GWOT Updates – February

GWOT events added:

4 February
2003 – the North Atlantic Council decided to extend Operation Active Endeavour to include escorting non-military ships traveling through the Strait of Gibraltar to maintain security in the area and to secure the safe transit of designated Allied ships.

10 February
2007 – David Petraeus was made commander of Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I), the four-star post that oversees all coalition forces in country, replacing General George Casey. In his new position, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq and employed them in the new “Surge” strategy outlined by the Bush administration. 2007 also saw a sharp increase in insurgent chlorine bombings.

22 February
2006 – The Askariyah Mosqe in Samarra is bombed. One of the Shiite holy places, the golden dome of the mosque is destroyed. The attack is a deliberate, and immediately successful attempt, by the Sunni al-Qaeda to stir up sectarian strife in Iraq in order to hamper efforts by the Iraqi government and the Coalition to rebuild. Sectarian violence expanded to a new level of intensity following the al-Askari Mosque bombing in the Iraqi city of Samarra . Although no injuries occurred in the blast, the mosque was severely damaged and the bombing resulted in violence over the following days. Over 100 dead bodies with bullet holes were found on 23 February, and at least 165 people are thought to have been killed. In the aftermath of this attack the U.S. military calculated that the average homicide rate in Baghdad tripled from 11 to 33 deaths per day.

24 February
2012 – 4 Al-Shabaab fighters, including a white Kenyan and a Moroccan jihadist named Abu Ibrahim, were killed in a drone strike in the K60 area (60 miles south of Mogadishu) of the Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia.

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