3 U.S. Troops Are Killed in Iraq
Posted by musliminsuffer on May 4, 2009
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
3 U.S. Troops Are Killed in Iraq
BAGHDAD — Three Americans were killed Thursday in combat in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad, the military said Friday, adding to the high death toll for American forces in Iraq last month.
The deaths brought the total number of American military personnel members killed in April to 18 — double the number in March and the highest since September 2008, when 25 were killed.
Anbar Province, a sprawling desert area in the west that was once the center of the insurgency, has become one of Iraq’s more peaceful provinces in recent years. That is partly a result of the many insurgents joining Awakening Councils and becoming allies of the United States military in exchange for steady pay. Still, the latest American deaths, of two Marines and a sailor, took place there, according to a military statement. No other details were released.
Hours after the announcement, Maj. Gen. David Perkins, the top American military spokesman in Iraq, said that the country’s recent surge of violence had been largely limited to Baghdad and Mosul because American forces had successfully disrupted the operating methods of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. That group is a largely homegrown Islamist militant organization that the United States says is led by foreigners.
“Strategically, for Al Qaeda to win they have to win Baghdad, and for them to survive they have to hold on to Mosul,” General Perkins said. “And you can really see that in the way they are conducting their attacks.”
Violence continued on Friday in the northern city of Mosul after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt inside a cafe, killing five people and wounding eight, according to an Iraqi police official.
The city is contested by the Arabs and the Kurds, and it remains a stronghold of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. The United States is scheduled to withdraw its combat troops from Iraqi cities by June 30, but General Perkins said that the military expected to be asked by the Iraqi government to stay past the deadline in Mosul.
Also on Friday, the United States military said its forces had killed two men during a raid on a house in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, while trying to make an arrest. In a statement, the military said the men had been associated with developing and placing roadside bombs that were aimed at Iraqi and coalition forces around Tikrit.
An arrest warrant for the men had been issued by a local court, and the Americans were accompanied by Iraqi soldiers, according to the statement. After several requests in Arabic by the soldiers to put down their weapons, the men aimed at them, the statement said. The two were then shot, the statement said.
A member of the Iraqi police said that the raid had been conducted by members of an American Special Operations unit. The member of the police also said that one of the dead men, Imad Sulaiman, was a police officer, and that the second, Arkan Msir Sharji, was the officer’s cousin and a member of an Awakening Council.
Afterward, there was widespread anger over the deaths.
The episode was the latest of several house raids by American troops during the past week that have led to Iraqi deaths. On Sunday, American soldiers raided a house in the southern city of Kut and shot a police officer and a woman. The deaths set off protests, and later, an apology from the American military.
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