Aug 1, 2011
Five months before the last U.S. troops are scheduled to leave Iraq, a U.S. government watchdog said Saturday the country is more dangerous now that it was a year ago, and suggested that the U.S. military has been underplaying the violence.
In a report to Congress, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen Jr., highlighted the fact that June was the deadliest month for U.S. soldiers in Iraq in two years. Fifteen soldiers were killed, 14 of them in combat. In recent briefings, the U.S. military has attributed 12 of the 14 deaths to attacks by Iranian-backed Shi’ite groups, and the remaining two to Sunni insurgents.
“Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work,” Bowen wrote in the introduction to his 172-page quarterly report. “It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago.”
According to a CNSNews.com database of U.S. military casualties in Iraq since the war began in 2003, June was in fact the deadliest month for U.S. personnel in three years, not two, if combat-related fatalities alone are considered. Since August 2008, when 14 combat deaths were recorded, no single month has seen as many as 14 American soldiers killed in hostile circumstances.
This article was posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 at 2:39 am