Violence, Casualties Down in Iraq

The U.S. troop surge in Iraq continues to have positive effects, as violence and casualties are decreasing in many areas of the country, the Joint Staff's director for operational planning said today.

In and around Baghdad, terrorist operations are down by 59 percent; operations targeting Iraqi forces are down more than 60 percent; car bombs are down by 65 percent; fatalities due to car bombs are down by 81 percent; casualties due to enemy attacks are down by 77 percent; and the violence during this last Ramadan period was the lowest in three years, Army Maj. Gen. Richard Sherlock told Pentagon reporters.

Also, last week in Anbar province, the coalition had no casualties, which is an important milestone, the general noted.

"Overall casualties in Iraq have continued to decrease, even though coalition forces have conducted a variety of operations throughout the country," Sherlock said. "While this is indeed encouraging, al Qaeda in Iraq, other extremist groups and criminal elements in Iraq continue to be major threats."

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