I linked to the story of casualties dropping hard in Iraq (down some 70% or so) yesterday, but since others are picking up on it, I’ll go ahead and delve a little deeper. Here is the original story.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Violence in Iraq has dropped by 70 percent since the end of June, when U.S. forces completed their build-up of 30,000 extra troops to stabilize the war-torn country, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.
Under the plan, U.S. troops left their large bases and set up combat outposts in neighborhoods while launching a series of summer offensives against Sunni Islamist al Qaeda, other Sunni Arab militants and Shi’ite militias in the Baghdad beltway.
Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf told reporters that there had been a 70 percent decrease in violence countrywide in the three months from July to September over the previous quarter.
In Baghdad, considered the epicenter of the violence because of its mix of Shi’ites and Sunni Arabs, car bombs had decreased by 67 percent and roadside bombs by 40 percent, he said. There had also been a 28 percent decline in the number of bodies found dumped in the capital’s streets.
In Anbar, a former insurgent hotbed where Sunni Arab tribes have joined U.S. forces against al Qaeda, there has been an 82 percent drop in violent deaths.
“These figures show a gradual improvement in controlling the security situation,” Khalaf said.
You can read the story to see some reporting meant to parse the positive nature of the report, but what’s above is the important bit.
Here are some more opinions on progress in Iraq for the morning: Sister Toldjah » Iraq: On good news, and how to declare victory (UPDATED) | News Flash – Mudville Gazette | And… from Newsweek – The Corner on NRO | The Jawa Report: UN: Iraq Violence-Related Deaths Drop ‘Remarkably’ | The Strata-Sphere » Newsweek Declares Iraq Unsafe For al-Qaeda, Iraqis See War Deaths Drop Nearly 100% |