Tag Archives: fighting

Battle Rages On Afghan – Pakistan Border

Dozens of insurgents in eastern Afghanistan were killed over the weekend in a battle that ranged on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. American troops working in coordination with Afghan forces, fought a tough battle after militants attacked police. The troops called in for air strikes and helicopters blasted away at the Taliban forces causing at least fifty to be killed while other scurried across the border into the safety of Pakistan. Estimates are that about 2,700 Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents have been killed since the beginning of the year which increasingly witnesses growth in the power and fighting ability of insurgents.

The fighting over the weekend illustrates fundamental issues in dealing with insurgent forces in Afghanistan. Many will be killed due to fighting on the land and from air attacks, but when all is said and done, the issue of insurgents being able to flee over the border to the safety of Pakistan must at some point be dealt with or there will be no way to resolve the issue of insurgency in Afghanistan.

Al-Sadr Forces Clash With US and Iraq Army

American troops kiled at least 12 militants during fighting on Sudany in Sadr City in Baghdad. US Secretary of State Rice arrved in the city to lend support to the Iraq government as fighting raged between the Mahdi army and its opponents. Militant supporters of the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr attacked a US checkpoint with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades early in the morning. A US spokesperson noted: “There was an uptick in violence in comparisoon tih the past couple of weeks.” Hospital sources reported several civilian deaths including those of children.

Al-Sadr believes the attacks on his Mahdi army is designed to crush him politically and prevent it from winning seats in provincial councils. In his waning posted on Saturday, al-Sadr warned of an all-out war of liberation against the Americans but so far his forces have been either unable or unwilling to present a formidable opposition to Iraq and US forces. Meanwhile, in the north there are reports of new Sunni militant forces organizing to fight the Americans and the Iraq government.

There are too many confusing and unknown factors at this point. Has the al-Sadr Mahdi Army ceased being an effective military force? Is there some overall objective in the mind of the cleric? Time will tell.

Turkish Army and Kurdish Rebels Clash In Mountains

Fighting on the Turkish-Iraq border escalated as units of the Turkish army clashed with rebels who belong to the Kurdish Workers Party. The Kurds infiltrated in early morning hours and attacked a Turkish patrol killing 12 soldiers. About thirty three Kurdish rebels were also killed in the fighting. Elsewhere in the mountains, Kurdish insurgents wounded at least 16 Turkish soldiers. There are reports the Turkish army is using artillery in order to blast Kurdish positions.

The losses on both sides, as of this point, are rather minor, but the implications are major. Continued deaths of Turkish soldiers will only result in further escalation of fighting until it reaches the point where the Kurdish government might decide to get involved. Such a decision would pose enormous problems for Iraq which would have to make a choice between defending its territorial integrity or antagonizing Turkey.