total of 327 confirmed cholera cases in central and southern Iraq since an outbreak of the disease last month.

Bush Aides Linked to Talks on Interrogations:

COLUMN-Socialism U.S.-style and Ronald Reagan: Bernd Debusmann:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded six people, including one soldier, in the Zaafaraniya district of southeast Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen killed a civil servant in a drive-by shooting in southeast Baghdad, police said.

Gunmen shot an employee in the Ministry of Municipalities and Works on the main road of al-Rashid Camp at 8 a.m. Thursday.

#3: A roadside bomb near a police patrol wounded at least three civilians in eastern Baghdad, police said.

A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol near al-Shaab Stadium in east Baghdad wounding three civilians.

#4: The U.S. army in Iraq denied on Thursday that its forces wounded Iraqi civilians by random fire in eastern Baghdad. “The U.S. forces did not randomly shoot any civilians in al-Fadieliya region in eastern Baghdad,” Abdellatif Rayan, the U.S. army's media adviser, told Aswat al-Iraq, describing such news as bare of truth. A police source had said yesterday that seven civilians were wounded by U.S. random fire when an explosive charge went off targeting the forces in eastern Baghdad.

#5: An IED placed in a dumpster near Maysaloon Square, east Baghdad exploded at noon Thursday wounding three civilians.

#6: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in al-Rabae Street the thoroughfare in al-Jamia neighbourhood, western Baghdad injuring four people including one policeman.

#7: A roadside bomb targeted civilians near al-Samarrai Mosque in Amil, southeast Baghdad at six p.m. Thursday killing two, including one child, injuring five, also including one child.

#8: Three unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police; one in Karrada, one in Palestine Street and one in Doura.


Diyala Prv:
Baquba:
#1: update Iraqi police on Thursday raised the death toll in an ambush against Iraqi forces raiding a Sunni village northeast of Baghdad to 35, most of whom were police commandos sent to the area as part of a U.S.-backed military crackdown. A police officer in the provincial military operation center said 27 policemen were killed, raising the total to 35. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted civilians in al-Kharab village, 4 km to the south of Baquba at 5.30 p.m. killing three people including one female, all from one family.


Kut:
#1: Policemen found unknown civilian body in the wee small hours of Thursday morning in northern Wassit, a security source said. “A police force found the body in al-Dabouni district in north of Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.“The blind-folded body bore signs of torture and was sent to the forensic medicine department in al-Zahraa hospital in Kut,” he added.


Sinjar:
#1: The Iraqi army killed three gunmen in the district of Sinjar on Thursday, 390 km (240 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Brigadier-General Khalid Abdul Sattar, the spokesman for Iraqi military operations in Nineveh province said.


Mosul:
#1: One civilian was killed and three others wounded when gunmen attacked a police patrol with rocket-propelled grenades in western Mosul 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Four civilians were killed or wounded in a missile attack in western Mosul city, a security source said on Thursday. "An RPG attack launched by gunmen from alleys in Bab Sinjar area, western Mosul, on a police patrol vehicle left one civilian killed and three others wounded, who were close to the scene," the source told Aswat al-Iraq. "None of the patrolmen was injured," the source noted, adding that one of the civilians was seriously wounded and another had his leg cut off.

#2: Three insurgents from the al Qaeda-linked group the Islamic State of Iraq killed themselves when police raided their house in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, Defence Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said. They included an Iraqi man, Malik Mohammed al-Jabouri, who Askari said was a senior commander of the group in Mosul. They died when a Saudi Arabian fighter amongst the three detonated his suicide vest.



Afghanistan:
#1: Helicopter gunships Thursday pounded militant positions in northwest Pakistan along the Afghan border, leaving 14 Taliban rebels dead. “According to preliminary reports, at least 14 miscreants were killed and numerous injured in today’s shelling,” a security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, using the term Pakistani officials employ to refer to militants.

#2: On Wednesday, intense fighting in Bajaur resulted in the death of seven troops and 25 militants, military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said. Dozens of fighters attacked the troops stationed at a government school building in the Rashakai area. The two sides exchanged rocket and mortar fire during the hours-long fighting, after which military helicopters and jets bombarded the militants.

#3: In one attack, a remote-controlled bomb blew up a police vehicle near the southern border town of Spin Boldak late Wednesday, killing two border policemen, Kandahar province police chief Mutiullah Khan told AFP.

#4: Another remote-controlled bomb blew up early Thursday in the nearby city of Kandahar and killed a civilian man who was crossing a road, a policeman at the scene said. The explosives, fixed to a bicycle, were detonated as a minibus carrying police trainers to work was passing, said the policeman, Gul Mohammad. The vehicle was only slightly damaged.

#5: NATO says Pakistani troops fired at their helicopters patrolling eastern Afghanistan, but no damage is reported. In a statement, NATO says its helicopters did not cross into Pakistan's airspace when they came under fire near Tanai district of Khost province.


Casualty Reports:

staff sergeant Chuck Isaacson, 29, was paralyzed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. For Isaacson, a flight engineer on a Chinook helicopter, Feb. 18, 2007, was a regular day transporting service members from one spot to another in southern Afghanistan. But the aircraft suffered a mechanical failure during a snowstorm and the Chinook crashed, killing eight of the 22 people aboard. Isaacson woke up hanging outside the wreckage by his harness and realized he couldn't move his legs. Lying in 10 inches of snow, he waited several hours for help to arrive. He was the only flight crew member to survive. Isaacson's lungs collapsed, and his injuries included a broken leg, broken ribs, broken neck and three fractures in his back. Doctors fused his spine from near the top of his neck to his lower back. Months of rehabilitation followed. Now Isaacson, who is paralyzed from the waist down.

Cpl Joshua Hoffman, USMC 1st BN 24th Marine Regiment-Michigan was hit by sniper fire in Iraq in 2007 on his 3rd tour of duty. The sniper’s bullet severed his spinal cord at the base of his neck and left him a quadriplegic. After over a year in the hospital Josh still faces months, if not years, of physical rehabilitation and therapy as he strives to regain movement in his upper body and develop his language skills.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

War News for Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Cryptologic Technician Third Class Petty Officer Matthew J. O’Bryant died in the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan on Saturday, September 20th.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Chaplain (Col.) Sidney J. Marceaux Jr. died from a non-combat related illness at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Sunday, September 14th. No other details were released.


Emirates Plans Canal to Bypass Hormuz Strait On Iranian Threat:

US military destroyed my soul, says Afghan reporter: (Jawed Ahmad, a 22-year-old reporter who worked for Canadian TV, was captured by US military for 11 months without charge.)

Shady deals in Iraq's arms bazaar: (Clandestine gun suppliers, funded by the United States and Iraqi governments, have flooded Iraq with millions of weapons since 2003, charges a new Amnesty International investigation.)

Iraqi parliament approves provincial elections law:

N. Korea Bars Inspectors From Nuclear Plant: (Another great diplomatic effort)

Three blasts rattle police stations in southern Yemen:

Has Oil Been Good for Iraq?


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Tuesday Iraqi police found one dead body in the New Baghdad neighborhood in Baghdad.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted an American patrol in Fudhailiyah neighborhood (east Baghdad) around 7 a.m. Seven Iraqi people were injured while no casualties were reported on the American side.

#3: Gunmen opened fire on Abdul Karim Hussein’s car, the brigadier general in the ministry of interior. Abdul Karim was wounded with his driver and another person.

#4: A bomb attached to a car killed an off-duty soldier and wounded six civilians in northeast Baghdad, police said.

#5: A bomb planted under a civilian car detonated near an army check point in Shaab neighborhood (north Baghdad). One person was killed (the driver) and five other people were wounded.

#6: Police found one dead body in Ur neighborhood in eastern Baghdad today.


Diyala Prv:
Baquba:
#1: Several bombs exploded Wednesday in front of a house of an Iraqi family, killing a woman and injuring eight family members, police sources said. The detonation took place in the city of Baquba, 60 kilometres north-east the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

#2: The same source said that a policeman was killed and five were injured in an armed attack on a checkpoint near al-Uthmaniya village on the road between Baaquba and Baghdad.

#3: "A school guard was killed by a suspected al-Qaeda armed group in al-Abara district in Baaquba," he added.

#4: (see #2) Gunmen killed 20 people, including Iraqi security personnel, in an ambush northeast of Baghdad on Wednesday, police said. Civilians, policemen and members of U.S.-backed Sunni local patrol groups were killed in the attack close to the city of Baquba in Diyala province, police said.

Gunmen killed 20 people including 12 policemen in an ambush northeast of Baghdad on Wednesday, police said, in one of the deadliest attacks in Iraq in weeks. Civilians and members of a U.S.-backed Sunni Arab patrol group were also killed in the attack close to the city of Baquba in Diyala province, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said. Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in a village close to Baquba, killing one policeman. The gunmen then ambushed reinforcements, killing a further 11 policemen, local Sunni Arab patrol group members and civilians, police said. The dead included a police lieutenant-colonel and a police captain. The U.S. military and the Iraqi army have since surrounded the area, but the gunmen were believed to have escaped, police said.

Gunmen killed 12 national policemen and eight Sahwa members in an ambush in Dulaimiyat village of Khan Bani Saad (south of Baquba) around 4:30 p.m. Three high rank officers were among those who were killed.

Khan Bani Saad:
#1: "A policeman was killed and another one was injured during a security raid in al-Rasoul village in Khan Bani Saad district in south of Baaquba," the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

Sadiyah:
#1: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Sadiyah town (47 miles east Baquba). Three policemen were injured.


Basra:
#1: A gunman was killed on Tuesday night in a roadside bomb explosion in western Basra, a senior police source said on Wednesday. "The gunman was killed when the bomb he was trying to plant went off behind the police station in al-Hussein neighborhood in western Basra," the source told Aswat al-Iraq. "The explosion left no other casualties," he noted.

#2: "Another bomb exploded late Tuesday targeting a British vehicle patrol near the base at the Basra international airport, northwest of the city, without causing casualties," he also said.


Siniyah:
#1: In yesterday's incident, the U.S. soldiers were hunting for insurgents and weapons after they were hit by a roadside bomb and small-arms fire near Siniyah, 180 km northwest of Baghdad, according to a military statement. The troops then came under fire while searching a house and "shot a Sons of Iraq leader who was mistaken for the enemy when he entered the house," said navy Lt.-Cmdr. David Russell, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad. Medical aid was administered, the military said, but the troops were unable to save al-Garrout.


Samarra:
#1: A roadside bomb targeting the commander of Samarra security operations detonated near his convoy in central Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said, adding that six bodyguards were wounded. The commander was unharmed.


Mosul:
#1: A roadside bomb targeted an army patrol in Hadba neighborhood in Mosul city. Two soldiers were wounded.



Afghanistan:
#1: A police official says a bomb blast in the capital has wounded Kabul's chief criminal investigator. Zemerai Bashary says Wednesday's bomb blast appears to have targeted Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal, the head of criminal investigations for the Kabul police. Bashary says Paktiawal was investigating the overnight killing of three officers at the checkpoint in Kabul's western outskirts when a blast struck his team. Paktiawal was lightly wounded and two of his guards were killed.

#2: The Pakistani army said Wednesday it found the wreckage of a suspected U.S. spy plane near the Afghan border, but denied claims that it had been shot down. Three Pakistani intelligence officials earlier said troops and tribesmen had shot down the drone late Tuesday near Jalal Khel, a village in Pakistan's South Waziristan region. However, a Pakistan army statement on Wednesday said security forces had recovered the crashed surveillance aircraft. It said a technical problem appeared to have brought it down and that it was investigating further. The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said one of its drones, which can be equipped with video surveillance equipment, went down Tuesday in the Afghan province bordering Waziristan. But it said coalition forces retrieved it and that no others were missing. The CIA also operates drones in the region. The three Pakistani intelligence officials said the drone was hit after circling the Angoor Ada area of South Waziristan for several hours. Wreckage was strewn on the ground, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

#3: At least three people were killed and 11 others injured in a suicide blast in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, private TV channel Express reported. The blast occurred near the Askari Park in Quetta, capital city of Balochistan province, said the report. A Frontier Constabulary convoy was targeted by a suicide bomber who blew himself up, according to private GEO TV.


Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Dane Severinson, 23, member of the 191st Military Police Company was wounded July 18 when his convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device in Iraq. The Guard says he suffered an injury to his lower left leg.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

War News for Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Local News station KCBD is reporting the death of a soldier two and a half years after he was seriously wounded in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Wesley Hunter died at his parents home in Lubbock County, Texas after laying down to take a nap on Thursday, September 18th. He was shot multiple times and suffered bad shrapnel injuries when insurgents attacked the Humvee he was riding in along with two other soldiers. He was the only one to survive the attack. We will count Sergeant Hunter in the official count pending on the DoD's release.

The DoD is reporting a new death of an Airman who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom previously unreported by the military. Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez died in Islamabad, Pakistan from wounds suffered in an IED attack on Saturday, September 20th. We believe he was killed in the suicide attack on the Marriot hotel.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Center soldier in a small-arms fire attack west of Salman Pak on Tuesday, September 23rd. No other details were released.


Georgia says shot down Russia drone near S.Ossetia:

Court orders detainee-abuse pictures released:

The Real Story Behind Islamabad Marriott Hotel Attack: (I take this with a grain of salt)

Friction Infiltrates Sunni Patrols on Safer Iraqi Streets:

$13 Billion in Iraq Aid Wasted Or Stolen, Ex-Investigator Says:

Blast in SE Turkey kills one soldier:


Baghdad:
#1: A police officer said the first explosion took place in northern Baghdad as a police patrol passed through the area. Reportedly, the attack missed its target and hit a civilian car, wounding four people.

A third roadside bomb detonated in the predominately Sunni neighborhood of Suleikh in northern Baghdad, injuring four civilians, he said, adding that several shops were damaged by the blast.

#2: Police and hospital officials said another roadside bomb struck near an Iraqi army patrol in central Baghdad, killing one civilian and wounding three others.

A roadside bomb went off in the busy al-Nidhal Street in Karrada district in central Baghdad, killing a civilian and wounding three others, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#3: A fourth roadside bomb exploded in the predominately Shiite neighborhood of Zaafaraniya in southern the capital, leaving a civilian injured, he added.

#4: Monday: Police found three unidentified bodies throughout Baghdad (1 body in Shaab neighborhood, 1 body in Mashtal neighborhood and the last body was found in Atifiyah neighborhood.


Diyala Prv:
Baquba:
#1: Two civilians were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated close to their vehicle in Iraq's Diyala province late on Monday, police sources said on Tuesday. The device was detonated as the vehicle was on a main road in al- Morgania district in Baquba, 60 kilometres north of Baghdad.


Iskandariya:
#1: Another roadside bomb struck a truck while traveling in the town of Iskandariya, some 45 km south of Baghdad, killing the driver and wounding his wife and their six-month-old child, the source said.


Salaheddin Prv:
#1: The US military said a pro-government Sunni militiamen was killed in a so-called friendly fire accident in the central Salaheddin province. "Soldiers shot a Sons of Iraq leader who was mistaken for the enemy," the US military said in a statement, referring to Sunni Arab fighters battling Al-Qaeda.


Mosul:
#1: A bomb hidden under a pile of trash struck children playing soccer near the northern city of Mosul on Monday, killing at least five of the youths, Iraqi officials said. The blast occurred about 6 p.m. in the Sunni town of Hamam al-Alil, just south of Mosul, which has been the site of U.S.-Iraqi military operations aimed at routing insurgents. Ahmed Khalid, a doctor at the Mosul hospital, and police officials said the hospital had received the bodies of five children, ages six to 12. Three other children were wounded, the officials said.

#2: Insurgents have blown up the house of Iraqi Sunni Arab member of parliament in the city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, a local official said on Tuesday. "The house of Hashim Yahiyah al-Taie, a lawmaker and member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, was destroyed when gunmen blew it up at about 8:00 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Monday," said Yahiyah Abed Mahjoob, a member of Nineveh provincial council, told Xinhua. The attack, which occurred in the Muthanna neighborhood in northern Mosul, also wounded several people and caused damages to nearby houses, Mahjoob said.

Tai was in Baghdad when the attack took place, but several civilians were wounded when insurgents bombed his house, a statement from the party said.

#3: A body was found with gunshot wounds in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#4: Another man was killed by a stray bullet in western Mosul.



Afghanistan:
#1: Security forces backed by helicopter gunships and artillery killed more than 60 insurgents in northwest Pakistan in offensives aimed at denying al-Qaida and Taliban militants safe havens, officials said Tuesday.

#2: A roadside bomb has killed an Afghan district chief and a police official in the southern Kandahar province. The attack took place when the district chief of Registan, Amir Mohammad, was driving home with police official Assadullah, police said. Four of their guards have been wounded. Taleban insurgents have claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomb struck a vehicle carrying the officials in Registan district late on Monday, news agency Associated Press quoted police chief Matiullah Khan as saying.

#3: Pakistani security forces killed 10 more suspected insurgents as part of a major military offensive near the Afghan border that has spawned retaliatory attacks by the Pakistani Taliban. Iqbal Khattak, a government official, said the latest casualties came early today, when the 10 suspected militants died in an intense shootout with security forces on the outskirts of Bajur's main city of Khar. He said some security forces were wounded, but he would not say how many.

#4: Three Czech soldiers from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) were injured in a missile attack against their base in the Logar province in Afghanistan during the night, Czech chief of staff Vlastimil Picek announced Monday. "Three missiles were shot at the Shank base where the Czech soldiers from the PRT were located," Picek said in a press release. The attack occurred at about 2:00 local time. One missile fell into the base where it injured the three soldiers. Two of them were taken by air to the U.S. field hospital at the Bagram base with medium injuries. Their further transport to the Czech Republic will depend on their health condition. The third soldier who suffered light injuries is treated at the Shank base.

Monday, September 22, 2008

War News for Monday, September 22, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a a small-arms fire attack in a neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, September 21st. No other details were released.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from natural causes in a western province of Afghanistan on Sunday, September 21st. No other details were released. We assume this to be an American soldier.

CJTF is reporting the death of a U.S. - led coalition soldier in an IED attack in a southern province of Afghanistan on Sunday, September 21st. Two Afghani civilians were also killed in the attack.


Sept. 18 airpower summary:

Pakistan, India trade fire in Kashmir:

Mortar attack on Somali market kills 30:

Turkey submits new mandate for N.Iraq to parliament:

Russian Navy squadron sets off to Venezuela:

Iraq's Mehdi Army at crossroads as U.S. scales down:

Two U.S. military personnel killed in the Islamabad hotel bombing:

US marines were the target of a massive suicide attack that left Islamabad's pride Marriott Hotel in flames, according to a senior intelligence official. (this article is worth reading)


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A car bomb killed at least two people and wounded five others in the Karrada district of central Baghdad, police said.

#2: A mortar bomb killed one person and wounded four others in western Baghdad, police said.

"A mortar round landed on a main road near Adan Square in Baghdad northern neighborhood of Kadhmiya, killing a civilian and wounding four others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#3: A car bomb wounded two people when it exploded near an Iraqi army patrol in Jamiaa district in western Baghdad, police said.

Separately, two more civilians were injured when a car bomb parked near the Nafaq-al-Shurta intersection in western Baghdad detonated as an Iraqi army patrol was passing by, he said.

Four civilians were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) stuck inside a civilian vehicle went off in western Baghdad city, according to the Iraqi police."An IED emplaced by unidentified men inside a civilian vehicle went off on the main road near Nafaq al-Shurta area, western Baghdad, wounding four civilian passengers," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#5: Another mortar round struck a house in Karrada neighborhood in central Baghdad, wounding four people and setting fire in the house, the source added.

#6: Sunday Police found three dead bodies in Baghdad neighborhoods today: two were found in Karkh bank; one in Dora and the other was in Amil. While the third one was found in Fudhailiyah on Risafa bank.

#7: The Iraqi army killed two gunmen and arrested 81 others in the last 24 hours in different parts of the country, the Defence Ministry said.


Diyala Prv:
Khani Beni Saad:
#1: The Iraqi government said on Monday its forces have uncovered dozens of bodies buried in three mass graves in the restive province of Diyala. The graves were found in the village of Khani Beni Saad, near the provincial capital of Baquba, after an "arrested terrorist gave information," a government statement said. A security official from the region said the bodies were being dug out from the graves but did not specify how many corpses were there.


Suwayra:
#1: Police recovered a body showing signs of torture from the Tigris River in Suwayra, 50 km (30 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen killed two brothers and wounded a third when they opened fire in a market in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday, police said.

#2: At least two policemen were killed and more than 40 people wounded in a suicide truck bomb attack on a police commando base in the city of Mosul on Sunday afternoon, a provincial police source said. "A suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden truck into the entrance of a police commando base in southwestern Mosul and blew it up at about 5:15 p.m. (1415 GMT)," Brigadier Khalid Abdul Sattar, spokesman of operations office in Nineveh province, told Xinhua.

#3: A morgue in the city of Mosul received two bodies with gunshot wounds, police said.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: A policeman was killed and another one was injured on Monday by U.S. troops near the city of Falluja, a police source said."A policeman was killed and another one was injured when U.S. forces opened fire at them in al-Halabsa region in northwest of Falluja," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq on condition of anonymity. "U.S. forces were trying to set up an ambush for gunmen in the region, when they suspected the two cops who were wearing civilian clothes," he added. No word was immediately available from the U.S. army on the incident.



Afghanistan:
#1: Afghan Consul General Abdul Khaliq Farahi was kidnapped on Monday after his vehicle was ambushed by unknown gunmen, killing his driver here on Ring Road. The Afghan diplomat was on his way home after duty hours when some armed men intercepted his car just close to Hayatabad Township, an official of Afghan Consulate told APP. According to SSP Operations Peshawar Kashif Alam, the driver of the Peshawar based Consul General of Afghan Consulate Abdul Khaliq Farahi was killed in the shootout. The car of the Consul General was hit by volley of bullets as soon as it entered Phase-IV from Phase-III in Hayatabad. Meanwhile the kidnappers overpowered the Consul General and threw him in a car and fled from the scene.

#2: Pakistani officials say their troops opened fire twice to repel two US helicopter gunships which violated their airspace in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan. The incidents happened on Sunday evening in the North Waziristan district, where Pakistani forces are battling Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants. There was no immediate comment from the Pakistani military or the US-led coalition in Kabul.

#3: A roadside bomb ripped through a civilian vehicle in southern Afghanistan on Monday, killing six Afghans and wounding four others, the NATO-led force said. The military alliance said the blast occurred in Tirin Kot, the capital of the southern Uruzgan province. It said a child was among those killed.

#4: Meanwhile, in southwestern Nimroz province Taliban militants attacked a police checkpoint Sunday, sparking a clash in which nine militants were killed and three police were wounded, said provincial Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad.

#5: Taliban insurgents have abducted more than 140 laborers from a construction firm in Afghanistan's western province of Farah, the provincial governor said on Monday. The laborers were civilians and were involved in building an army base in the province where the Taliban and criminal gangs are active. They were seized by militants on Sunday while traveling in three buses on a road in Bala Boluk district of Farah, Rohul Amin told Reuters.

#6: The ISAF vehicle was driving from Mazar-e-Sharif to Kabul. In Aybak, a group of people unloaded a market wagon, when suddenly some people stepped onto the street. The driver of the military car could not avoid the group and hit some of the people. One person was killed and another injured. The injured civilian was taken to the local hospital in Aybak. The soldiers stayed at the scene to provide assistance until the Afghan National Police arrived.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

News of the Day for Sunday, September 21, 2008


Iraqi security stand next to a crater created by a blast outside the villa housing the offices of the Iraqi Journalist's Union in the Waziriyah neighborhood of Baghdad. The head of the main journalists' union in Iraq, Muayad al-Lami, survived the assassination attempt, although he was injured in the blast.
(AFP/Ali Yussef) Note: His condition today is said to be "deteriorating." See below.



Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

Four Iraqi soldiers injured by roadside bomb attack in al-Waziriya, northeastern Baghad. (Note: CNN (see below for link) gives casualty total as 8 wounded, including 3 police.)

Bomb attack on headquarters of al-Bayyina newspaper, published by Hezbollah- Iraq, damages building but does not cause casualties. CNN, however, reports two people injured by a bomb attack on a newspaper headquarters. Since CNN does not identify the newspaper, it is not clear if this is the same incident.

However, there have been numerous attacks on journalists recently, so it is conceivable there were two today. In fact, Iraqi press syndicate chief Muayyad al-Lam is described as in "deteriorating condition" in the hospital following a bomb attack on the syndicate headquarters yesterday. This is one reason I prefer to link to VoI as much as possible, to honor the courage of Iraqi journalists. -- C

Four civilians injured by roadside bomb on al-Kindi Street, al-Harithiya, western Baghdad.

CNN provides a roundup of extensive additional violence in Baghdad today:

  1. Roadside bomb attack on police patrol in Adhamiya injures 4 civilians, 1 police officer

  2. Car bomb in central Baghdad injures 3 civilians, 1 police officer

  3. Bomb attached to the vehicle of a Finance Ministry official seriously injures him

  4. Roadside bomb attack on police convoy in Zaafaraniya, southeast Baghdad, injures 3 police and 3 civilians

  5. Roadside bomb attack in central Baghdad injures 3 police and 4 civilians

  6. Gunmen with silenced weapons ambush and kill Interior Ministry Brigadier Adel Abbasan, injure his driver.

  7. A Major in the Interior Ministry injured in ambush attack in New Baghdad. (Note: Xinhua identifies him as "Ammar."


Police find 5 bodies in the city, 3 decomposed bodies of women, 1 the decapitated body of a man, 1 recent gunshot victim.

Ghassan Redha, director general in the Finance Ministry, injured by bomb planted in his car.

Kirkuk

Two police officers killed, 22 injured, 10 critically, in suicide car bomb attack on police academy. Note: Some accounts are giving the death toll as 3 but it is unclear whether these include the attacker.

Jalawla

Roadside bomb attack on a minibus kills 3, injures 6. Note: Diyala, including Jalawla in particular, is the site of complex conflicts and divisions among Sunni insurgents and the Shiite-led government, Arabs and Kurds and other ethnic groups, along with secular vs. Islamist forces. I refrain from speculating about the motivation for any particular attack, but do want to emphasize that the situation is not the simple "U.S. and Iraqi government vs. al Qaeda" battle as usually portrayed in the U.S. -- C

Wassit

Two bodies, showing signs of torture, retrieved from river. This happened regularly during the rampant sectarian violence in Baghdad, but I haven't seen such reports recently. The killings presumably happened further north, probably in the capital, and the bodies were throw into the Tigris.

Mosul

Gunmen kill a man who runs a private electricity generator. Reuters also reports a woman shot outside her house.

Kut

Gunmen kill an off-duty police officer.

Other News of the Day

As I discussed last week (to some controversy) the Iraqi army's push into Diyala has exacerbated Arab-Kurdish tensions. But you don't have to take it from me. This article by Ramzy Mardini in the magazine Kurdish Aspect discusses the situation, which is as I described it last week. The article goes on to describe the problem of Khanaqin at length. Excerpt:

As tensions rise between Iraqi Kurds, Arab Sunnis, and Arab Shiites in ethnically mixed Diyala Province during a massive and ongoing military operation by the Iraqi Army, a bombing in the disputed city of Khanaqin threatens to launch the region into new convulsions of violence. On September 13 a powerful improvised explosive device killed nine members of the Kurdish peshmerga militia responsible for security in the city. The dead included Colonel Zulfiqar, the local commander of peshmerga forces (AFP, September 13; Awsat al-Iraq, September 14).

In recent remarks, the exiting commander of the Multinational Forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, noted the security progress that has begun to stabilize Iraq was “not irreversible” (BBC, September 11). The U.S. general’s remarks came after last month’s unexpected confrontation between the Iraq Army and Kurdish peshmerga forces in Khanaqin. Though Iraq’s security and economy have radically improved since the implementation of the U.S. “surge” strategy, developments in Diyala highlight the danger of a sudden reversion to ethnic and religious bloodshed.

Recently, Diyala has been the focal point of unusual security moves by the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. In mid-August, under the supposed direction of al-Maliki, special counterterrorism forces – known as Emergency Response Units (ERUs) – raided the office of Diyala Governor Raad Rashid al-Mullah, shot and killed his cousin, and commenced a gunfight with local police (Awsat al-Iraq, August 19). The raid’s aim was the arrest of popular Sunni political figure Dr. Hussein al-Zubaidi, who heads Diyala’s security committee. Al-Zubaidi was beaten before being carried away.

snip

The Iraq Army began Operation Bashaer al-Kheir (Promise of Good) on July 29 in cooperation with American forces. The operation is a major offensive consisting of 50,000 soldiers and police aimed at rooting out al-Qaeda and Shiite militias in Diyala province (Awsat al-Iraq, September 5). Local Awakening Council (Sahwa) members complain that the operation is being waged against them – purposely undermining their prospects for a future political role. Government efforts to marginalize the province’s mostly Sunni Sahwa fighters have increased considerably since the operation commenced. Leaders have been arrested or evicted from their posts in an effort to hasten their disbandment.

But the central and potentially explosive issue resulting from the government’s military operation in Diyala was the confrontation at Khanaqin between Kurdish militias and Iraqi forces. An oil-rich city along the Iranian border of the Diyala governorate, Khanaqin is considered one of the “disputed territories” cited in Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution. Article 140 outlines a legal process intended to reverse the “Arabization” campaigns of the former Baathist regime and settle the territorial disputes between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Arbil and the federal government in Baghdad. Driven by force from Khanaqin, Iraqi Kurds have been returning to the city since 2003 and now form the majority of the population. The local council has proposed integrating the city with the Kurdistan region, but like the similar cases of Kirkuk and Mosul, a reluctant Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad has delayed finalizing Khanaqin’s status.


Anbar "Salvation" (i.e., Awakening) Council to form political party, run in provincial elections.

Cholera epidemic continues to grow in Baghdad and southern Iraq. 172 cases now reported in September. No doubt a vast undercount, as Iraq lacks effective disease surveillance systems.

Elsewhere in the region

Improbable as it may seem, The U.S., NATO, Afghan government and Taliban have agreed to a one-day truce in observance of "World Peace Day. So far it appears largely to have been observed.

However, At least 100 Afghan policemen and government officials, including a deputy provincial governor, were poisoned (non-fatally) after eating their iftar on Saturday night at a government facility in Nuristan. A local Taliban commander has taken responsibility for the incident, but that has not been established.

Death toll in the hotel bombing in Islamabad now at 53, including the Czech ambassador to Pakistan. Many other foreigners among the dead including 2 Americans; 250 people injured. Other corpses may yet be recovered, but the building is in danger of collapse.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

War News for Saturday, September 20, 2008

The DPA is reporting the death of a U.S. led coalition soldier in a roadside bomb attack in a southern province of Afghanistan on Saturday, September 20th. Two Afghani civilians were also killed in the attack. No other details were released.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Lt. Col. James L. Wiley died in a in a non-combat related incident at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on Thursday, September 18th. No other details were released.

The AFP is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in a roadside bombing attack in an eastern province of Afghanistan on Saturday, September 20th. No other details were released.


Reported Security incidents:

Construction of Southern Iraqi Crude Pipeline to Iran at Standstill Amid Pipe Shortages:

'US seeks secret bases in Iraq':

US drones continue flights over Pak tribal areas despite warning:

Turkey to continue Iraq incursions:

Satellite images show Iraq ethnic clean-out:

Iraq reports up to 171 cholera cases:

A Modernized Taliban Thrives in Afghanistan:


Baghdad:
#1: A bomb blast outside Iraq's national journalists' union in central Baghdad wounded the union's head and three others on Saturday, an eyewitness said. The explosion apparently targeting Muaid al-Lami, head of the Iraqi Journalists' Syndicate, caused no deaths. "Some vehicles outside caught fire and it shattered all the glass in the building," union member Hassan al-Aboudi, who was in the building at the time, told Reuters. Police said six people had been wounded in the blast. Aboudi said the bomb went off as the Lami was saying goodbye to guests at the entrance to the union. He was evacuated for treatment along with one guest and two of his body guards.


Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: Local police said a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol in the village of Imam Mansur near Balad Druz, killing a colonel and a captain.

#2: In Balad Ruz itself, one policeman was killed and four others were wounded when a mortar round exploded as they were filling up at a local petrol station, police said.


Basra:
#1: Iraqi officials say gunmen have killed a cleric loyal to U.S. foe Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra. Police say Sheik Oday Ali Abbas al-Ajrish was killed Friday evening near his home. A Basra police officer and a medic from the city's morgue confirmed the killing. They requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.


Mosul:
#1: The policeman was killed in skirmishes erupted on Saturday morning between his unit and an armed group in the al-Farouq Street in central Mosul, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Gunmen killed two policemen when they attacked their checkpoint in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Earlier, an Iraqi soldier was wounded when unknown gunmen showered with bullets his checkpoint in the al-Karaamah neighborhood in eastern Mosul, the source said.

#3: Separately, a roadside bomb detonated overnight near a convoy of trucks, carrying fuel and supplies for the U.S. army, while traveling in the al-Arabi neighborhood in northern Mosul, setting a fuel tanker ablaze and wounding its driver, he said.


Tal Afar:
#1: Police found two decomposed bodies in the town of Tal Afar, 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, on Friday, police said.


Al Anbar Prv:
Haditha:
#1: "An improvised explosive device went off today near an Iraqi police patrol very close to the H3 refinery west of Haditha city, (250 km) west of Baghdad, killing one policeman and injuring three others," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq on customary condition of anonymity out of security concerns.

Hit:
#1: Meanwhile, the same source said that a hand grenade today targeted a police patrol in al-Debes area, central Hit city, wounding four men, including an officer in the city police.



Afghanistan:
#1: At least six people, including three soldiers, were killed Saturday when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into their convoy in Pakistan's restive tribal region along the Afghan border, an army spokesman said, dpa reported. "A suicide attack on army convoy at around 11:30 PST (05:300 GMT) at Eisha post while it was moving from Mir Ali area to Miranshah in tribal district of North Waziristan," Major Murad Khan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "Three soldiers and three civilians died in the attacks while five soldiers were injured," he added. However, a local security official claim the death toll was as high as 10.
Four army vehicles were destroyed and several other damaged in the blast.

#2: A patrol of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Saturday "reluctantly" shot and killed a civilian who failed to yield to warnings to stop in Sangin district of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, said an alliance statement. "The incident began when a civilian approached an ISAF foot patrol while the patrol gave verbal warnings asking for the civilian to stop," the statement said. "The patrol fired two warning shots after the ill-fated civilian ignoring the verbal warning," it said, "but the civilian still failed to stop."

#3: Five suspected Taliban insurgents were killed as they came in contact with Afghan government troops in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, the Afghan national defense ministry said here Saturday. "The battle occurred on Friday during which five rebels were killed and six others made captive," a press release of the ministry said.


Casualty Reports:

Chief Hospital Corpsman Robert J. White, 42, claims that on July 25, 2005, he took shrapnel in his hand during a massive mortar attack on his Marine company with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, a Reserve unit, in Hit, Iraq. He is a full-time support sailor, according to Navy records.

#2: Army Sgt. Michael C. Henning, 41, is recovering from wounds suffered during two of three tours of duty in Iraq, including a traumatic brain injury and nerve damage to his right shoulder. He spends his days undergoing rehabilitation and physical and occupational therapy at his home base of Ft. Stewart, Ga., while he waits to be awarded a Purple Heart. In December 2003, one day after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was captured, he was patrolling Baghdad. Members of Hussein's Baath Party shot at the Americans, wounding some civilians. Henning and his men were bandaging the wounded when they were struck by a grenade. Henning injured his right ankle and lost some of his hearing. In June (2007), his Humvee drove past a van when it exploded. "When we drove by, it turned orange real quick," he said. "Every single person that witnessed it thought we were dead." Miraculously, no one was injured, he said. Henning didn't realize how seriously he was injured at first, he said. He broke a rib but never knew it until several months later when it had already healed on its own. His shoulder and head hurt but he shrugged it off.

Kevin McCloskey, 21, ended up losing both of his legs because of an improvised explosive device. the months he spent in Afghanistan changed his life forever, both emotionally and physically.