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, March 31, 2009

War News for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - West Marine in a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Tuesday, March 31st.

CRIEnglish is reporting the death of a Romanian ISAF soldier from a mine at a bridge in Spina Ghabarga area outside Qalat on Zabul-Kabul highway, Zabul Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, March 31st. One additional soldier was wounded in the attack.


March 28 Airpower Summary:

Iraq guerrillas turn to Russian grenades:

UK forces leave Basra in control of Americans: In addition, units from 22 SAS are expected to continue to remain elsewhere in the country, conducting counter-insurgency operations.

Pinoy carpenter killed, another injured in Afghanistan mortar attack: A Filipino carpenter was killed, while another one was injured last March 20 in a mortar attack at a military camp in Afghanistan, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported on Tuesday. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. told reporters that the Filipino was working in the Kandahar airbase, southeast of Kandahar City, when attackers fired mortar shells into the camp. Citing reports from the Philippine Embassy in Pakistan, Conejos identified the Filipino as Norbert Malana Hobayan, a carpenter hired by Recon International, a United Arab Emirates-based construction firm. Another Filipino, Rolando Tricenio, suffered injuries in he same attack and is now recuperating at the Kandahar airbase.

Clinton offers olive branch to Taliban: (Here's a joke -- whisker)

Kayani to tell US to keep hands off "national security agency" ISI:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A mortar round wounded three people in Zaafaraniya district of southeastern Baghdad, police said.

a rocket or mortar slammed into a residential area in the southeastern neighborhood of Zafaraniyah, wounding at least three Iraqi civilians, according to the U.S. military. Iraqi officials said six Iraqis were wounded in the attack.

#2: A mortar round wounded two people in eastern Baghdad, police said.


Kirkuk:
#1: One civilian on Tuesday was slaughtered by unknown gunmen in Kirkuk city, according to a local security source. “Today, unknown gunmen slaughtered Sabah Aziz Sulayman, a retiree, inside his house in al-Wassiti neighborhood, southwestern Kirkuk, before they fled to an unknown destination,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body of Sulayman, a Christian, was taken to the morgue in Kirkuk,” the source added.


Mosul:
#1: Iraqi police say a suicide truck bomber killed at least seven people and wounded 17 in the northern city of Mosul. A police officer in Mosul says the attacker was targeting a police station in the city's center.Police Maj. Jassim al-Jubouri says those killed include four policemen and three civilians.

#2: Attackers wounded three civilians when they hurled a hand-grenade at a U.S. military patrol in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: An explosive charge placed inside a car belonging to a police officer from Falluja city went off in al-Shurta neighborhood, eastern Falluja, wounding three personnel,” Maj. Hamid Ahmed told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO forces inadvertently killed a 15-year-old civilian overnight during a shootout with Afghan militants in the eastern province of Khost, national radio said on Tuesday. Salam Watandar radio cited a NATO spokesman in the southeastern province as saying that the teenager was accidently shot dead during the exchange of fire. Four armed Afghan militants were taken prisoner.

#2: Afghan police have killed 30 insurgents in a joint operation in Afghanistan's southern province of Uruzgan, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. Seventeen militants were wounded in Monday's operation and the deaths included a Taliban commander, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, it said in a statement.

#3: An explosion Tuesday afternoon targeted the vehicle belonging to Mayor of Khost city, capital of Khost province in eastern Afghanistan, claiming the official on the spot, police said.


Casualty Reports:

Marine Sgt. Steven Kiernan of Petaluma was just weeks into his first tour of duty in Iraq when he was severely wounded March 11. An explosion in Fallujah cost him his legs.

Monday, March 30, 2009

War News for Monday, March 30, 2009

March 27 Airpower Summary:

US-allied Sunnis alarmed at Baghdad crackdown:

US won't hunt militants over Pakistan border: Obama:

US contractor jailed for Iraq stabbing: A 32-year-old employee of US contractor Kellogg Brown and Root was on Friday jailed for stabbing an Indian co-worker while deployed in Iraq two years ago, authorities said. The victim was stabbed in the throat but later survived.

American sentenced for stabbing Indian woman in Iraq:

US soldier guilty in killing of 4 Iraqis in 2007:

Britain to start Iraq pullout on Tuesday:

No Ospreys, for now, to Afghanistan:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: U.S.-backed Iraqi forces swept through a central Baghdad slum yesterday, disarming Sunnis from a government-allied paramilitary group to quell a two-day uprising launched to protest the arrest of their leader. At least four people were killed and 21 wounded in the two days of fighting between government troops and the Awakening Council in Fadhil, a ramshackle warren of narrow, fetid streets on the east side of the Tigris River where al-Qaeda once held sway. Members of the Fadhil council said yesterday that they had decided to give up the fight and hand over their weapons to spare the neighborhood, whose bullet-pocked buildings bore witness to intense combat there two years ago. Most of the top council members fled the neighborhood as Iraqi troops searched house-to-house, according to residents who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared for their safety.

A few fighters were still holding out. An Iraqi patrol, accompanied by an Associated Press photo and video team, came under heavy fire, sending them ducking for cover as bullets nicked bits of mortar from the buildings lining the narrow alleyway.

The Iraqi army began pulling back troops from central Baghdad after deadly weekend violence triggered by the arrest of an anti-Qaeda militia leader on suspicion of murder and extortion. "The situation is stable and we have begun to withdraw our troops from the neighbourhood" of Fadel, said Baghdad military command spokesman Major General Qasim Atta.

#2: A bomb attached to the car of an intelligence officer in the interior ministry killed him and another passenger and wounded eight passers-by on Sunday in Adhamiya district, northern Baghdad, police said.


Diyala Prv:
Baquba:
#1: A bomb attached to a bicycle killed three labourers and wounded eight others in Iraq's volatile northern province of Diyala on Monday, police said. The police had no further details on the blast in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, and did not know if the death toll was likely to rise.

At least three construction workers were killed and 15 others injured on Monday in a bike bomb explosion in Baquba, the capital city of Diyala province, a provincial police source said. "An explosive-laden bike parked among a group of construction workers who gathered to wait for day-long work in the northern suburb of Baquba, some 60 km northeast of Baghdad, detonated and killed three workers and wounded 15 others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The source said that the powerful explosion caused by more than one kg of explosives.

#2: A policeman was injured by a roadside bomb that targeted a patrol of the Iraqi police in al Mualimeen neighborhood west Baquba around 11 a.m.

#3: The police forces on Khanaqeen Street northeast of Baquba found the body of a civilians few hours after gunmen kidnapped him by insurgents from his house.


Hilla:
#1: Police forces on Monday found three bodies belonging to Sahwa fighters in Babel province, according to a local media source. “This morning, Babel police forces discovered the bodies inside a civilian vehicle in Jarf al-Sakhr al-Farisi area (60 km northwest of Hilla),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Iskandariya:
#1: Meanwhile, a Sahwa council member was wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted his vehicle in al-Iskandriya district (50 km north of Hilla),” the source added.


Mosul:
#1: Three Iraqi army personnel on Monday were killed or wounded in an explosive charge blast that occurred in Mosul city, according to a security source. “On Monday, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in Souk al-Maash area, western Mosul, killing one soldier and wounding an army major and a serviceman,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb killed one soldier and wounded two others, including a major, when it struck their patrol in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen in a moving car shot dead a civilian in western Mosul, police said.

#3: A bomb targeting a police patrol killed one policeman and wounded four others in western Mosul, police said.

#4: Gunmen shot dead a senior official in the Mosul branch of Displacement and Migration Office and seriously wounded his aide as they left their office in northern Mosul, police said.

#5: Gunmen in a car shot dead Abdullah Al-Sebaawi, a local leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, on Sunday in the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Eight people have died in a suicide bomb attack on a police compound in southern Afghanistan, officials say. The deaths came as a bomber wearing a police uniform detonated explosives inside Kandahar's district headquarters in Andar, AP news agency reported. Three police and five civilians were killed in the blast, government spokesman Zalmay Ayubi told the agency. The attack took place some 15km (10 miles) south of Kandahar city, a militant stronghold of the Taleban.

#2: A government official says Pakistani security forces have overpowered militants who attacked a police academy, arresting six. Rao Iftikhar says eight of the gunmen died, including two who blew themselves up. Reports on the death tolls from the assault have varied wildly, with officials confirming at least 11 to The Associated Press. Other reports said up to 40 people had died.

Pakistani soldiers killed at least four gunmen who had seized a police academy Monday in a brazen attack that killed at least 11 officers and left at least 35 police held hostage. Soldiers and other security forces surrounded the compound on the outskirts of the city, exchanging fire. Armored vehicles entered the compound while helicopters hovered overhead. Some police tried to escape by crawling on their hands and knees around the bodies of fallen officers. Six hours after the initial assault, police captured one of the suspected gunmen, dragging him to a field outside the academy and kicking him. Soon afterward, four loud explosions rocked the scene. Government official Rao Iftikhar said four gunmen were killed, including three by army snipers. However, roughly 11 gunmen remained holed up on the top floor of a building, holding some 35 police hostage.

Pakistani soldiers surrounded a police academy Monday where heavily armed gunmen were holed up after storming the compound in a brazen attack that killed at least 11 officers, wounded more than 90 and trapped others inside.

At least 25 people were killed and 90 others injured when unidentified gunmen attacked a police training school in eastern Pakistan city of Lahore on Monday, local television quoted police sources as saying. The gunmen threw hand grenade to the training school before a exchange of fire between police and gunmen began at the police training center in Manawan area of Lahore, capital of eastern Punjab province.

#3: Five Taliban insurgents were killed as the mines planted by themselves exploded pre-maturely in Khost province east of Afghanistan on Monday, a local official said. "Today at 5:00 a.m. local time (GMT0030) when Taliban militants were planting mines in two parts of a road in Sabari district but both the mines went off pre-maturely leaving five rebels dead and injured two others," Daulat Khan Qayumi the district chief of Sabari told Xinhua.

#4: A roadside bomb attack on Monday killed three Pakistani soldiers in the country's northwest, the military sources said. An explosive-laden car was parked on road and was exploded when an army convoy was passing through near the city of Bannu in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), said an army statement. "As many as three security personnel were killed while four others injured in a roadside blast in Baqa Khel area of Bannu on Monday," said the statement.

#5: Unidentified gunmen Sunday shot dead five people including a former district official in northwestern Pakistan, according to local TV reports. Former mayor of the Lower Dir district of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Alamzeb Khan and police officer Haji Khurshid were among the five killed in the firing, according to the private Geo TV. The report said that the armed men also took two police officers and a bank manager as hostages.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

News of the Day for Sunday, March 29, 2009

U.S. troops take position on a major street after a gunfight sparked Saturday at the dominantly Sunni neighborhood of Fadhil in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, March 29, 2009. U.S. and Iraqi troops are exchanging gunfire with Sunni militants in central Baghdad a day after the arrest of a local leader of Sunni security volunteers sparked a gunfight, a police officer says on condition of anonymity because he wasn't supposed to release the information.
(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

An Iraqi soldier prevents civilians from crossing a street leading to Baghdad's Fadel district. Iraqi forces clashed with members of an anti- Al Qaeda militia group in Baghdad for a second straight day, as US troops backing them ordered residents to hand over weapons or face reprisals. (AFP/Ali Yussef)

Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

Fighting in Fadel neighborhood continues for a second straight day between the army of Iraq's Shiite-led government, backed by U.S. forces, and Sunni Sahwa fighters originally organized, armed, trained and financed by the United States. After two people were killed and 15 injured in fighting yesterday, as the government forces arrested Sahwa leader Adel Mashhadani, the army has cordoned off the neighborhood and is searching for other others, while ordering the Sahwa to disarm. I link to another, in-depth account from the NYT below.

According to Xinhua, Sahwa members have captured 5 Iraqi soldiers.



Basra

One police officer, 6 sanitation workers killed, several people wounded in bomb attack on Sinaoya Himdan road south of the city. The AFP account of what appears to be the same incident is slightly different. AFP names "Iraq oil installation guards" as the target, says 5 civilians and a "security guard" were killed.

Kirkuk

Eight police officers injured by an IED attack. Two are said to be in critical condition.

Mosul

Reuters reports two incidents in eastern Mosul: A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol wounded an officer; a second policeman injured by gunfire.

Female textile worker killed by armed militants, no motive is given.

KUNA also reports a woman is killed by a bomb attack on a police patrol. Not clear if this is the same attack Reuters reports as injuring a police officer.

Other News of the Day

Spanish investigative judge Baltasar Garzón considers whether to issue arrest warrants for Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo, William J. Haynes II, Jay S. Bybee, David S. Addington,and Douglas Feith for violations of international law, centered on the torture of prisoners. (I note that the inclusion of Addington makes it difficult to see why Dick Cheney is not also named. -- C)He would base his jurisdiction on the five Spanish citizens who were among the victims. NYT's Marlise Simmons has the details. Excerpt:

The 98-page complaint, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, is based on the Geneva Conventions and the 1984 Convention Against Torture, which is binding on 145 countries, including Spain and the United States. Countries that are party to the torture convention have the authority to investigate torture cases, especially when a citizen has been abused.

The complaint was prepared by Spanish lawyers, with help from experts in the United States and Europe, and filed by a Spanish human rights group, the Association for the Dignity of Prisoners. The National Court in Madrid, which specializes in international crimes, assigned the case to Judge Garzón. His acceptance of the case and referral of it to the prosecutor made it likely that a criminal investigation would follow, the official said. Even so, arrest warrants, if they are issued, would still be months away.


United Nations drafts a power sharing plan for Kirkuk. No indication of whether any of the parties are interested in this compromise, however. Au contraire. -- C Excerpt:

A draft of the U.N. plan, according to two Western officials who have read it, offers five options. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been finalized and they are not authorized to speak publicly about it.

Three of the options in the draft likely will be dismissed immediately as too extreme or unworkable, the officials said. The remaining two are:

—Making Kirkuk a "special status" province where both Iraq's Shiite-led central government and the Kurdish government in Irbil could have power. Final decisions would be left to provincial officials. The special status would likely last between three and 10 years, giving officials more time to figure out Kirkuk's final status.

None of Iraq's 17 other provinces, including the three that make up Kurdistan, currently has such an agreement.

—Making Kirkuk politically autonomous but still somewhat reliant on Baghdad for funding. This plan, favored by the Turkomen with political ties to Turkey, also would allow Kirkuk to collect revenue from federally owned North Oil Corp. refineries in the province.

Details of the formulas are still being negotiated. Remaining sticking points include how jobs will be divided among each group, and when, and who can be counted as a legal resident among the 400,000 Kurds who moved to Kirkuk after Saddam's ouster. Arabs and Turkomen call them illegal squatters.


Two people trying to steal crude oil from a well are killed by gas seepage.

NYT's Allisa J. Rubin and Rob Nordland provide an in-depth discussion of the ongoing fighting in Baghdad. Could Gen. Petraeus's much-vaunted strategy be unraveling? Excerpt:

Many of the Awakening groups recently have complained about mistreatment and warned that some of their followers might switch back to supporting Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a homegrown extremist group believed by American intelligence to have foreign leadership. Mr. Mashhadani has been a strong critic of the failure of the Iraqi authorities to incorporate Awakening Council fighters into Iraqi security agencies, as had been promised.

“There’s a 50-50 chance that Awakening guys who are not very loyal to Iraq or who need to support their families may decide to join Al Qaeda again,” Mr. Mashhadani said in an interview a week ago.

Abu Mirna, the media coordinator for the Fadhil Awakening Council, said: “American forces have broken the alliance with us by arresting our leader. Now there are clashes in the area between the Americans and Awakening fighters and you can hear shooting. It’s chaos.” Heavy gunfire could be heard over the telephone while he was speaking.


PKK spokesmen respond rather uh, uncongenially to Jalal Talabani's ultimatum for them to disarm. Excerpt:

"Talabani wants to please the Turkish generals, and we have lost all hope of seeing him play a positive role in a solution to the Kurdish problem," senior Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) official Murad Qiralian told reporters. "No one can eject us from our mountain stronghold here, and recent battles are proof of this," he said. "We recommend rapprochement between Kurds instead of submitting to pressure exerted by neighbouring countries."

On Wednesday, the prime minister of Iraq's Kurdish regional government backed Talabani's call for the PKK rebels to lay down their guns.

snip

"What is strange, to say the least, is that Ankara arms 90,000 Kurdish mercenaries and at the same time wants to disarm us," Qiralian said of anti-PKK groups. "We will never accept talks if preconditional on us disarming."


Afghanistan and Pakistan update

DPA gives a roundup of security incidents:

  1. Taliban militants ambushed a police vehicle in Pashtun Zarghoon district of western Herat province on Sunday morning, killing four policemen, Abdul Raouf Ahmadi, spokesman for police forces in the western region said. Attack injured the district police chief of the Qades district of neighbouring Badghis province.

  2. Another policeman was killed and two others were wounded when the militants attacked a police post in Rabat Sangi district of the same Herat province on Saturday night, Ahmadi said, adding that three attackers were also killed when police fought back.

  3. Separately, three Afghan soldiers were killed and four others were wounded Saturday when their vehicle was blown up by a remote-controlled roadside bomb in the Zurmat district of south- eastern province of Paktia, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

  4. Rebels also fired rockets at an Afghan army base in Angoor Adah area of neighbouring Paktika province near the Pakistan border but caused no casualties, the ministry statement said. Troops pinpointed the insurgent location and responded with heavy artillery, killing five militants, including their commander Abdul Jabar, and their comrades took the bodies across the border.

  5. Seven other Taliban militants were killed in a separate clash with Afghan forces backed by NATO soldiers in Gerishk district of southern Helmand province on Saturday, the army statement said.

  6. In the northern province of Kunduz a roadside bomb was detonated Saturday as a convoy of German forces was passing by, German military sources said in Berlin. The blast caused no casualties or damage to the military vehicles, the sources said.


Taliban kidnap 11 Pakistani policemen in attack on a security station near the Khyber pass.

Afghan government claims a new operation is underway to eradicate poppy crops in Helmand. Yeah, yeah. -- C

Shakeela Ahbrimkhil, reporting for Quqnoos, describes an epidemic of suicide in Afghanistan, mostly among women. Her English is a little weak, but I've left it alone. -- C Excerpt:

This is an enormous number of Afghans, mainly women, trying to commit suicide to flee violence in life. Based on the figures given by the Ibn-e Sina Emergency Hospital in Kabul more than 600 incidents of suicide attempts have been referred to this hospital during the past 12 months.

Vice-chairman of the hospital, Dr. Nasim Hamdard said they receive around ten victims each week who have tried to commit self-murder. “Most of the victims are women who use different medications in attempt to commit suicide,” Dr. Hamdard said. The Ministry of Public Health confirms the boost in the number of suicidals.

Dr. Abdullah Fahim, the spokesman for the ministry said most of the victims have survived from their attempts. “Famliy violence, poverty, mental ailment and weak religious beliefs provoke self-murder in Afghanistan,” said Abdullah Fahim.

While the women use arsenal [sic -- probably means arsenic] and insomnia medicines to commit suicide, but the men hang, shoot or dive from top floors.


Quote of the Day

The government needs to revolutionise these procedures or just throw them in the bin. The ground is not ripe for investment in Iraq. The laws and procedures I think belong to First World War times.


Iraqi investor Mohammad Hassoun Taha, complaining about red tape.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

War News for Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Irish Times is reporting the deaths of two U.S. soldiers from a hostile fire attack by an Afghan Army soldier in an undisclosed location in northeastern Afghanistan on Friday, March 27th.


March 26 airpower summary:

March 25 airpower summary:

March 24 airpower summary:

Yemen: 4 soldiers killed in clashes with militants:

America has lost its war against terrorism in Afghanistan: Aslam Baig:


Reported Security incidents:

Mosul:
#1: Four persons, including a cop, were wounded in a car bomb blast that ripped through southeastern Mosul city, a local security source said on Saturday. “On Saturday, a car bomb went off near a policeman’s house in Sumar neighborhood, wounding four persons, including the policeman and his brother,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Dozens of suspected militants fired rockets early Saturday at a transport terminal in northwest Pakistan that is used to ship supplies to NATO troops based in Afghanistan, police said. At least 12 shipping containers were damaged in the attack at the Farhad terminal in Peshawar, capital of troubled North West Frontier Province, local police official Zahur Khan told The Associated Press. He said police opened fire at the insurgents but they managed to flee.

#2: Afghan and coalition troops killed 12 militants during a gunbattle that erupted during a raid on a compound in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Saturday. The troops encountered gunfire from in and around the compound as they approached late Friday in the Nahr Surk district of Helmand province, a U.S statement said. The troops returned fire and called in support to counter the threat from militants who were concealed in a line of trees and maneuvering in a field, it said.

#3: Pakistani helicopter gunships have killed 12 militants in a restive tribal region bordering Afghanistan, a security official said. The strikes took place in Mohmand, one of seven lawless tribal districts in north-western Pakistan, where Taliban militants are active. "At least 12 militants were killed and eight others wounded in helicopter gunship firing," a security official said. "A militant hideout was also destroyed during the strike," he said and added that there were no casualties for the security forces. The militant death toll could not be confirmed independently as the area is sealed off under military operations.

#4: Suspected Taliban blew up a bridge on the Landikotal bypass on Friday evening, Levy Force personnel said, however, no causalities were reported. Local administrative sources said the bridge was hit with a mortar shell, damaging it partially and forcing the suspension of supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan. Frontier Corps personnel had fired at the suspected locations after the blast, the sources added. The bridge was a key road link between Torkham and Peshawar. sudhir ahmad afridi




Marine Cpl. Raymond Hennagir stepped on a 20-pound Iraqi pipe bomb in Zaidon. Hennagir was nearly killed by that explosive device in June 2007 in Zaidon, Iraq. He lost both legs and four fingers on his left hand in the blast. After being treated at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., he was moved to outpatient care at Walter Reed military hospital, where he received prosthetics.

Friday, March 27, 2009

War News for Friday, March 27, 2009

Sources: More US Troops for Afghan War:

2,000 more British troops to join Barack Obama's Afghanistan surge:

Shoddy wiring 'everywhere' on Iraq bases, Army inspector says:

Iraq buys 24 French helicopters, Paris says:

Stryker soldier gets 6 months for refusing to go to Iraq:

Pakistani and Afghan Taliban Unify in Face of U.S. Influx:

Breakdown of foreign troop numbers in Afghanistan:


Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
Jalula:
#1: Security officials say gunmen have shot and killed a Sunni Arab cleric and wounded his son at a town northeast of Baghdad where a suicide bomber struck a Kurdish funeral this week. They say Sheik Kareem Saleh was walking home with his son Thursday evening when gunmen shot them and fled. Saleh is the imam of a mosque at Jalula in Diyala province some 80 miles (120 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad.


Samarra:
#1: A bomb planted near a high-voltage tower wounded four electricity ministry personnel on Thursday in Samarra, 100 km (62 miles), north of Baghdad, statement from the ministry said


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen wounded a liquor store owner and his son when they hurled a hand-grenade into his shop in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles), north of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A government official says a suicide attack on a mosque in northwestern Pakistan has killed at least 48 people. Tariq Hayat, the top administrator in the Khyber region, says rescuers have pulled 48 bodies from the rubble after the attack near the town of Jamrud. Hayat says the death toll is likely to rise. The mosque was packed for Friday prayers. The blast collapsed the mosque in Jamrud, a town near the Afghan border, and police were digging in the rubble for any survivors, said Bakhtiar Khan, a local government official.

#2: International and Afghan troops killed 11 militants when a raid in Afghanistan's volatile south turned into a gunbattle with Taliban fighters, U.S. forces said Friday. Fighting broke out during the Thursday night raid targeting a key Taliban insurgent in a village in Helmand province, the military said in a statement. The forces came under fire from militants inside a compound as they advanced and returned fire. The U.S. military said the insurgent targeted in the attack was involved in making bombs that were used for roadside attacks in northern Helmand province. One insurgent was captured and 11 killed in the fighting in Lashkar Gar district, west of the provincial capital of Kandahar. The statement said one militant tried to use women and children in the compound as human shields, but the force managed to shoot the man without harming the civilians.

#3: Also in Helmand, a police operation that lasted nine hours killed five militants, including a commander who had planned a bomb blast that killed parliamentarian Dad Mohammad Khan a week ago, the interior ministry said.

#4: Elsewhere Thursday, Afghan forces assisted by U.S.-led coalition troops killed two militants allegedly planting a bomb into a frequently traveled road in the southern Uruzgan province, a separate U.S. military statement said.

#5: On Friday, meanwhile, Afghan authorities announced they had seized a truck packed with three tonnes of explosives that was intended for an attack in the eastern city of Khost

Thursday, March 26, 2009

War News for Thursday, March 26, 2009

News TWEAN is reporting the death of Specialist Justin Antisdel at the Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday, March 22nd., from injuries he suffered in Iraq some time in February 2008. No other details were reported.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Wednesday, March 25th.


Iraq to ask oil firms to build $2.5 bln refinery:

Italy ready to send more troops to Afghanistan: FM:

Iran says to attend UN meeting on Afghanistan:

Taliban claim shooting down US copter in Afghanistan:

British troops may remain in Afghanistan for 5 years:

Combat Trains Keep Supply-Veins Flowing:

U.S. watchdog says billions of U.S. aid wasted in Iraq:

Afghan Strikes by Taliban Get Pakistan Help, U.S. Aides Say:

U.S., Pakistan drawing up new drone targets - report:

Netherlands to stick to its Afghanistan pullout plan:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Iraqi officials say a car bombing in a mainly Shiite area of Baghdad has killed at least 14 people and wounded more than two dozen. Police and hospital officials say the explosives-laden car was parked near a bus terminal surrounded by shops in the Shaab district when it blew up shortly after noon. The officials say the 14 dead included four children and three women. Another official, in the Interior Ministry, gave a slightly different casualty toll, saying 16 people were killed and 35 wounded.

#2: On Wednesday evening, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated on Omar Ibn Abdelaziz street in Baghdad’s northern area of Adhamiya, wounding four civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb wounded four civilians on Wednesday when it went off near a U.S. military patrol in Baghdad's northern Adhamiya district, police said.

#3: Another device exploded in al-Qahera neighborhood, northeastern Baghdad, wounding four others,” the source added.

A roadside bomb wounded five civilians on Wednesday when it exploded near a U.S. military patrol in Qahira district, northern Baghdad, police said.

#4: A blast killed two people and wounded four in northern Baghdad's Shaab district, police said. They did not know the cause of the blast and said the death toll may rise.

#5: A bomb attached to the car of Qais Safaa, secretary to justice minister, seriously wounded him on Wednesday in Haifa Street, central Baghdad, police said. Another passenger and two passers-by were also wounded in the blast.


Riyadh:
#1: An Iraqi army soldier was wounded in an armed attack in the southwest of Kirkuk, a source from the joint coordination center in Kirkuk said on Thursday. “Unknown gunmen shot and injured a solider from the 12th division of the Iraqi army on Thursday morning (Mar. 26) in Riyadh district in the southwest of Kirkuk while on duty,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Al Rashad:
#1: Three electricity workers were wounded Thursday in a bomb blast in southwest of Kirkuk, the local police chief said. “An improvised explosive device went off near the electricity department’s workers in al-Rashad district, southwest of Kirkuk, injuring three workers who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Kirkuk:
#1: Gunmen attempted to kidnap one of the body guards of the President of the Criminal Court in Kirkuk, Thursday morning. And during the ensuing hand fight, people started to gather and the gunmen fled leaving the body guard, Murad Fikret with superficial injuries.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen attacked and killed a store owner in his store in Faisaliyah neighbourhood, central Mosul at 11.30 a.m. Thursday.

#2: A civilian man was wounded in a hand-grenade attack on Thursday in central Mosul, where the culprit was later arrested, a source from Ninewa police said. “A man was injured when a gunman hurled a hand-grenade at his store in the area of al-Dawasa, central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The police captured the perpetrator after a chase in the same area,” the source added.

#3: Meanwhile, the source said policemen found the body of a farm guard who belongs to the Yazidi religious minority in the district of Boesheiqa, east of Mosul. “The man, who showed signs of having been shot, was killed apparently in a tribal feud that has nothing to do with any armed operations,” he added.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: militants attacked a police checkpoint Thursday, killing nine policemen, the Interior Ministry said. It said the checkpoint in southern Helmand province's Nahri Sarraj district was attacked by "enemies of Afghanistan," a common reference to Taliban militants.

#2: Taliban militants also attacked a police convoy in central Ghazni province Thursday, wounding six policemen, said regional police spokesman Iqbal Gul Sapan. Four militants were killed in the clash in Nani village near the provincial capital, he said.

#3: At least 11 people have been killed in a suicide attack at a restaurant in north-western Pakistan today. The attack appeared to be targeted against a group of militants opposed to Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. Mehsud is one of several powerful tribal militia leaders in north-western Pakistan and has been blamed for several bomb attacks.

#4: A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles into a house in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, killing four people, two Pakistani intelligence officials said. It was the second strike in as many days. A missile believed to have been launched by a pilotless U.S. drone killed at least seven militants, including foreigners, in South Waziristan on March 25, intelligence officials and Taliban sources said. "We have information that four people were killed," said one of the Pakistani officials, referring to the strike in the early hours of March 26 near the town of Mir Ali.

#5: Four Taliban insurgents were killed, and seven policemen and two civilians were wounded during a battle just outside Ghazni city some 200 km (125 miles) southwest of Kabul, a spokesman for the provincial governor said. Afghan police were taking a detained militant to the provincial court when the Taliban militants started to attack, the spokesman added

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

War News for Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 23 airpower summary:

March 22 airpower summary:

Blog: Professor in Iraq: Maj. Mike Roscoe, a physician assistant in the Indiana National Guard and and assistant professor in the Butler University PA program, has been blogging about his deployment to Iraq since Aug. 31, 2008. (as always please don't troll...whisker.)

Iraq seeks bids for oil field development:

Obama plan stirs battle cry from wounded-warrior vets:

In Afghanistan, Taliban Taking Cut of Reconstruction Funds:

Blast in southeastern Turkish city kills one-agency:

NATO can't measure Afghan war performance -general:


Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
Baquba:
#1: A civil society official survived an attempt on his life Wednesday when a bomb exploded targeting his vehicle in central Baaquba, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off on Wednesday (Mar. 25) targeting the official of the civil society institutions commission, Hazbar Masier al-Azawi, in central Baaquba,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The official survived the explosion, while his brother was injured,” the source added.


Makhmour:
#1: Iraqi army forces found an unknown body in west of Makhmour district on Wednesday, an army source said. “The forces found an unknown body of a 30-year-old civilian on the main road between al-Qayara and Makhmour districts near Alwa Mahmoud village, west of Makhmour,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Sulaimaniyah:
#1: Iranian artillery bombarded the villages on Qindeel Mountain in northwest Sulaimaniyah province Wednesday morning without causing any human casualties.


Hawija:
#1: A patrol of Sahwa fighters in al-Huwaiyja district in southwest of Kirkuk found a bomb near Umm Kaseir village in the district,” the same source said, noting that the Sahwa defused it.


Kirkuk:
#1: An explosive charge went off targeting a civilian car of Sahwa fighters near the airport intersection in the southwest of Kirkuk, without leaving casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Meanwhile, unknown gunmen shot dead a retarded man at his home in Sumer neighborhood Central of Kirkuk earlier Tuesday, the source said.


Mosul:
#1: The first bomb targeted US soldiers patrolling the al-Bakr neighbourhood of eastern Mosul. One civilian was killed in the explosion and three others were wounded, a source in the Mosul police department told the German Press Agency dpa, speaking on condition of anonymity.

#2: Shortly afterwards a second bomb exploded, apparently targeting an Iraqi policeman on patrol in the eastern Mosul neighbourhood of al- Tahrir. The blast severely injured the policeman and three civilians, police said. Read more: "One Iraqi civilian killed, seven injured in two Mosul blasts"

#3: Unknown gunmen killed a woman in eastern Mosul on Tuesday, a police source said. “Unknown gunmen on Tuesday evening (Mar. 24) killed a 34-year-old woman when they stormed her house in al-Darkazliya region in eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: Police forces managed to defuse a car bomb and an improvised explosive device in central and west of Mosul, a police source said Wednesday.“Police forces on Wednesday (Mar. 25) defused a booby-trapped car during a security operation in al-Mahlabiya district in west of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: Another police force defused a local-made bomb in al-Farouq region in central Mosul,” he added.

#6: Unknown gunmen armed with pistols shot dead a policeman out of duty in aL Nigeify street in the center of Mosul, the capital cityof Nineveh province, 450 km north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#7: Police forces found the corpse of a civilian who belongs to the Yazidi sect, east of Mosul city, a security source from Ninewa province’s police said on Wednesday. “The dead body was found at a garden in Baasheqa district, east of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Signs of gunshot wounds were found on the corpse’s head and chest,’ he added.

#8: Three boys were killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. military patrol in northern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.


Dohuk Prv:
#1: Turkish bombardment was renewed Wednesday morning, hitting villages on the border strip near the city of Zakhu, northern Duhok without causing any human casualties, but eye witnesses said that the bombing caused great fear and panic among the villagers.


Al Anbar Prv:
Haditha:
#1: Tuesday Gunmen killed a man in downtown Haditha (west of Ramadi) around 4 p.m. The man was released from Bucca prison in Basra two day ago and he was accused of killing some people in Haditha a year ago, police said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Australian soldiers conducting a dismounted patrol led by the Afghan National Army in Oruzgan Province, were engaged in a contact with Taliban insurgents who used an Improvised Explosive Device, Rocket Propelled Grenades and small arms fire on Tuesday, 24 March 2009. Three Australian soldiers from the Australian Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) patrol and a coalition interpreter were wounded in the engagement. Their wounds were caused by fragmentation from the Improvised Explosive Device. It is not known what caused the device to activate.

#2: One man was killed and several wounded when hundreds of people displaced by a Pakistan offensive in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan clashed with police Wednesday, officials said. Around 2,000 people chanting slogans against 'poor facilities' streamed out of their camp near Pakistan's northwestern town of Nowshera and blocked traffic on the main road, local police officer Rashid Khan told AFP. The Jallozai camp shelters around 6,000 families, or more than 30,000 people, displaced from Bajaur since the military launched an operation to purge the area of Taliban- and Al-Qaeda-linked militants, officials said. 'The protesters pelted stones and also opened fire on police,' Khan said, adding police fired tear gas and opened fire into the air to disperse the mob. The casualties were caused when 'demonstrators opened fire' on police, Khan and refugee commissioner Shah Rukh said. One person was killed and seven injured, including two policemen, Khan said. The protesters also briefly held three policemen hostage, officials said.

#3: Nine civilians were killed and seven others wounded Wednesday when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan, a senior police official said. The blast occurred in Sabari district of the south-eastern province of Khost when a bus en route to provincial capital of the same name was struck by a roadside bomb, police chief Abdul Qayoom Baqizoy said. “Nine people, including a woman, were killed and seven others were wounded in the explosion,” he said, adding, “They were all innocent civilians who were travelling to Khost city.”

#4: A helicopter of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) made hard landing in Paktika province, east of Afghanistan, on Wednesday, a press release of the alliance said. "An aircraft operated and owned by an ISAF contractor made a hard landing in Paktika province due to mechanical malfunctions today," the press release said. Personnel on the aircraft suffered only minor injuries and were treated by medical personnel at the scene.

#5: NATO-led troops shot dead two Afghan farmers who were watering their land in east Afghanistan, a police chief said. The two Afghans were killed late on Tuesday just outside Khost city, east of the capital Kabul, provincial police chief Abdul Qayum Baqizoi said, adding they were innocent civilian farmers tending their land.


Casualty Reports:

Matthew Body, 23, sustained injuries that are not as bad as originally feared. He was injured this weekend in explosions that killed two of his fellow Marines. Body said he heard the troops began “fighting their way back out” when another Marine stepped on another bomb. That sent shrapnel into Matthew Body’s face. Gerald and Cindy Body got a call at about 8 a.m. Sunday that their son had been hurt in an explosion and that he was in critical condition. They found out he was in better shape than originally feared when Matthew called them at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. He had been in surgery, and the swelling made it difficult for the Bodys even to recognize their son’s voice. “He said he looks like he went eight rounds with Mike Tyson,” Gerald Body said. “His face was swollen.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

War News for Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Pfc. Adam J. Hardt died from a non-combat related incident at Forward Operating Base Airborne in Wardak Province, Afghanistan on Sunday, March 22nd.


March 21 airpower summary:

March 20 airpower summary:

Georgian police arrest 10 opposition activists:

Kurdish rebels: We won't stop fighting in Iraq: A Kurdish rebel group on Tuesday rejected calls by Iraq's president to stop fighting against Turkey and leave Iraqi territory.....

OPEC members' compliance with output cuts:

Spring signals fierce combat in Afghanistan:

Opinion: Time to pull troops from Afghanistan:

Influx of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to trigger violence:

NY Times: Sunni Fighters Say Iraq Didn’t Keep Job Promises: (As always the times has produced a very well written informative article.)

British judges air Guantanamo details U.S. wanted kept secret:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Three civilians on Tuesday were wounded in an explosive charge blast that ripped through the Iraqi capital, according to a police source. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a civilian vehicle in al-Jihad area near al-Aameriya Bridge in western Baghdad, wounding three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The source did not provide further details.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Baladiyat neighbourhood in east Baghdad at 2 p.m. Tuesday injuring two civilians. No casualties were reported by the U.S. military.


Mosul:
#1: A policeman on Tuesday was killed by unknown gunmen in downtown Mosul city, according to a local security source. “Today, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a policeman while he was off-duty in al-Nujaifi Street, downtown Mosul, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol near the Municipality building in central Mosul, Monday evening injuring two civilians.

#3: Two roadside bombs detonated in succession targeting an Iraqi Army patrol in al Hadbaa neighbourhood at around 9 p.m. Monday injuring one civilian and one serviceman.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO says coalition troops shot and killed an Afghan man south of Kabul who approached them in a vehicle at high speed while they were on foot patrol. The statement says troops tried to get the driver to stop the vehicle Tuesday using hand signals and several warning shots, but he failed to respond. NATO says the incident occurred north of Puli Alam, the capital of Logar province. Afghan police transported the driver to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

#2: The Taliban killed a tribesman in North Waziristan Agency on Monday, accusing him of spying for the United States. The body of Muhammad Javed, was found on a road in Razmak, 75 kilometres south of Miranshah. A note found near the body read that Javed was a US spy and warned that anyone “found spying for the US would meet the same fate”.

#3: Separately, an unidentified man’s body was found wrapped in a jute bag on the Miranshah-Dattakhel Road, two kilometres west of Miranshah.

#4: Four people were wounded when a bomb exploded in a juice shop in the insurgency-hit southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan on Tuesday, police said. The shop, located in a shopping complex in the center of the provincial capital Quetta, was badly damaged, senior police officer Wazir Khan Nasir said, adding one of the injured was in a serious condition in hospital.

#5: A mine exploded inside a mosque in Shah Mansoor district about 300 km (190 miles) southwest of Kabul on Monday, killing the mosque's imam and six others who were praying at the mosque, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#6: Afghan police killed six militants and wounded four more when a group of insurgents attacked a police post in the Nawa district some 590 km (365 miles) southwest of Kabul on Tuesday, the ministry said in separate statement.

Monday, March 23, 2009

War News for Monday, March 23, 2009

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers after an unreleased hostile incident in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, March 22nd. We believe these to be American soldiers.


Bob Ray Sanders: Soldier suicide part of a troubling U.S. trend:

Private Security Firms Jumping Into Afghanistan:

BA passes resolution against drone attack plans:

V-22 In Mass Production:

U.S. outlines new Afghan strategy to NATO allies: (same old stuff here)


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A bomb attached to a car wounded four people late on Sunday, including a Displacement and Migration Ministry official and a Danish woman who was with the official in his vehicle, police said, adding that two policemen were also wounded. It was unclear what the Danish woman was doing in Iraq.

#2: Seven people were injured including two national police members when a roadside bomb detonated in Doura neighborhood in south Baghdad on Monday evening.


Diyala Prv:
Jalawla:
#1: At least 25 people were killed and 45 were injured when a man walked into a tent of mourners and detonated himself in a town north of Baghdad on Monday evening. The death toll was expected to rise, hospital officials said. The man being mourned in Jalawla, about 60 miles from Baquba, was Kurdish, and officials suspected that the attacker was an Arab. Kurds consider Jalawla, a town of both Arabs and Kurds, a part of greater Kurdistan. The land is contested, and tensions run high between the two ethnic groups.


Hilla:
#1: An Iraqi tribal leader escaped an assassination attempt Sunday when gunmen attacked his house in the city of Hillah, Iraq security sources said. Sheikh Fawaz Kamel Ahmed, leader of the al-Massoud tribe, was injured in the attack on his house in Hillah, 100 kilometres south of Baghdad.


Abu Ghraib:
#1: Five people were killed and 12 others injured in a bomb explosion in the outskirts of Baghdad on Monday, an Interior Ministry source said. The blast took place near a car repair workshop in the Abu Ghraib area, some 15 km west of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Many people were gathering outside a garage to have their cars repaired when the explosion occurred, the source said.

A source in Abu Ghraib hospital said they had received eight bodies from the blast and treated nine people for wounds so far.


Mosul:
#1: A suicide bomber blew himself up near a police patrol, seriously wounding four policemen including a lieutenant colonel in western Mosul 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol wounded two civilians, police said.

Two civilians were killed by a roadside bomb that targeted their car in Wadi hajar area south of Mosul city on Monday afternoon.

#3: Four civilians and two policemen were injured when a suicide bomber detonated in Bab al Bedh area in downtown Mosul on Monday afternoon.


Tal Afar:
#1: A policeman was killed and five civilians were injured when a suicide bomber detonated the policeman in Tal Afar town west of Mosul on Monday afternoon.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: In separate news, two US soldiers were injured late Saturday when their vehicle was caught in a bomb attack near al-Fallujah, which lies about 70 kilometres west of Baghdad in Anbar province.

#2: In Falluja, a roadside bomb went off on Monday targeting the house of Sheikh Imad al-Halbosi, a senior Sahwa (Awakening) figure, killing eight civilians including two kids, and wounding nine others.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: NATO troops struck a compound in southern Afghanistan, killing 10 suspected militants. Senior Taliban commander Maulawi Hassan and his associates were killed Saturday in a "precision operation" at an isolated compound in the Kajaki area of southern Helmand province, NATO said in a statement, adding there were no civilians involved.

#2: On Monday, Taliban fighters ambushed a police patrol in southern Kandahar province's Spin Boldak district, killing eight officers and wounding another, said Sahib Jan, a police officer.

#3: On Sunday, a rocket slammed into the main NATO military base in the south, killing a contractor and wounding six others. Kandahar airfield, the nerve center for the alliance's war effort in southern Afghanistan, has been hit by many rockets in the past but Sunday's death was the first in such an attack, another NATO statement said.

#4: Six insurgents, including their commander, were killed while planting a roadside bomb in Garmsir district, about 605 km (375 miles) southwest of Kabul, on Sunday, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

#5: Gunmen on a motorbike shot dead a member of a banned Sunni militant group and wounded a 12-year-old boy bystander in Dera Ismail Khan, a northwestern town plagued by sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, police said.

#6: Militants shot dead a man after accusing him of spying for U.S. forces battling al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan, and dumped his body near a town in North Waziristan, a militant-plagued region on the Afghan border, security officials said.

#7: Troops destroyed two important bases of a militant organisation on Sunday in the town of Bara in the Khyber region, government officials said. Militants have been attacking trucks carrying supplies for U.S. and other foreign forces in landlocked Afghanistan on a route that passes through the Kyber Pass

Sunday, March 22, 2009

News of the Day for Sunday, March 22, 2009

An unidentified boy, dressed as a Kurdish guerrilla of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK, poses during the Nowruz celebrations in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, Saturday, March 21, 2009. Nowruz is a spring festival traditionally used by Kurdish activists to stir anti-government sentiment and assert demands for political autonomy. Nowruz, the Farsi-language word for 'new year', is an ancient Persian festival, celebrated on the first day of spring in Central Asian republics, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran.
(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

Roadside bomb wounds four on Saturday in Zayouna.

Baghdad Operations Command claims to have defused 14 IEDs in the past 24 hours.


On the road from al-Djeiba to Jalawlaa

Four Iraqi soldiers killed by a roadside bomb. Given the location, one suspects Kurdish separatists may have been responsible. -- C


Iskandariya

Body of a Facilities Protection Force guard found shot, dumped by the road.

Mosul

Police kill two militants in clashes.

al-Zawya village, south of Mosul

Body of an Iraqi soldier is found, shot in the head and chest. He had been kidnapped two days earlier.

Muqdadiya

U.S. and Iraqi forces arrest Abdulaziz al-Temimi, an official of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, killing a bystander during the raid. They apparently detain two of Temimi's brothers as well. As I assume all of our readers know, the SIIC is the largest single party in parliament, a member of the ruling coalition, and is run by Abdulaziz al-Hakim, one of Iraq's most influential politicians. This is a rather interesting development. -- C

Near Kirkuk

Kirkuk police and U.S. forces arrest 33 and seize a bomb making factory southwest of Kirkuk, according to Kirkuk police. These would have been Kurdish forces operating with the U.S. The nature of the target is not disclosed. -- C

Saadiyah, Diyala Province

Two Iraqi police killed, 8 injured, in an explosion as they enter a booby-trapped house.

Other News of the Day

British embassy in Baghdad receives a video showing Peter Moore, one of 5 British subjects taken hostage in May 2007, indicating that he and the other captives are still alive. The Foreign Office would not discuss further details of the video.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicates that he would support allowing the U.S. to withdraw its troops from Iraq through Turkey.

An Iraqi woman, the widow of Raheem Khalaf Sa’adoon, sues Blackwater Security (now Known by the unpronounceable name Xe) for the murder of her husband. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Diego, charges that:

“on Christmas eve 2006, a highly intoxicated and heavily armed Xe-Blackwater employee named Andrew Moonen, shot and killed a man named Raheem Khalaf Sa’adoon, for no reason.”

“Although Xe-Blackwater has learned of their employee’s crime short after it occurred, Xe-Blackwater acted, and continues to act, in conspiracy with Moonen to evade any accountability whatsoever,” the suit charges. The lawsuit also alleges the company rushed to get the agent out of Iraq, and destroyed documents in the case.

It also charges that Xe, which until recently was a contractor for the Department of State in Iraq, does not punish employees found guilty of wrongdoing, but “instead, Xe-Blackwater continued to rehire and deploy mercenaries known to have killed innocents.”


Justin Pope, a USMC reservist working as a mercenary for DynCorp, died of an "accidental" gunshot wound in Irbil earlier this month. I doubt this was reported at the time -- C.

Afghanistan Update

One Afghan construction laborer was killed and 11 others wounded as their bus struck a roadside bomb on Sunday in eastern Afghan province of Khost, a provincial public health official said. All of the victims were road construction workers.

Abdul Manan, Mayor of Imam Sahib, Kunduz Province, says joint U.S. and Afghan forces raided his house, killing his cook, his driver, two of his bodyguards, and another man. As usual, the U.S. claims they killed "militants." "[Manan] said he had been hunkered down inside a room with his wife and children, and there was no contact with the troops during the raid. The coalition statement said 'no women or children were present in the targeted attacks.'" I have to post one of these every single damn Sunday. 300 people are said to have gathered in Imam Sahib to protest the incident. I would guess that's most of the local population. -- C

In Herat, police open fire on a minibus, killing 1 and injuring 2. According to Quqnoos, "There are no certain traffic regulations for keeping distance or crossing ahead convoys of Afghan forces. Therefore, lack of rules create such a tragedy. Meanwhile, some Afghan citizens complain that the international troops based in this country misuse traffic regulations which have shot dozens of civilians in different parts of the country."

U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke says the poppy eradication effort in Afghanistan has been a costly failure. For all the talk of military escalation, this is at least one positive sign about the Obama administration's understanding of Afghanistan. -- C Excerpt:

Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to the troubled South-Asian region says direct support to the Afghan farmers was the better option to spend the annual $800m US fund to the Afghan Counter-Narcotics program. Efforts to eradicate poppy cultivation had failed to prevent the Taliban making profits from the drugs trade, Holbrooke told The Brussels Forum in Belgium.

"It hasn't hurt the Taliban one iota," he said, "because whatever money they're getting from the drugs trade, they get whatever they need whether we reduce the acreage or not."

A US survey last month declared a 19 per cent reduce in poppy cultivation last year in Afghanistan but UN says this country is still producing the highest amount of opium in the world.

"The United States alone is spending over $800m a year on counter-narcotics. We have gotten nothing out of it, nothing," Holbrooke added in the conference. Mr. Holbrooke said his country had to concentrate more on funding irrigation projects, providing seeds and finding market places to the farmers’ legal products.


Quote of the Day

Over 100,000 US troops still occupy Iraq though the people — in Iraq and across the world — want them out. In Iraq, untold destruction is mirrored in five million Iraqis made refugees and over one million killed since 2003. While the new US administration has committed to end the war, it is for all who can act to ensure that it ends. Peace in Iraq depends on a sovereign Iraq, and that starts when the occupation ends.


The Brussels Tribunal

Saturday, March 21, 2009

War News for Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Canadian DND/CF is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in an IED strike in the Zhari District, west of Kandahar City, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Friday, March 20th. Five additional soldiers were wounded in the blast.

The Canadian DND/CF is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in an IED strike in the Shah Wali Khot district, north-east of Kandahar city, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Friday, March 20th. Three additional soldiers were wounded in the blast.

The VOA is reporting the death of another ISAF soldier during a hostile incident in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Friday, March 20th. No other details were reported.


March 19 airpower summary:

Firebombing and Atom Bombing: an historical perspective on indiscriminate bombing:

Taliban have achieved strategic stalemate in Afghanistan: Miliband:

20 jailed militants freed in Pak’s Swat valley:

British Intelligence Showed Iraq Posed No Great Danger, Former Diplomat Says:

Indians, Pakistanis trade fire in Kashmir: Pakistan:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Friday Three people (two civilians and a policeman) were injured by two roadside bombs in Salman Faiq Street in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 7 p.m.


Hilla:
#1: A Sahwa council member was killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted his vehicle in Babel province, a police source said on Saturday. “A sticky explosive charge exploded inside a car belonging to a Sahwa council member in Sanidig area (60 km northwest of Hilla city),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The member was fatally wounded and died later in al-Maseeb hospital,” the source added.


Tikrit:
#1: A police chief in Salah al-Din province was wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted his vehicle in northern Tikrit city, a local security source said on Saturday. “Last night, an explosive charge detonated near a vehicle belonging to a police chief in al-Qadissiya neighborhood (northern Tikrit city), while he was heading home,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The official was slightly wounded in the blast, the source noted, adding that another device went off after bomb disposal experts had arrived on the scene, wounding one of them.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A SUICIDE car bomb attack killed five civilians and a policeman in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar today. The bomber attacked a police checkpoint in Chaparhar district of eastern Nangarhar province where officers were searching cars. Four more officers were injured.

#2: A police official says a bombing has killed five people near a shrine in eastern Afghanistan. Provincial police spokesman Wazir Pacha says five people have been wounded in Saturday's attack on the outskirts of Khost city in the eastern Afghan province with the same name.

#3: U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces killed one militant and detained four more during an operation in Zadran district, 135 km (85 miles) south of Kabul, the U.S. military said.

Friday, March 20, 2009

War News for Friday, March 20, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Center soldier non-combat related causes in an undisclosed area in Iraq on Thursday, March 19th.


March 18 airpower summary:

Soldiers’ Accounts of Gaza Killings Raise Furor in Israel: (off topic but this is a very well written article from the NY Times)

Jobless rate at 11.2% for veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan:

Turkish foreign minister says USA did not make a tangible request:

Indiscriminate attacks continues in Iraq: ICRC:

Taliban chief Omar "not in Pakistan's Baluchistan":


Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: The U.S. military says an airstrike on a militant hideout north of Baghdad has killed at least 11 insurgents. Military spokesman Maj. Derrick Cheng told The Associated Press on Friday that ground forces searched the site after the strike and found a cache of weapons, munitions and parts to build improvised explosive devices. It's not immediately known whether any civilians were killed in the strike that an Iraqi security official said occurred Thursday morning. Cheng says the suspected insurgents were hiding near several bunkers south of Balad Ruz in Diyala province. That's about 45 miles (70 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad.


Hilla:
#1: A civilian was killed and another one was injured on Friday by unknown gunmen in northwest of Hilla, a police source said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire at a civilian car in Jarf al-Sakhr district in northwest of Hilla, killing a civilian and injuring another one,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Mosul:
#1: Police forces found an unidentified body with signs of having been shot north of Mosul city, a security source from Ninewa province said on Thursday. “The body was found at the Telkeef district intersection, north of Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: A suicide bomber on Friday blew himself up targeting the house of a chieftain of Albu-Eissa tribe, killing one policeman and wounding two of the chieftain’s guards, according to a police source. “The attack targeted the house of Sheikh Talib al-Hassnawi al-Issawi in Amiriyat al-Falluja area, west of Falluja city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Police forces clashed with the bomber for around 30 minutes, before he blew up an explosive belt strapped to his body,” he said.

Ramadi:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded a policeman and two civilians when it struck a police patrol in central Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan and international forces killed 34 militants in two days of clashes in Afghanistan, U.S. forces said Friday. Thirty of the deaths occurred during a firefight that broke out Thursday when Afghan army and U.S.-coalition troops came under attack in southern Helmand province, the U.S. said in a statement. The troops were patrolling in a militant-heavy area of Greshk district when they were attacked by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades, and returned fire, the U.S. said. The troops confirmed there were no civilians in the area before counter-attacking and calling in air support, the statement said. One Afghan soldier was injured during the operation, the statement said.

#2: On Friday, Afghan and coalition forces killed three militants and captured one in eastern Logar province when fighting broke out during a raid targeting a bomb-making cell, a separate U.S. statement said.

#3: Meanwhile, one militant was killed in a raid to disrupt a bomb-making network in the eastern border province of Kunar, the U.S. said.

#4: Suspected Taleban militants fired three rockets at a security force base in north-western Pakistan, killing 10 people, officials said. The attack took place in Landi Kotal town in the Khyber tribal agency, near the Afghan border, on Thursday night. The deaths occurred when one of the rockets hit a commercial area in the town. At least 40 people were injured. A local official told the BBC that suspected militants attacked a paramilitary camp in Landi Kotal with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles at about 2100 (1600GMT). This led to an intense exchange of fire between the militants and security forces, he said. Militants fired several rockets at the camp from the surrounding hills. There were no direct hits but at least one soldier was injured, the official said. During the exchange, a rocket fell on a commercial building, killing eight people.

#5: Ten policemen and a district chief were killed in an ambush by a group of Taliban insurgents Friday morning in Jawzjan province of northern Afghanistan, officials said. Afghan Interior ministry spokesman Zamarai Bashari has confirmed the incident and said the attack occurred at Khosh Tapa district, along the border of Turkmenistan. "Provincial police chief has been sent to the site for investigation," Bashari said. Meanwhile, provincial police chief Khalilullah Amin told Xinhua that Taliban militants ambushed the district chief on his way to a party at 11 a.m. (0630GMT) and the heavy fighting left 11 people dead, including the district chief and police chief of Khosh Tapa. "Nine other policemen were killed and four more were injured in the clash," he said.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

War News for Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy six years of war day


The Australian DoD is reporting the death of an Australian ISAF soldier in an IED explosion in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, March 19th.


March 17 airpower summary:

March 16 airpower summary:

March 15 airpower summary:

Foreign companies would get majority stake in Iraq oil and gas projects:

US to deploy hundreds of civilian officials to Afghanistan:

U.S. Plans Vastly Expanded Afghan Security Force:

Army to Phase Out 'Stop-Loss' Practice:

EXCLUSIVE: Taliban Commander Says U.S. Troops are Being Targeted: (4 pages and worth the time to read)

Mass grave found during oil search in Iraq:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A leading politician from the Iraqi Islamic Party, part of in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's ruling coalition, has been assassinated west of Baghdad, the party announced Thursday. Faisal Abdallah al-Samrai was among the top leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a descendant of the Iraqi branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and part of al-Maliki's United Iraqi Alliance, reported dpa. In a statement released Thursday morning, the Iraqi Islamic Party said al-Samrai was gunned down as he left a celebration on Wednesday night. He had recently won a seat on the local council for the central Iraqi district of al-Karkh, just west of Baghdad, in January's elections.

#2: Wednesday A magnetic bomb targeted a police officer’s car in Shaab neighborhood in eastern Baghdad around 7:15 p.m. The officer was injured and taken to hospital for treatment.

#3: Gunmen shot and wounded two Interior Ministry personnel when they attacked their vehicle in central Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.


Kut:
#1: Police forces found an unknown civilian body early Thursday in central Kut, a security source said. “Policemen on the wee small hours of Thursday morning found an unknown civilian body in al-Abassiya neighborhood behind the blood bank in central Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body shows signs of gunshot wounds and was sent to the morgue,” he added.


Kirkuk:
#1: Gunmen killed a landlord and his wife when they stormed their house, south of Kirkuk, 255 km (155 miles), north of Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.


Mosul:
#1: An employee from the Displacement and Migration Department on Wednesday was shot by unknown gunmen in northern Mosul city, according to a local police source. “The employee was shot while he was leaving his work in al-Arabi neighborhood, northern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen killed a civilian in a drive-by shooting, south of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians when it struck a U.S. patrol in eastern Mosul on Wednesday, police said. The patrol escaped unharmed.

#4: Unknown gunmen on Thursday killed the mayor of Doberdan village of Baasheqa district, east of Mosul city, said a security source from Ninewa province. “The armed men shot dead Khalil Dhahir Abdilrahman, and then escaped,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: Police found the body of a man shot in the head and chest in a town near Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A roadside bomb struck the car of Dad Mohammad, a member of Afghanistan's Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of the Parliament on Thursday, killing five persons including the lawmaker, a family member of Dad Mohammad said. "The incident occurred outside Helmand's provincial capital Lashkar Gah at around 1: p.m. local time, killing Dad Mohammad and four of his bodyguards and friends," the family member of the MP told Xinhua, but refused to be identified.

#2: Afghan forces backed with the U.S.-led Coalition forces Wednesday morning killed two militants and arrested four more during operations in Nagarhar province of eastern Afghanistan, a Coalition statement issued here said. "Two armed militants engaged the joint forces were killed and a total of four suspected militants were detained in the operation to disable an Al Qaida cell that facilitates suicide bombers and plans improvised explosive device attacks in Bati Kowt district," the statement said.

#3: In a statement late on Tuesday, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said troops had clashed with Taliban on Saturday in Kapisa province, northeast of Kabul, and an assessment of the battle was going on. “As of March 16, an estimated total of 29 enemy dead and 12 wounded have been reported,” the ISAF said, adding it had killed two “prominent” wanted Taliban and their two associates in the southern province of Helmand on Monday.

#4: Eight Taliban insurgents and two Afghan police were killed during a fire fighting in restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan on late Wednesday, provincial administration spokesman Daud Ahmadi said on Thursday. "Afghan National Police engaged Taliban militants during a searching operation in outskirts of provincial capital Lashkar Gah, resulted in eight Taliban rebels and two police dead," Daud Ahmaditold Xinhua. He added that four Taliban insurgents were wounded but no civilian casualties were reported so far.

#5: Taliban militants blew up an electricity substation in Peshawar Thursday, plunging more than half the northwestern Pakistan city into darkness, officials said. Militants planted explosives around four pylons in Urmur, on the outskirts of Peshawar before dawn, Shaukat Afzal, a spokesman for the state-owned water and power supply company told AFP. The blast destroyed the grid station and left half the city without power, he said. The power supply was partially restored after more than eight hours.