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, June 30, 2009

War News for Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of four Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from combat related injuries in an undisclosed neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday, June 29th. No other details were released.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from combat related injuries in an undisclosed neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, June 28th.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreported by the military. Pfc. Peter K. Cross died in a vehicle accident Combat Outpost Carlyle, Afghanistan on Friday, June 26th.

The DoD is reporting another new death. Pvt. Steven T. Drees died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany on Sunday, June 28th. He was origionally injured by small arms fire/shot in the head in an undisclosed location in Konar Province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, June 24th.


Five years of Moon of Alabama - Time to close it down


June 26 airpower summary:

June 27 airpower summary:

In a Coup in Honduras, Ghosts of Past U.S. Policies:

Wikipedia Censored News of Afghanistan Kidnapping:

Coalition Terms Kandahar Incident an Afghan Clash:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Iraq’s Electricity Grid Protection Force on Tuesday dismantled a rocket launch base in the capital Baghdad, foiling an attempt to target an electricity station, according to an official spokesperson for the Ministry of Electricity. The rockets were directed at the natural gas-powered electricity station of al-Quds in northeastern Baghdad, Spokesperson Aziz al-Shamri told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Two roadside bombs targeted civilians in Mechanic neighbourhood in Doura, southern Baghdad at 1 p.m. Tuesday injuring four civilians.


Diyala Prv:
Khalis:
#1: Police forces on Monday arrested a gunman while attempting to attach a sticky bomb to a civilian vehicle north of Baaquba city, Diala’s police commander said Monday. “The arrest took place in al-Khaliss suburb, 15 km north of Baaquba,” General Abdilhussein al-Shemmary told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Experts were able to defuse the charge,” he said.


Amarra:
#1: Bomb squad experts on Tuesday defused a car bomb in Missan province, according to a local security source. “The car with rigged with a large amount of explosives and parked near al-Hasnawi gas station (5 km south of Amara city),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Shurqat:
#1: Two persons, including a serviceman, on Tuesday were killed when a group of gunmen attacked their vehicle in Salah al-Din province, according to a local police source. “This morning, unknown gunmen attacked a civilian vehicle carrying two persons, including a military serviceman, in downtown al-Shurqat district, killing them on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Kirkuk:
#1: A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) on Tuesday was defused in southwestern Kirkuk, according to a source from the joint coordination center. “During an early hour this morning, a Multi-National Force (MNF) patrol vehicle found an explosive device on al-Matar St. near Tikrit square,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Iraqi police forces have managed to defuse the device, the source noted, adding that no damage was reported.

#2: Twenty-six people were killed and 56 wounded in a car bomb in Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk on Tuesday, a high-ranking police official told AFP.

A car bomb in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed at least 25 people on Tuesday, just after U.S. troops handed over full control of Iraq's cities to the domestic security forces six years after the invasion. The bomb, which wounded at least 40 people, struck a busy market in a largely Kurdish part of Kirkuk, a city viewed as a potential flashpoint between the Shi'ite Arab-led central government and Kurds. Police said the death toll could rise.

Mosul:
#1: An Iraqi army force killed a gunman on Tuesday in western Mosul, a source from Ninewa’s operations command said. “Iraqi army forces on Tuesday killed a gunman on Tuesday (June 30) while attempting to open fire on a soldier at a checkpoint in al-Islah al-Zeraai neighborhood in western Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The gunman was in possession of a gun of a former policeman who had been killed by gunmen,” he noted.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide bomber dressed as a woman killed at least one person, identified as a child, and wounded eight in an attack on an Afghanistan-Pakistan border checkpoint on Tuesday, government officials and police said. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the governor of eastern Nangarhar province, said the suicide bomber had crossed into Afghanistan from the Pakistan side of the border. Abdulzai put the death toll at two and said 10 were wounded. Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said one person, a child, was killed, and at least eight wounded. Three police officers, including a female officer who worked at the border checkpoint searching women, were among the wounded, it said in a statement.

#2: The U.S.-led coalition says airstrikes have killed over a dozen militants allegedly involved in the movement of foreign fighters into Afghanistan from Pakistan. The coalition said in a statement Tuesday that the strikes targeted insurgents linked to a militant leader Siraj Haqqani in eastern Khost province.It said the airstrikes hit a pair of bunkers on Monday night.

#3: Pakistani police say a car bombing in the country's southwest hit trucks taking supplies to Western troops in Afghanistan. Four people died in the blast. The bomb detonated on Tuesday outside a roadside restaurant in Baluchistan province. The restaurant is popular with truckers who ferry supplies to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. Police officer Khuda Bukhsh said a wounded truck driver told him his vehicle carried the troop supplies. At least three trucks were parked when the bomb exploded.

#4: Afghan police killed 15 Taliban fighters and wounded 13 during an operation in northern Baghlan-e-Jadid district on Monday, provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sayedkheli said. Two policemen were killed and two wounded. The operation targeted a group of Taliban who frequently attacked convoys belonging to Afghan and foreign forces, Sayedkheli said.

#5: A mortar bomb fired by security forces aimed at a militant hideout struck a house in the Khyber tribal region overnight, killing seven civilians, senior government official Azam Khan Khalil said.

#6: Army helicopter gunships targeted militant hideouts in Dattakhel village, in the North Waziristan tribal region, where pro-Taliban fighters killed 16 troops in an ambush on a military convoy on Sunday, intelligence officials said. There was no immediate word on casualties

Monday, June 29, 2009

War News for Monday, June 29, 2009

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, June 29th. At this time we believe this is an American soldier pending upon the DoD release. Here's CJTF - 82 release.


Heavy sandstorm blankets Iraq

Bombing kills four foreign troops in central Afghanistan:


Reported Security incidents:

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen targeted a policeman and shot him dead in Jalowlaa district to the northeast of Baquba Monday morning.


Nassiriya:
#1: An improvised explosive device went off on Monday near a joint convoy of Iraqi and U.S. forces in Thi-Qar, without causing casualties or damage, the chief of the Thi-Qar police said. “An explosive charge was detonated on Monday (June 29) targeting a convoy of U.S. and Iraqi forces in al-Senaai neighborhood on the Nassiriya and Baghdad road,” General Sabal al-Fatlawi told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion caused no casualties or damage,” he added.


Kirkuk:
#1: One civilian on Monday was wounded in an explosive charge blast in southern Kirkuk, according to a local police chief. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated while a Multi-National Force (MNF) patrol vehicle was passing near Kirkuk’s Silo in al-Sinaie neighborhood, southern Kirkuk, wounding one civilian,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Mosul:
#1: Two policemen on Monday were killed and two others were wounded while trying to defuse a small bobby-trapped bridge that links two villages south of Mosul city, according to a source from Ninewa province’s police. “The incident took place in Hamamal-Aleel district, 20 km south of Mosul city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The bridge was detonated by means of remote control,” he said.

#2: Police found four bodies with bullet wounds to the head and chest in different parts of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday, police said.

#3: A car bomb killed five Iraqi policemen and a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter near the northern city of Mosul today, police sources said.

At least six people were killed on Monday in a car bomb blast in eastern Mosul, a police source said. “A car crammed with explosives went off inside a garage in al-Hamdaniya district, eastern Mosul, killing six, including five policemen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The police found the car bomb and when they approached it to defuse it, the bomb was remotely detonated,” he noted.


Al Anbar Prv:
Ramadi:
#1: A roadside bomb killed a member of the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party and wounded his son when it struck their car in Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, on Sunday, police said.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: President Hamid Karzai says Afghan guards working for the U.S. coalition at a base in Kandahar city killed the province's police chief. Karzai is demanding that the coalition hand over the guards to Afghan authorities. Officials say the police chief, Matiullah Qati, was among 10 officers killed in a gunbattle outside the attorney general's office in Kandahar. A U.S. military spokeswoman says the Afghan force that killed the officials was trying to free men in government custody.

A gunbattle in an Afghan government complex killed Kandahar's provincial police chief and nine other officers Monday in this key southern Afghan city and former Taliban stronghold, an official said. The shooting started after Afghan and U.S. Special Forces moved into a heavily protected government complex in Kandahar and ordered employees to stay indoors, said Mohammad Khan, an employee in the attorney general's office.

#2: Late Sunday, a stray mortar shell hit a mosque during prayers in Azam Warsak in South Waziristan, killing three tribesmen and wounding seven, intelligence officials and a witness said. "The mosque was destroyed and we could hardly bring out the dead and injured," said a man who gave his name as Wazir. He escaped the shelling unharmed. It was not immediately clear who fired the mortar, but intelligence officials said it appeared to be aimed by at a nearby military outpost, presumably by militants.

#3: On Monday, security forces launched an early morning raid on a suspected militant hideout in Tank, a small city near South Waziristan, killing two suspected militants and arresting nine others, senior police officer Abdul Rasheed said.

#4: Meanwhile, 15 militants died in overnight clashes with a local tribal militia in the tribal region of Kurram, north of Waziristan, a tribal elder and a lawmaker in the region said. Ali Akbar Toori and lawmaker Sajid Toori said two tribal militiamen were killed and 35 were injured in the attack, which appeared to be an attempt by militants to take over the area.

#5: Pakistani fighter jets bombed suspected Taliban hideouts on Monday. The air strikes hit a guest house being used by militants in the village of Kani Guram, in South Waziristan, where government forces are readying an offensive against Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. Four militants were killed, three intelligence officials said.

#6: A New Zealand military patrol in Afghanistan has escaped unscathed after a bomb was triggered in front of a vehicle travelling in a convoy. A patrol from the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) in Afghanistan triggered the improvised explosive device in the north west of Bamyan Province on Monday night. The explosive device was reportedly detonated in front of a vehicle in the convoy, but resulted in no injury to personnel or damage to the vehicle. The patrol cleared the area of immediate threat and withdrew to a secure base at a local township.

#7: Twelve personnel of Pakistan's security forces were killed and ten others injured in an ambush on a military convoy in South Waziristan tribal agency on Sunday, local media reported. Ten terrorists were also killed in exchange of firing, said the local News Network International quoting Inter Services Public Relations source.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

News of the Day for Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iraqi policemen stand guard at a checkpoint in Baghdad June 28, 2009. REUTERS/Bassim Shati (Note the dust masks, low visibility and nearly deserted streets due to the sand storm


Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

IED attack on U.S. patrol in Sayidiya, no information on casualties as of this time.

Car bomb, apparently targeting a U.S. patrol, kills six civilians in Al-Talbiah. Reuters, however, says the six were only wounded. Xinhua also reports the civilians were wounded, but also says a U.S. vehicle was damaged and does not rule out U.S. casualties.

Reuters also reports a car bomb injured 7 police men at a training center.

Hamrin Dam area, Diyala Province

IED kills a civilian, injures three on the main road of the Hamrin Dam complex. In the same area, gunmen wearing uniforms invade the home of a Sahwa member and kill him. The source attributes the attacks to al Qaeda. Note: In May, Iraqi and U.S. forces arrested 10 people in this area saying "Their detention will disrupt terrorist operations in the Hamrin Dam area." The dam, built during the era of the war with Iran, was controversial because it inundated archaeological sites. -- C

Mentioned in passing in this longer AFP story is a different description of what appears to be one of the above incidents: "On Sunday, at Hamrin west of Baquba insurgents in military fatigues burst into the house of an Iraqi lieutenant colonel. Not finding him, they killed his brother and set off a bomb that wounded two people."

Mosul

Gunmen kill a preacher inside his mosque.

Other News of the Day

As U.S. forces prepare to withdraw from forward operating bases, an intense sandstorm has closed down Baghdad. According to AP, visibility is only a few meters and dozens of people have arrived at hospitals with breathing problems. The airport is closed.

Meanwhile, PM al-Maliki says Iraqi forces are ready to take over security in cities and towns, although one of the vice presidents (AP's Patrick Quinn doesn't bother to tell us which one, I'm guessing Adil Abdul-Mahdi since it's Shiites who have been targeted by market bombings) warns people to stay away from crowded areas.

Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces are on high alert, with intense security in the capital. 'The alert has gone to all of our forces. There will be no days off. They are at their full strength across the whole country, at 100%,' said Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf, spokesman for the interior ministry.

AFP's Mehdi Lebouachera reports a festive mood in Baquba as U.S. forces prepare to withdraw. Note, however, the U.S. troops are providing tight security for the celebration. Hmm. Excerpt:

Baquba, the Iraqi city synonymous in recent years with murders, intercommunal killings and suicide bombings, is celebrating the imminent departure of US troops with balloons and bunting. "It was hell, the dark days of Baquba. When you look back three years ago, it's incredible how the situation has improved," said US Colonel Shawn Reed, head of the infantry regiment in charge of the city's security.

Dignitaries from Diyala, a province northeast of Baghdad known as the orchard of Iraq but also one of the country's most dangerous places, were in attendance at police headquarters on Friday in the city of half a million people. The governor, chief of police, the head of Iraqi military operations, US generals and colonels, all turned up to commemorate the transfer of power, due to take place officially on June 30.

An American army unit completed a security sweep of the premises and closed the surrounding streets to traffic, while troops positioned themselves on rooftops for the gathering.


Announcement of winners of oil field development contracts is delayed by the sandstorm. Note that these are technical service contracts only. Iraq has elected not to auction off any equity interest in its oil resources to foreign companies at this time. Lebouachera provides a good summary of the situation here, including the sharp political disputes over these contracts within Iraq. (He's had a busy day, it seems.) Excerpt:

"For foreign companies, this is like a first step," the source said. "They are saying, 'Let's accept these terms, even though they're not our preferred model, just to stay in the game, and hope conditions improve'." In effect, foreign energy executives may well be targeting the next round of contracts to be offered next year, when Iraq will grant licences for exploitation of 16 other undeveloped fields.

Domestic firms, including SOC, are furious, however, that contracts are being awarded to their foreign counterparts. Along with the Shiite Fadhila party, which lost control of the Ministry of Oil in 2006, the companies have launched a campaign against Shahristani.

SOC insists it can fulfill the same objectives set for international companies, and in less time. "The fields in question represent 85 percent of actual production and 50 percent of reserves," SOC chief executive Fayad Hassan Nima said. "A loss of control would lead to the death of national companies."

Jaber Khalifa Jaber, head of the Iraqi parliament's oil and gas committee and a Fadhila MP, said Iraq is under threat from an "economic occupation". "The companies will just share the oil between the Americans, the French, the British and the Japanese ... just like the Sykes-Picot agreement," he said, referring to the Anglo-French accord that divided up influence in the Middle East in 1916.


Afghanistan Update

Two separate gun battles in Farah province result in reported deaths of 14 insurgents and 7 Afghan police.

Rocket attack in South Waziristan kills a Pakistani officer.

McClatchy's Tom Lasseter reports that a bridge built by the U.S. between Afghanistan and Tajikistan has become a major drug trafficking route. Excerpt:

Today, the bridge across the muddy waters of the Panj River is carrying much more than vegetables and timber: It's paved the way for drug traffickers to transport larger loads of Afghan heroin and opium to Central Asia and beyond to Russia and Western Europe .

Standing near his truck in a dusty patch on the Afghan side of the river, Yar Mohammed said it was easy to drive drugs past the Afghan and Tajik border guards. "It's an issue of money," Mohammed said, to the nods and grins of the small group of truckers gathered around him near the bridge at Nizhny Panj. "If you give them money, you can do whatever you want."

The roots of the global drug trade are often a murky tangle of poverty, addiction, violence and corruption. However, it's clear why the dirt-poor former Soviet Central Asian republic of Tajikistan is on the verge of becoming a narco-state.

After the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the United States and other Western powers looked the other way as opium and heroin production surged to record levels, making Afghanistan by far the world's biggest producer.


And so, seeing that it is losing the battle against the opium poppy, the U.S. is shifting strategy, abandoning eradication efforts. Info from AP's Nicole Winfield:

The U. S. envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, told the Associated Press that poppy eradication — for years a cornerstone of U. S. and U. N. drug trafficking efforts in the country — was not working and was only driving Afghan farmers into the hands of the Taliban. “Eradication is a waste of money,” Holbrooke said on the sidelines of a Group of Eight foreign ministers’ meeting on Afghanistan, during which he briefed regional representatives on the new policy.

“It might destroy some acreage, but it didn’t reduce the amount of money the Taliban got by one dollar. It just helped the Taliban. So we’re going to phase out eradication,” he said. The Afghan foreign minister also attended the G-8 meeting.

snip

The new policy calls for assisting farmers who abandon poppy cultivation. Holbrooke said the international community wasn’t trying to target Afghan farmers, just the Taliban militants who buy their crops. While Holbrooke did not provide the AP with a dollar figure for the new U. S. commitment, he told the G-8 ministers that Washington was increasing its funding for agricultural assistance from tens of millions of dollars a year to hundreds of millions of dollars, said Foreign Minister Franco Frattini of Italy, the current G-8 president.

“We’re essentially phasing out our support for crop eradication and using the money to work on interdiction, rule of law, alternate crops,” Holbrooke told the AP.


Quotes of the Day

They did things that you would not do against animals let alone to humans. They poured cold water on you in winter and hot water in summer. They used dogs against us. They put a pistol or a gun to your head and threatened you with death. They put some kind of medicine in the juice or water to make you sleepless and then they would interrogate you.


-- Dr. Khandan, imprisoned by the U.S. at Bagram

conditions at Bagram meet international standards for care and custody.


-- U.S. DoD spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Wright

Saturday, June 27, 2009

War News for Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'll update this later today -- whisker

The DoD kicked out two new deaths. I don't feel like writing up blurbs on them but you can find the links here and here.

June 24 airpower summary:

June 25 airpower summary:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A booby trapped motorcycle targeted civilians in Bayaa neighbourhood, southwestern Baghdad at 7.30 p.m. Friday killing one young man and injuring three others.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded three people in Baghdad's northern Mustansiriya district, police said.


Diyala Prv:
Khanqin:
#1: Two children were injured Friday when an improvised explosive device went off in the northwest of Khanaqin, according to a security source. “An explosive device, planted in a football court, exploded in Kashkoul village in northern Qurtuba district, northwest of Khanaqin, seriously injuring two children,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Taliban militants killed eight policemen in an overnight assault on a police post in southern Afghan province of Helmand, an official said Saturday. A group of Taliban militants raided a police post north of Lashkar Gha, capital of Helmand, late Friday night killing eight policemen, provincial administration spokesman Daud Ahmadi said. "Some policemen, found missing after the clash, were suspected of having links with Taliban," he added.

#2: Nine more militants were killed during last 24 hours in the ongoing operation against militants in Pakistan's tribal area of South Waziristan bordering Afghanistan. The private Geo TV quoted sources as saying Saturday that security forces jets bombarded militants' hideouts in Makeen, Ladha and adjoining areas during which nine militants were killed and two hideouts were destroyed. The security forces operation, Rah-e-Nijat, has entered into its second week and a large number of local people are moving towards the neighboring North Waziristan tribal area and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), according to the report.

#3: An Afghan contractor with U.S. -led international troops was killed and two others sustained injuries as a bomb exploded in the back of their car in Khost city capital of Khsot province of eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, an official said. "It occurred at around 10:00 a.m. local time when Hajji Mirza Ali a contractor who supplies non-military items for U.S. -led Coalition forces in Khost was killed and two others were injured as a bomb went off inside their car," Amir Badsha Mangal Director of Provincial Health Department told Xinhua. He also said that two others including one child got wounded in the incident.

#4: In another incident on Friday, an Afghan national interpreter with U.S. -led Coalition Forces was killed in Khost city in which two others were wounded.

Friday, June 26, 2009

War News for Friday, June 26, 2009

NATO is reporting the deaths of three ISAF soldiers in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, June 25th. CJTF - 82 has confirmed this to be an American soldier.


Filipino workers for US Army in Iraq die without benefits:

Rising toll at US military hospital in Afghanistan:

NATO to start offensive soon in south Afghanistan:

Afghanistan Strategy: (An interesting commentary)

German Deaths Push Afghan War to the Fore for Chancellor:

Premier Casting U.S. Withdrawal as Victory for Iraq:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A booby-trapped motorcycle loaded with nails and ball-bearings exploded in a crowded bazaar Friday in Baghdad, killing at least 15 people, Iraqi officials said. The explosion occurred just after 9 a.m. when the market was packed with young people buying or selling motorcycles in central Baghdad, according to police and hospital officials. Police and hospital officials, who gave the death toll on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information, said more than 50 people also were wounded.

#2: Three civilians on Thursday were injured when a sticky explosive charge hit a bus they were traveling in in Baghdad, according to an Interior Ministry source. “A sticky improvised explosive device (IED) placed inside a Kia-modeled bus detonated in al-Aamel neighborhood, southwestern Baghdad, wounding three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Al-Quds (Jerusalem) gas driven power station northeastern Baghdad was attacked with two rockets that caused damages to the plant, the official spokesperson of the Iraqi Electricity Ministry said Thursday. “The attack took place yesterday (Wednesday June 24, 2009),” Aziz al-Shemmary told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The station’s engineering staff was able to repair the damages,’ he added.

#4: Thursday Four civilians were injured when three mortar shells hit Abo Nowas Street in downtown Baghdad around 9 p.m.

#5: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians in Baghdad's eastern Ur district on Thursday, police said.


Diwaniya:
#1: Twenty suspects on Thursday were arrested during a wide-scale security operation following a failed attempt to kill a Sadrist leader in Diwaniya province, according to a local police source. “Emergency police forces conducted search raids in the province following an attempt to assassinate a tribal affairs official in Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s office, Sheikh Hamid al-Saeedi,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Yesterday (June 24) evening, unknown gunmen opened fire on Saeedi in front of his house in the province, wounding him seriously.


Kut:
#1: Three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on Thursday were defused by the bomb squad in downtown Kut city, according to a local security source. “The National Information and Investigations Agency defused three IEDs, weighing 15 kg each, inside a deserted house in al-Hayakel area, downtown Kut,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Nassiriya:
#1: Four Katyusha rockets were seized and a fake bomb was defused in two separate incidents in northern Nassiriya, the Thi-Qar police said in a statement on Friday. “Police forces managed to seize four Katyusha rockets near al-Muhajreen village in north of Nassiriya,” said the statement received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “Explosive experts of al-Refaee police defused a fake bomb planted in al-Refaee district, north of Nassiriya,” it added.


Mosul:
#1: Unknown gunmen on Thursday killed a 16-year-old boy in Ninewa’s Mosul city, according to a local police source. “The boy was shot down in al-Muharibeen neighborhood, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: One Iraqi soldier on Thursday was killed and 13 other army personnel were wounded when a car bomb detonated in northern Mosul city, according to a security source. “A car rigged with explosives went off near an Iraqi army patrol vehicle in al-Arabi neighborhood, northern Mosul, killing one serviceman and injuring 13 others, including four patrolmen,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The wounded included a major and a lieutenant, the source noted.

#3: An insurgent died while he was planting a roadside bomb in Rifa'i area in Mosul city om Thursday afternoon.

#4: A roadside bomb killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded two others when it struck their convoy in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#5: Gunmen wearing military uniforms attacked a convoy carrying a senior criminal judge in Mosul on Thursday, wounding one of his bodyguards, police said. The judge was not hurt.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: Two policemen on Thursday were injured in an armed attack on a police checkpoint in southern Falluja city, according to a local security source. “The checkpoint was set up in Asdaan village, southern Falluja,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.“The two personnel were injured during an exchange of gunfire with the gunmen,” the source noted, adding that the wounded were taken to the Falluja Public Hospital for treatment.

#2: A police commander on Thursday was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Anbar province, according to a local police source. “The device targeted the vehicle of Captain Aaref al-Jinabi in al-Fuhaylat village, southern Falluja, killing him on the spot,” Maj. Yasseen Ismail told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The source did not provide further details.

Five policemen were killed including an officer when a roadside bomb detonated targeting their patrol in Shamiyah area west of Baghdad around 7 p.m.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up near an army vehicle Friday, killing at least two soldiers in the first such assault in Pakistan's part of divided Kashmir, marking an escalation in the militant campaign against security forces. The military said in a statement that three other soldiers were wounded in the early morning bombing in Muzaffarabad, the region's capital, and rushed to a nearby hospital.

#2: Also Friday, a roadside bomb exploded near a military convoy near Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, killing three soldiers and one passer-by, two local intelligence officials said. Fifteen soldiers and two civilians were also injured in the blast. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.

#3: Three Afghan civilians were killed and two others were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their car in southern Gireshk district, the Interior Ministry said.

#4: A powerful explosion took place in southwestern Pakistan's Balochistan province on Friday and the train services in the area were suspended, official Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported. Train service between Quetta, capital city of Balochistan province, and other parts of the country was suspended after unknown miscreants blew up the railway track in Mach town. Miscreants strapped explosive materials with the track in the outskirts of Mach town which damaged some track.

#5: A big explosion on Friday afternoon rocked a vegetable market in Khost city, provincial capital of Khost in eastern Afghanistan, and casualties are feared, police said.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

War News for Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 23 airpower summary:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Two people were killed and 26 wounded in a bombing at a bus station in southwest Baghdad on Thursday, the Iraqi military said. The bomb was placed at the station entrance in the predominantly Shi'ite district of Baya and set off at around 10.30am (1730 AEST), according to the army's Baghdad Operation Command (BOC). The BOC also ordered the arrest of the bus station's security chief.

Iraqi police say a bomb has killed seven people and wounded 31 others at a bus station in a Shiite neighborhood in southwest Baghdad.

#2: The U.S. military said nine of its soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb attack in eastern Baghdad on Thursday. "A coalition forces patrol was struck by two improvised explosive devices this morning in the eastern Baghdad district of Rusafa," the military said in a statement. "Approximately nine coalition forces personnel were wounded in the attack and one vehicle was damaged," the statement said.

#3: Meanwhile, a police source told Xinhua that two roadside bombs struck U.S. patrols near the Shaab Stadium in eastern Baghdad earlier in the day, destroying a U.S. Humvee. The source could not tell whether the U.S. soldiers sustained any casualty as the troops sealed off the area.

#4: In separate incidents around the capital, police say three bombs and a mortar killed two people.

Two mortar shells hit Abu Nawas street in al-Karada region in central Baghdad on Thursday morning (June 25), injuring two civilians,” a police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The shells caused material damage to two civilian cars,” he added.

#5: Wednesday Ten civilians on Wednesday were wounded in an explosive charge blast that ripped through the capital Baghdad, according to a security source. “This evening, an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in al-Jihad neighborhood, southwestern Baghdad, wounding 10 civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#6: A police officer was killed and three others were wounded Thursday in a bomb blast in eastern Baghdad, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off Thursday (June 25) on the main road in al-Baladiyat region in eastern Baghdad, targeting a police patrol, killing an officer and injuring three,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#7: Two policemen were wounded Thursday by a roadside bomb blast in central Baghdad, the third in the Iraqi capital today, a police source said. “An explosive device, planted by unknown gunmen near Sahet al-Houriya in al-Karada region in central Baghdad, went off targeting a police vehicle patrol, injuring two policemen and damaging one of the patrol’s vehicles,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#8: A U.S. vehicle was totally destroyed on Thursday by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, the fourth in the Iraqi capital today, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device exploded on Thursday (June 25) targeting a U.S. vehicle patrol on the highway of Mohamed al-Qassem street in central Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#9: Gunmen on Thursday targeted two electrical transformers and one power tower in Baghdad, causing damages to them all, said the official spokesperson of Baghdad Operations Command (BOC). “Terrorist groups today targeted two electrical transformers and one power tower in the two neighborhoods of al-Karada and al-Habibiya,” General Qassim Atta told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, without naming the groups that he marked as terrorist.

#10: A roadside bomb targeted a billiard parlour in Jihad neighbourhood, western Baghdad early Wednesday evening killing one young man of 18 and injuring 10 others.

#11: A roadside bomb targeted civilians in the commercial street of Saidiyah neighbourhood in southwest Baghdad at 9 p.m. Wednesday injuring four young men.

#12: A parked car bomb wounded five people in Bayaa, southwestern Baghdad, police said.

#13: Around 6 a.m. A roadside bomb detonated in Orfali area in east Baghdad. No casualties were reported.


Iskandariya:
#1: One civilian on Wednesday was injured when an explosive charge hit his vehicle in Babel province, according to a local police source. “A sticky improvised explosive device (IED) placed inside an Opel-modeled car detonated near the State Company for Car Manufacturing in al-Iskandriya district (50 km north of Hilla),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The blast wounded the driver, who was immediately taken to a nearby hospital for treatment,” the source added.


Dalouiya:
#1: Unknown gunmen attacked a U.S. vehicle patrol in central Dalouiya on Thursday, a police source said. “Unidentified gunmen attacked a U.S. vehicle patrol at the inlet of Dalouiya district and damaged one of its vehicles,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. No word was immediately available on possible casualties among forces.


Mosul:
#1: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in al Farooq neighbourhood late tuesday killing one police officer and injuring four others.

#2: A roadside bomb killed a police colonel when it struck his car on Wednesday in the north of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: Three policemen were wounded when clashes broke out between Iraqi police and insurgents in Faisaliyah area in downtown Mosul city on Thursday noon.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: Police in the once turbulent but recently secure western city of Falluja said a roadside bomb there destroyed a police vehicle and killed all five policemen inside.

Three policemen were killed Thursday and four were wounded in a roadside bomb blast in southern Falluja, according to a police source. “An improvised explosive device went off targeting a police vehicle patrol in Ameriyat Falluja, southern Falluja, killing three policemen and injuring four,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Police forces on Wednesday found an unknown body in an orchard in Anbar’s Falluja city, according to a local security source. “The body bore signs of gunshot wounds and was taken to Abu Ghraib Hospital,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: A drive-by shooting at a security checkpoint south of the city, meanwhile, saw a fourth policeman killed and three of his colleagues wounded, a police official said separately.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Afghan and NATO-led security forces killed nine Taliban militants including their commander and a proxy district chief in a ground and air operation near the capital, an official said Thursday. Afghan police, army and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) raided a Taliban hideout on Wednesday in the province of Wardak, adjoining Kabul, provincial spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP. "Nine Taliban were killed in both the airstrike and a ground operation after they had found their hideout," the spokesman added. The raid was in Sayd Abad district, roughly 80 kilometres south of Kabul.

#2: Unidentified gunmen shot dead an inspector of a sensitive agency in the northwest Pakistani city of Dera Ismail Khan on Thursday, police said. The gunmen opened fire on a passenger bus and killed Inspector Intelligence Bureau Dil Nawaz Marwat at Circular Road of the city, police said. Police said that the bus driver and conductor were injured in the attack. The attackers fled after the incident. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

War News for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 22 airpower summary:

Iraq's oil strategy on track, says minister:

Iraq to mark U.S. pullback with holiday:

Retired D.C. Guard commander died in Metro crash:

US to keep using Kyrgyz air base:

Ex-detainees allege Bagram abuse:

Shiite lawmakers complain about Iraq army action:

GAO: Osprey may not meet challenges of Afghanistan:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Two civilians were wounded in a bomb explosion on Wednesday in eastern Baghdad, a security source said. “An explosive charge, planted by unknown gunmen on the road near al-Habibiya hospital in Sadr City, eastern Baghdad, went off, injuring two civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy behind the general hospital in Habibiyah neighbourhood, northeastern Baghdad at 8.30 a.m. Wednesday, injuring two civilians and causing damages to a U.S. military vehicle. No casualties were reported by the U.S. military.

#2: A guard in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in central Baghdad, was targeted by sniper fire at 2.30 p.m. Wednesday. He was injured and taken for treatment.

#3: A bomb hidden in a cart of vegetables ripped through a crowded market in Baghdad's Sadr City on Wednesday, killing at least 56 people, Iraqi officials said, just days after the U.S. military closed its main base in the Shiite district. The 7 p.m. blast appeared to be timed to maximize casualties by striking shoppers buying food for their evening meal. The explosives were loaded on a motorized pushcart and shrapnel was blown more than 600 yards away, a police officer said. Police and hospital officials said more than 100 people also were wounded. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.


Diyala Prv:
#1: Meanwhile, a security source in Diala province said that another explosive charge detonated inside the shrine of Imam Ibrahim in Qara Tapa district (155 km northeast of Baaquba). “The blast has completely destroyed the shrine, but caused no casualties,” the source added.

Muqdadiyah:
#1: A Sahwa fighter on Wednesday was wounded in an explosive charge blast in Diala province, according to a local police chief. “Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a checkpoint set up by Sahwa fighters in Abu Karma area, al-Muqdadiya (45 km northeast of Baaquba),” Maj. Gen. Abdulhussein al-Shamri told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Basra:
#1: A civilian was killed and another injured when their motorcycle stalled and was struck by a Coalition force vehicle near Camp Bucca, Basra at approximately 7:15 a.m. on June 23.


Hawija:
#1: Six civilians were wounded Wednesday by an improvised explosive device in southwest of Kirkuk, the local police chief said. “An explosive charge went off Wednesday (June 24) targeting a U.S. vehicle patrol at the southern inlet of al-Huwaiyja district, southwest of Kirkuk,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Kirkuk:
#1: An Iraqi army soldier was killed by unknown gunmen in southern Kirkuk, a source from the joint coordination center in Kirkuk said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi army soldier in front of his house on Tuesday afternoon (June 23), killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Three municipality workers were wounded Wednesday in a bomb explosion in southwestern Kirkuk, according to the local police chief . “An improvised explosive device went off Wednesday morning (June 24) in Baghdad road region in southwestern Kirkuk, injuring three workers,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

A roadside bomb wounded three street cleaners as they emptied a garbage container in central Kirkuk, police said.

A roadside bomb targeted street cleaners in downtown Kirkuk seriously injuring four, one of whom is in critical condition.

#3: A gunman was killed on Wednesday while attempting to plan a bomb in southwest of Kirkuk, the local police chief said. “A gunman, Yassin Salam Joumaa, was killed when the bomb he was trying to plant near Zagheeton bridge, southwest of Kirkuk, went off,” Brig. Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Mosul:
#1: One Iraqi policeman was killed and another was wounded when a roadside bomb went off targeting their patrol in central Mosul, a source from the Ninewa province’s police said Wednesday. “The blast took place at the tunnel under the fifth bridge in al-Faroq neighborhood, central Mosul, late Tuesday (June 23),” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Seven civilians were wounded when an armed man hurled a hand grenade at a U.S. military patrol in a market in central Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: A car bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol wounded one soldier in central Mosul, police said.

#4: Police in Mosul retrieved the body of a woman from the River Tigris on Wednesday with gunshot wounds to her head, police said.

#5: Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman on Wednesday during a drive-by shooting in southern Mosul, police said.

#6: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in Denadan neighbourhood, central Mosul at 9 a.m. Wednesday killing one soldier and injuring three soldiers and two civilians.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: A Sahwa leader on Wednesday morning survived an attempt on his life by bomb blast in eastern Falluja, according to a security source. “An improvised explosive device went off at 9:00am on Wednesday (June 24) targeting the motorcade of the leader of the Sahwa fighters in Falluja, Colonel Saad Abbas, killing two policemen and injuring six,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The colonel survived the attack,” he added.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: The head of Pakistan's Taliban attended a funeral shortly before a suspected U.S. missile strike that killed about 55 people, two intelligence officials said Wednesday, but a top Taliban aide denied that the leader had a close call. Baitullah Mehsud is the target of a looming offensive by Pakistan's military in the South Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan. Two intelligence officials said Wednesday that although Mehsud had visited the village where the funeral took place, he left before the drone-fired missiles killed 55 people - reportedly including several senior Taliban leaders - and wounded dozens more.

#2: Clashes continued Wednesday in the volatile northwest, with a rocket attack at a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Peshawar killing three officers, local police chief Yasin Khan said. Three rockets were fired at a military base in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, triggering a shootout but no known casualties.

#3: Twenty-three suspected Taliban insurgents have been killed in clashes with Afghan and coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, an army officer said Wednesday. Authorities recovered the bodies and the insurgents' weapons after the fighting Tuesday near Tirin Kot, the capital of southern Uruzgan province, said Afghan army officer Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai. Zazai said that Mullah Ismail, a known Taliban commander in the region, was killed during the clashes.

#4: The militants also fired at U.S. drones flying over the remote, mountainous region. "Militants fired with machineguns at two drones in Makeen and Laddah, forcing them to fly back," said another resident, referring to two areas under Mehsud's control.

#5: A New Zealand peacekeeping patrol has come under fire for the first time in Afghanistan after assisting national police to investigate recent bomb attacks. The attack on the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team took place in the town of Do Abe in Bamyan province. Members of the New Zealand team exchanged fire with insurgents during a 15-minute battle about 8pm local time on Tuesday. No one was injured. He says an estimated six to eight unidentified insurgents were involved, using rocket-fired grenades and small arms. The attack only ended when the New Zealand soldiers called for air support. Two aircraft flew over the insurgents, and they subsequently withdrew.

#6: Armed with rockets, militants today attacked Pakistani troops at three places in the restive South Waziristan tribal agency, where the army is preparing to launch an offensive against Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and his training centres and schools for suicide bombers. The troops were attacked by militants at Inzar China, Zalai and a security forces' camp in South Waziristan, a day after fighter jets carried out strikes against the Taliban in the tribal belt. In a statement, the military said that "no loss" was reported due to the attacks.

#7: Taliban militants gunned down a detective and his police bodyguard in the provincial capital, Qalat, the provincial governor, Mohammad Ashraq Nasiri, said.

#8: Four Taliban insurgents were killed after ambushing an Afghan army patrol in the southern Arghandab district, Nasiri said.

#9: Unknown armed men set on fire a vehicle of Afghan Red Crescent in Balkh province north of Afghanistan Wednesday, a local official said. "Some staff of Red Crescent came to Charbolak district to survey needy people. They parked their car and went to a village, suddenly two persons riding motorbikes set the car on fire and made their good escape," Director of Red Crescent department in the province Asif Khirkhah told Xinhua. He also said there were no loss of life as the driver of the car ran away and the staff was out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

War News for Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The BBC is reporting the deaths of three German ISAF soldiers in an attack near Kunduz, Kunduz Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, June 23rd. No other details were released.


Taliban using stolen US made infrared patches to ward-off air attacks:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A roadside bomb on Monday wounded one policeman and one bystander in the Yarmouk district of west-central Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in Shaab Stadium intersection, eastern Baghdad at 7 a.m. Tuesday. No casualties were reported.

#3: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy in al Amin neighbourhood, eastern Baghdad at noon Tuesday. No casualties were reported.

#4: A roadside bomb targeted civilians in an open air market in Husseiniyah neighbourhood, northern Baghdad at 8 p.m. Monday. The explosion killed four civilians and injured 20 others, many of whom were women and children, Iraqi police said.


Diyala Prv:
Saadiya:
#1: A civilian was killed and two of his family were wounded Monday when unidentified armed men opened fire on them in southeast of Diala, a security source said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a vehicle on the road in Imam Wes in northern al-Saadiya district in south of Khaneqeen, killing him and injuring his wife and daughter,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Muqdadiyah:
#1: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in Muqdadiyah, 30 km to the east of Baquba at dawn Tuesday. The explosion killed Lt.Col. Mohammed al Timimi and injured four other servicemen, one of whom was a Major who lost both his legs.


Mosul:
#1: A civilian was killed by armed men in central Mosul, a police source said on Monday. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a civilian on Monday (June 22), killing him in al-Baladiya region in central Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: A sound bomb went off on Tuesday near the Ninewa province building in central Mosul without leaving casualties, a security source said. “The bomb exploded on Tuesday (June 23) in al-Jumhouriya street in central Mosul, near the Ninewa province building, without causing casualties,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He gave no more details.

#3: Armed confrontations broke out between the police and an armed group in al Jazair neighbourhood in eastern Mosul at around 2 p.m. Monday, resulting in the death of two policemen, one civilian and one gunman.

#4: Gunmen opened fire and assassinated one civilian in Bab al Saray neighbourhood in central Mosul Monday afternoon.


Al Anbar Prv:
Baghdadi:
#1: A policeman was killed after being kidnapped from his house three days ago in western Anbar, according to a security source. “Police forces on Monday night (June 22) found the body of a policeman, who was kidnapped 3 days ago in front of his house in al-Wadi al-Gharbi village in al-Baghdadi district, western Anbar,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body bore signs of gunshot wounds,” he noted.

Fallujah:
#1: A roadside bomb on Monday wounded a physician and three others in Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

A booby trapped bicycle targeted the car of Fallujah City Council member for the Iraqi Islamic Party, Dr. Ammar Mohammed Chyad just as he left his clinic at 9 p.m. Monday. The explosion injured six civilians including Dr. Chyad, who is in critical condition in hospital



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A roadside bomb killed three Afghan employees of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday in Afghanistan's northern Jowzjan province, the provincial governor said. The blast hit a UNHCR vehicle carrying the agency's officials as they were driving on a road in the province, Zari said. Authorities had arrested three suspected men in relation to the incident, he added.

#2: In central Ghazni province, officials say a suicide car bomber rammed into a convoy of international troops on a highway. Two civilians were killed in the blast but there's no word yet on any casualties among the international troops.

#3: A missile attack Tuesday targeting suspected militants' hideouts in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region killed as many as six people, sources told Geo TV. The missiles, fired from suspected unmanned U.S. drones, injured several others, the report said. A CNN report quoting Pakistani intelligence officials put the death toll at two. Geo TV, quoting its sources, said three missiles were fired at a village home in Ladha district, a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud.

#4: Two Afghan soldiers and nine Taliban insurgents were killed during a four hour gun battle in Shiwan district of Western Farah province on Monday, the Defence Ministry said. Four Afghan soldiers and several insurgents were also wounded during the clash, it said.

#5: Coalition troops launched a massive assault on a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan and were able to push militants out of some areas they had controlled, they said Coalition said in a statement. About 500 troops were involved in the operation, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force announced Tuesday. Coalition used more than 25 aircraft to drop hundreds of troops into the area at about midnight June 19. The troops, mostly from the United States and Britain, were able to secure three main crossing points in the area and will work to create checkpoints in an effort to stifle the movement of insurgents, the military release said

Monday, June 22, 2009

War News for Monday, June 22, 2009

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Corps - Iraq soldier in a a non-combat related incident in an undisclosed location in Iraq on Friday, June 19th.

The DoD is reporting the death of a Sailor who was supporting OEF, Command Master Chief Jeffrey J. Garber died from a non-hostile causes aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the North Arabian Sea, on Saturday, June 20th.

The DoD is reporting the deaths of two soldiers previously unreported by the military. Sgt. Paul G. Smith and Staff Sgt. Joshua A. Melton were killed in an IED attack in an undisclosed location in Kandahar province, Afghanistan on Friday, June 19th.

Minnesota Public Radio is reporting the death of Rev. Major Tim Vakoc at a nursing home in New Hope Minnesota, on Saturday, June 20th. Major Vakoc was originally injured on Saturday. May 29 2004 from an IED attack in Mosul Iraq when a piece of shrapnel entered through his eye and caused massive brain injuries. This has been one of my pet cases for the past five years and will be closed very soon. My he finally rest in peace.


June 18 airpower summary:

Two British hostages killed in Iraq are named:

PM criticised after two hostages die in Iraq:

Major's death takes rate of losses in Afghanistan past Iraq:

Agents say DEA is forcing them illegally to work in AfghanistanRead more:

Intruder military plane awaits permission to leave India: The Indian Air Force forced an An-124 plane, en route from the U.S. military base in Diego Garcia to Afghanistan's Kandahar, to land on suspicions that it was a military plane flying on a civilian flight code. The aircraft owned by a private Russian airline, Volga-Dnepr, was carrying U.S. military goods, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.

A mini-series explores Britain’s involvement in Iraq:

Leader of Russian Region Is Attacked:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A roadside bomb killed three people and wounded 30 in a market in north Baghdad's Shaab district.

#2: Another roadside bomb tore through a minibus carrying high school students in Sadr City in the east of the capital, killing three and wounding 12, police said.

Today, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a vehicle in al-Hamza square, al-Hubaibiya area of eastern Baghdad, killing three persons and wounding 12 others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: In the deadliest bombing, police said at least five people were killed and 20 were wounded by a car bomb in the Karradah district of the Iraqi capital, on the east side of the Tigris River. It took place on a road leading to a checkpoint that controls access to a bridge into the Green Zone.

#4: Another roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in a commercial area of eastern Baghdad's Ur district, killing three and wounding 25.

#5: Another bomb exploded Sunday evening in a cafe in a Shiite enclave in a mainly Sunni area of southern Baghdad, killing at least two civilians and wounding 13, police said.

#6: Three civilians on Monday were injured in an explosive charge blast in Baghdad, the second to hit the capital in a couple of hours. “A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) planted by unknown men detonated in al-Hubaibiya area, eastern Baghdad, wounding three civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.


Diyala Prv:
Khanqin:
#1: A roadside bomb killed three soldiers near the town of Khanaqin, 140 km (100 miles) northeast of Baghdad, the army said.

On Monday morning, a bomb detonated in Khan Nafet area northeast of Baquba city killing three security members working for the ministry of oil.

Khalis:
#1: And in Khalees, also in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, a former Al-Qaeda member who had recently been released from the US prison facility at Camp Bucca was assassinated, the official added.


Abu Ghraib:
#1: In the fourth attack, a man wearing an explosive vest blew himself up at a checkpoint leading to the mayor's offices in Abu Ghraib, a predominantly Sunni district west of Baghdad. The suicide bombing killed two people and wounded another five, police said. The police officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.


Riyadh:
#1: One Sahwa fighter was killed and two others were wounded when unknown gunmen opened fire on a Sahwa checkpoint in Kirkuk, a source from the province’s combined coordination center said Monday. “The incident took place when a Sahwa checkpoint came under gunmen’s fire at Talal-Eid village of al-Riyadh district, 45 km southwest of Kirkuk city,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency “Sahwa fighters returned fire, and while they were tracking down the gunmen, a roadside bomb went off targeting them,” he said. “The checkpoint’s fighters succeeded in killing one of the gunmen, Nimir Salman Ahmen, while two other armed men were injured,” he added.


Mosul:
#1: A woman on Monday was killed by an unknown gunman who broke into her house in Mosul city, according to a local security source. “Today, an unidentified gunman broke into a house in al-Farouq al-Qadima area, central Mosul, and shot down a 31-year-old housewife,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen killed two Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint in east Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: Gunmen opened fire on policemen in central Mosul, killing two, police said.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: Four policemen on Monday were wounded when two explosive devices detonated in Falluja city, according to a local security source. “Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded near a police patrol vehicle in Ameriyet al-Falluja district, southern Falluja, injuring four patrolmen,” Maj. Yasseen Ismail told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The blast caused damage to the vehicle,” the source noted.



Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Five civilians were killed Monday and more than 30 others wounded in a suicide bomb blast in eastern Afghanistan, officials said, in the second such attack in one day. The bomber detonated explosives on a motorbike in front of a government building in the city of Khost, killing five civilians who were passing by, said deputy provincial police chief Yaqoub, who uses one name only. More than 30 others, including several children, were wounded in the blast, which came after a similar suicide motorcycle blast in the southern province of Kandahar killed three soldiers earlier Monday.

#2: In southern Kandahar province, meanwhile, another suicide bomber killed three Afghan soldiers in an attack on a convoy of troops inspecting a highway bridge for explosives. The attacker drove a car into the convoy and it exploded, said Zadi district Police Chief Niaz Mohammad Serhadi. Serhadi said two civilians were also wounded in the blast, along with five other soldiers.

#3: In eastern Nangarhar province, an explosion at a weapons cache killed a 6-year-old boy and wounded 20 others, police said. It was unclear what sparked the chain reaction of explosions in caves used to store weapons and other material collected from insurgents on the outskirts of Jalalabad city, said Nangarhar province police spokesman Ghafor Khan. "We are still investigating the incident. It is possible that the explosives ignited on their own," Khan said. The caves where the weapons were stored were about 100 yards (meters) away from a village, and the blast shot some shells or other items into the residential area, Khan said. Two soldiers who guarded the cache were among the wounded.

#4: Pakistan's army offensive in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan heated up Monday, with militants attacking three security force bases and military jets responding with airstrikes that killed at least 21 people, intelligence officials said. The overnight and early morning clashes follow artillery attacks Sunday on suspected militant hide-outs in two towns in the northwest that killed 27 fighters, officials said. Elsewhere in the volatile region, a citizens' militia killed seven suspected militants.

Militants used mortars, rockets, gunfire and even an anti-aircraft gun to attack three military bases overnight in South and North Waziristan, five intelligence officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk with media. Their reports could not be confirmed because of a lack of media access to the conflict zones, and official military spokesmen could not be reached for comment. No government casualties were reported, but the intelligence officials said security forces responded with artillery and airstrikes on at least six villages against militant targets, including a suspected training camp where eight people were killed. While most of the dead appeared to be militants, three women and three children died when the house of a local tribal leader was hit in the Razmak area, one official said.

Jet aircraft pounded suspected Taliban positions in Pakistan’s troubled north-western region on the Afghan border through the night, killing 15 militants and six civilians, officials said on Monday. Jets hit Taliban targets in at least six villages of the two districts, including the key towns of Razmak and Sararogha, he said. “Preliminary reports reveal that at least 15 militants were killed,” the official said, adding that “considering the firepower used, the death toll could be much higher.” However, a Taliban spokesman denied suffering “massive casualties.”
“Most of those killed were civilians,” Qari Hussain, a militant leader and deputy of Mehsud told German Press Agency dpa by telephone from an undisclosed location. “The government is tailoring figures to show as if it was winning (against Taliban) but all this is just propaganda.”

#5: Separately, a forest department official was killed and another wounded when troops opened fire on their vehicle after they ignored warnings to keep distance from a military convoy moving between the north-western towns of Dera Ismail Khan and Tank.

#6: NATO troops shot dead an Afghan civilian in a car in Khost province in the southeast after the car failed to stop following a warning, the alliance said.

#7: Four Afghan guards of a Western security firm were wounded on Monday in an ambush by Taliban guerrillas on a road in southeastern Khost province, officials said.

#8: A roadside bomb hit a vehicle of NATO-led forces on the southern outskirts of Kabul on Monday, wounding three soldiers of the alliance, an official for the force said. The Taliban said they were behind the blast.

#9: A roadside bomb hit a passenger bus and injured three civilians in Helmand province in the south of the country, the Interior Ministry said.

#10: Eight drivers including six nationals of Kazakhstan were killed and injured as a tanker caught fire in the border town of Hairtan in north Afghanistan on Monday, a press release of Afghan Interior Ministry said. "The incident occurred when the drivers were busy in downloading oil tanker during which an Afghan driver was killed and seven others, including an Afghan and six Kazakh national, sustained injures," the press release added. Two tankers were damaged in the incident, it further said. The press release termed carelessness of the drivers for the incident, adding the fire was extinguished by fire fighters and thus more damage has been avoided.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

News of the Day for Sunday, June 21, 2009

People sit in the rubble of destroyed homes after a truck bombing near Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, June 21, 2009. The truck bombing struck on Saturday near a Shiite mosque following prayers, police said, making it the deadliest blast in nearly two months. (AP Photo/Emad Matti) Yes, the usual gruesome photos are available but I found this one more eloquent. -- C


Reported Security Incidents

Update on Taza Bombing

Death toll from Saturday's truck bombing is now given as 80, with 211 injured and 50 buildings destroyed. AP's Kim Gamel has some additional details. Al Jazeera has eyewitness accounts and reaction from the Turkmen front. (In case you didn't know, Taza is a predominantly Turkmen town and this is widely seen as an attack on the Turkmen ethnic group more so than the Shiite sect.)

Baghdad

Two police officers gunned down in al-Jamea, western Baghdad.

AFP reports four police killed in a similar incident late Saturday, in the same neighborhood. "All (four) were killed by insurgents carrying silencer pistols who passed nearby, opened fire, and fled immediately," a police source told AFP of Saturday's incident.

Mosul

IED attack near the provincial building kills one, injures three, including a police officer.

Saturday evening, two police injured by a car bomb.

Gunmen kill a police man.

Two Iraqi civilians injured in collision with U.S. military vehicle. No further details available.

Fallujah

Commander of Sahwa forces survives assassination attempt that kills 3 of his guards, injures 4 civilians late Saturday.

Other News of the Day

The bodies of two British citizens who were among 5 abducted in Baghdad in May, 2007 have been identified but their identities have not yet been made public. They are believed to be two of the body guards of computer programmer Peter Moore. The circumstances under which the bodies were returned are unclear. Excerpt from The Guardian's Baghdad correspondent:

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government moved to distance itself from the handing over of the bodies, which the foreign secretary, David Miliband,yesterday said had been facilitated by Iraqi officials. Ali al-Dabbagh, an Iraqi government spokesman, said: "We are not a participant in these negotiations, but we knew there has been indirect contact to learn the fate of these hostages. "I deny what David Milliband said about the Iraqi government handing over the bodies of the hostages."

Throughout two years of largely secret talks, British, US and Iraqi officials have denied directly negotiating with the hostage takers, a group of Shia Islamist extremists who aim to exchange prisoners. The five contractors were seized by about 40 armed men, wearing police uniforms, at the Iraqi finance ministry.


Meanwhile, belatedly, Tony Blair is beginning to face demands for accountability. Sam Coates of Times Online gives an update on the pending Iraq war inquiry. (Might be kind of nice to have one of those in the U.S., no? Remember the "Downing St. Memo"? Oh yeah, we've forgotten all about that. -- C):

Tony Blair tried to stop the Iraq war inquiry being held in public as new evidence emerged suggesting he knew Saddam Hussein may not have weapons of mass destruction.

The former Prime Minister lobbied Sir Gus O’Donnell, the head of the civil service, fearing a public appearance at the inquiry, headed by Sir John Chilcott, could turn into a “show trial”.

The move appears to have backfired this weekend, as it emerges that part of the inquiry will now be heard in public and Mr Blair is the focus of calls to appear.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said this morning that the former Prime Minister cannot appear before closed doors and must speak under oath. Otherwise “people (will) feel this is just a grand cover-up for, after all, what was the biggest foreign policy mistake this country has made since Suez”. . . .

A memo dated January 31, 2003, by Sir David Manning, then Mr Blair’s policy adviser, outlines how President Bush told Mr Blair he had decided on a start date for the war - almost two months before the invasion. Paraphrasing the President’s comments at the meeting, Sir David noted: “The start date for the military campaign was now pencilled in for March 10. This was when the bombing would begin.” . . . In public at this time, Mr Blair was justifying plans for an invasion on the grounds that Iraq might have weapons of mass destruction.


A strangely anonymous Reuters reporter does a "man on the street" story about popular reaction to the upcoming U.S. withdrawal to bases. A few tidbits:

Iraqi taxi driver Haitham Nief is looking forward to the partial pull out of US combat troops this month from the northern city of Mosul and elsewhere. . . . "Anyone who wants to fight them can go there and attack their bases without harming civilians," he said. . . .

Six years after US soldiers invaded to topple Saddam Hussein, 28-year-old Iraqi market porter Ahmed Salih just wants them to go home. "Life here is dead because of their presence," he said, gesturing around him at the once busy Dawasa market, the scene of many explosions and shootings in Mosul. "We are full of desperation. . . no jobs, no income, just because of them." . . . .

At the Baghdad Hotel, a forest of barbed wire blocks the front gate. Travel agencies and other hotel shops nearby are crumbling, their windows boarded, letters falling off signs. "We're very happy. This hotel has a great history, but it was strangled by US roadblocks. The Americans were staying in rooms near the hotel, and no one could come in except the staff," said hotel manager Amir Hussein Salman. "You couldn't speak or reason with the Americans."


Afghanistan Update

Rocket attack on Bagram Air Base kills 2 U.S. military personnel, injures 6 other Americans including 2 civilians. Three rockets are reported to have landed inside the perimeter, one outside. A Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the rocket attack.

British soldier killed in Helmand.

Eight civilians killed, 13 wounded, in roadside bomb attack in Zabul.

Afghan government claims poppy crop has been entirely eradicated in Herat, but local residents beg to differ.

NY Times reporter David Rohde and Afghan reporter Tahir Ludin, captured by Taliban in November near Kabul along with their driver, escape from captivity in North Waziristan. Media have cooperated to keep news of the abduction from the public until now in order to protect the captives. The driver, Asadullah Mangal, apparently remains in captivity. Further information on the men's ordeal has not yet been released.

Quote of the Day

We have nearly 10,000 agents, including women and all the different religions and ethnicities, and we play a major role in the stabilisation and improvement of the security situation in the country. But our biggest obstacle is that parliament has still not adopted a government bill legalising our existence and, therefore, we do not have a budget. We are under the supervision of the cabinet.


-- General Talib al-Kenani, Director of Iraq's Counter-Terrorist Agency. This is somewhat arcane but the point is, the agency is controlled directly by Nuri al-Maliki.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

News of the Day for Saturday, June 20, 2009

A woman grieves for her husband, who was killed in a truck bomb attack, near Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, June 20, 2009. Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qader says Saturday's explosion occurred following noon prayers south of the disputed city.
(AP Photo/Emad Matti)


Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

Four men dead of gunshot wounds found in Sadr City.

Taza, near Kirkuk

Car bomb attack on Shiite mosque. VoI is the only source giving the name of the town where this occurs, but others have much higher casualty totals. AFP is now reporting the death toll at 22. Reuters reports 80 wounded, 20 houses destroyed.

Later Reuters report puts death toll at 25, injuries at 150, 25 houses destroyed. "There was chaos at Kirkuk's main Azadi Hospital, where ambulance sirens wailed as workers rushed blood-splattered civilians, including several children, into the wards. Outside, security officials brandished assault rifles to stop traffic as pick-up trucks raced through the gates carrying more victims of the blast at the al-Rasul Mosque."

Kirkuk

IED attack on convoy of police Col. Abdullah Qadir injures 2 civilians.

Policeman stabbed to death.

Mosul

Gunmen attack the car of a vacationing policeman, kill him, injure his father. Reuters says it was his mother, not his father, who was injured.

Ramadi

In what appears to have been a rocket attack aimed at a police station, one rocket hits a civilian home, kills a child, injures six other people. Second rocket hits the police station and injures two police officers.

Muqdadiya

Curfew is imposed as security forces launch a crack down.

Other News of the Day

Addressing a group of Turkomen, al-Maliki says U.S. withdrawal from cities in coming days will be a "great victory" for Iraq.

U.S. transfers control of a Joint Security Station in Sadr City to Iraqis. (Not entirely clear what the practical effect of this ceremony is; this type of station has always been jointly operated, the article does not say that the U.S. troops are actually leaving. -- C

Afghanistan Update

Roadside bomb kills 3 civilians, injures 3 in Herat. Apparently intended to attack security forces, attacked civilian vehicle by mistake.

British soldier killed by explosion in Helmand province.

Coalition soldier killed in attack on U.S. convoy in eastern Afghanistan, no further details released.