|07-01-2007, 10:11 PM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
Iraq Ambush caps Bloodiest Months for US
Don't expect it to get any better for Americans sacrificing their lives for the Bush cartel.
Iraq ambush caps bloodiest months for US
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer Sat Jun 30
BAGHDAD - A huge bomb explosion followed by a hail of gunfire and grenades killed five U.S. soldiers, the military said Friday. The attack climaxed the deadliest three-month period for the Americans since the war began.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, and outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace conduct a media roundtable at the Pentagon, Friday, June 29, 2007. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Seven soldiers were wounded in the attack Thursday in the Rasheed district, a mixed Sunni-Shiite area of southern Baghdad where U.S.-led forces recently stepped up pressure on extremists. The commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad suggested the ambush could be part of an escalating backlash by Sunni insurgents.
U.S. soldiers killed 26 people before dawn Saturday during two separate raids in Baghdad's Sadr City. The U.S. military said the victims were terrorists who had attacked American troops during the raids in the Shiite neighborhood with small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs.
But Iraqi police and hospital officials said all the dead were civilians killed in their homes. The Iraqi officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of security concerns, put the death toll at eight, with 20 wounded.
There were no U.S. casualties, the U.S. military said in a statement. Seventeen suspected militants also were detained in the operation, it said.
Thursday's deaths brought to 99 the number of U.S. troops killed this month, according to an Associated Press count. The toll for the past three months — 329 — made it the deadliest quarter for U.S. troops in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. That surpasses the 316 soldiers killed during November 2004 to January 2005.
Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., who heads U.S. forces in the Iraqi capital, said U.S. casualties had mounted because Sunni extremists are "starting to fight very hard" as U.S. forces press into areas of the capital where militants once had free rein.
"This is a skilled and determined enemy. He's ruthless. He's got a thirst for blood like I've never seen anywhere in my life," Fil told reporters. "And he's determined to do whatever he can."