Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sharp Decrease in Iraq Ramadan Violence

Despite a pledge by al Qaeda to increase violence during Ramadan, there's been a sharp decrease the past two weeks compared to last year.

Of course, this will be widely dismissed, the same as news of decreasing U.S. casualties merits little to no mention in the media.
Violence in Iraq during Ramadan has fallen by almost 40 percent from last year, the U.S. military said on Sunday, despite a warning from al Qaeda that it would increase attacks during the Muslim holy month.

U.S. military spokesman Rear Admiral Mark Fox said a "surge" of 30,000 extra troops into Iraq this year and the new tactic of moving soldiers into small combat outposts instead of "commuting to the war" from large bases had helped bring down violence.

"We are substantially below last year's level. As a matter of fact, in comparison to this time last year, about 38 percent lower in terms of Ramadan violence levels," he told a news conference, adding that that overall levels were still too high.
The most recent number of U.S. troop casualties is 62 according to this site, though this AFP report says it's 70 for September, a 14-month low.
US military losses in Iraq for September stood at 71 on Sunday, but the toll remained the lowest monthly figure since July last year, according to an AFP tally based on Pentagon figures.

The US military on Sunday announced the death of another soldier, saying he died when his unit was hit by a bomb and came under small arms fire in eastern Baghdad on Saturday. A second soldier was injured.

The figure marks the fourth consecutive drop in the monthly death toll following a high of 121 in May. June saw 93 deaths, July 82 and August 79, while the monthly toll in July 2006 was 53.

The latest death pushed the overall toll of American losses since the March 2003 invasion to 3,802.
We'll see if this merits even passing notice from the major U.S. media. Since I doubt Media Matters will issue a press release on this good news, that remains doubtful.

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