Thursday, June 30, 2011
BAGHDAD â€” The American military announced on Thursday that three more American soldiers had been killed this week, as the combat-related deaths for United States forces in Iraq reached a monthly toll not seen since 2008.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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. 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.
The increased threat comes as the Pentagon begins to coordinate a withdrawal of all forces by the end of the year, an effort the military says has resulted in militantsâ€™ stepping up attacks so as to claim credit for pushing the Americans out.
The casualties are particularly striking given the diminishing numbers of American forces and their reduced combat role. Fewer than 50,000 troops remain, compared with more than 160,000 at the height of the war.