Friday, April 03, 2009
American Iraq deaths hit all-time low
UK Times Online Thomas Harding, Defence CorrespondentThe number of American troops killed in Iraq last month dropped to single figures for the first time since the conflict began. While the total number of US deaths stands at 4,263, the rate at which soldiers have been killed has dropped. Nine soldiers died in the country during March, making it the lowest fatality rate since the 2003 invasion and marking a milestone in the success of the "surge" strategy. While the total number of US deaths stands at 4,263, the rate at which soldiers have been killed has dropped off dramatically since the bloody early days of the "surge" in spring, 2007, during which 330 died in three months.Of the nine that died last month, only four were killed as a result of enemy fire. The rest were killed in accidents or by other means. The worst month for American casualties came during the Fallujah operation in November, 2004, when 137 were killed, according to the website icasualties.org. By comparison, the worst month for the British was in April, 2007, when 12 soldiers were killed in Basra during the period leading up to the withdrawal from the city. At total of 179 British troops have died in Iraq.With the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the death rate has increased considerably in the last two years, with last year being the worst for the British. There have been 673 US fatalities in Afghanistan and 179 British.