Iraq: Monthly Combat Death Toll For U.S. Soldiers At 3-Year High

U.S. and Iraqi soldiers clear the Baghdad neighborhood of Adhamiya in March 2011.

On Thursday, the United States military announced that three more American soldiers in Iraq had died this week, bringing the combat-related monthly death toll in the Iraq War up to a three-year high.

“The deaths occurred Wednesday in southern Iraq, and the military did not disclose details on how the soldiers died. A military spokesman confirmed that they were killed by enemy attack,” The New York Times reported. “Recently, the increase in casualties has been attributed to rocket or mortar attacks on American bases by Shiite militias. American convoys have also come under increasing threat from improvised explosive devices.”

Military officials say that the increased casualties, which are occurring as the U.S. coordinates the withdrawal of all forces by the end of the year, are the result of “militants’ stepping up attacks so as to claim credit for pushing the Americans out,” the article read.

According to the newspaper, 15 American soldiers have been killed in June, 14 in hostile incidents. The article reported that this was the highest number of combat-related deaths “since June 2008, when 23 soldiers and Marines were killed.”

“According to the security agreement between Iraq and the United States, American forces are severely restricted in their ability to act unilaterally to face threats, a fact that has ratcheted up the anxiety — and the anger — among troops who find themselves under attack but unable to respond,” the article read.

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