Sunday, June 3, 2007

Attacks on U.S. Troops in Iraq Grow in Lethality, Complexity

Washington Post

"As U.S. troops push more deeply into Baghdad and its volatile outskirts, Iraqi insurgents are using increasingly sophisticated and lethal means of attack, including bigger roadside bombs that are resulting in greater numbers of American fatalities relative to the number of wounded. Insurgents are deploying huge, deeply buried munitions set up to protect their territory and mounting complex ambushes that demonstrate their ability to respond rapidly to U.S. tactics.......

May, with 127 American fatalities, was the third-deadliest month for U.S. troops since the 2003 invasion. As in the conflict's two deadliest months for U.S. troops -- 137 died in November 2004 and 135 in April of that year -- the overarching cause of May's toll is the ongoing, large-scale U.S. military operations. Simmons called the high U.S. losses in May "a very painful and heart-wrenching experience." The intensity of combat and the greater lethality of attacks on U.S. troops is underscored by the lower ratio of wounded to killed for May, which fell to about 4.8 to 1 -- compared with an average of 8 to 1 in the Iraq conflict, according Pentagon data.......

Insurgents are also staging carefully planned, complex ambushes and retaliatory attacks as they target U.S. troops, the officials said. While few in number, these include direct assaults on U.S. military outposts, ambushes in which American troops have been captured, and complex attacks that use multiple weapons to strike more than one U.S. target. For example, attackers will bomb a patrol and then target ground forces or aircraft that come to its aid.

"We are starting to see more sophistication and training in their attacks," said a senior military official in Baghdad. While the vast majority of attacks are still relatively simple and involve a single type of weapon, "clearly the trend is going in the wrong direction," he said......"

No comments: