Ninety-one so far in October, the highest number of American soldiers and Marines killed in Iraq since October 2005’s 96.
At this rate should blow by that mark before the end of the week, then you will have to look back to January 2005’s 107 dead to find a deadlier month.
And then there’sthis.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Shi’ite prime minister pledged on Wednesday to crack down on illegal militias but criticised a U.S. raid on a Shi’ite militia stronghold that killed at least four people.
The U.S. military said Iraqi special forces backed by U.S. air strikes conducted the raid in the Sadr City district of Baghdad “to capture a top illegal armed group commander directing widespread death squad activity”.
Unusually, the U.S. statement specifically said the raid had been “authorised by the government of Iraq”.
But Maliki, who is under mounting pressure from an impatient Washington to curb violence so U.S. forces can start to go home, said there was a “lack of coordination” in the raid. The Interior Ministry said four people were killed and 20 wounded.
Residents said the dead included two Mehdi Army militiamen loyal to anti-American Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a powerful force behind Maliki’s national unity government.
Asked about the raid by reporters, however, Maliki appeared to contradict the U.S. account, saying: “We will be seeking an explanation from the multinational forces to avoid a repetition of what happened without our cooperation in advance.”