Ame­ri­ka­nerne og ira­kiske myn­dig­he­ter har bare kon­troll med en tre­del av Bag­dads byde­ler, viser en ny rap­port.

Mili­tary offi­ci­als also ack­now­led­ged Mon­day that U.S.-led for­ces have con­trol of fewer than one-third of Baghdad’s neigh­bor­hoods despite thou­sands of extra tro­ops nearly four mon­ths into a security crackdown — an assess­ment that came as the U.S. death toll approa­ched 3,500, with at least 15 Ame­ri­can tro­ops reported kil­led in the first three days of June.

Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a mili­tary spo­kes­man for Bag­h­dad ope­ra­tions, con­fir­med a sta­tus report com­pleted in May found that Ame­ri­can and Iraqi for­ces were able to “pro­tect the popu­la­tion” and “main­tain phy­si­cal influ­ence over” only 146 of the 457 Bag­h­dad neigh­bor­hoods, while tro­ops have eit­her not begun ope­ra­tions aimed at roo­ting out insur­gents or still face “resi­stance” in the others.

The report appea­red to be the first com­pre­hen­sive ana­ly­sis of the pro­gress of the ope­ra­tion that began Feb. 14. Gen. David Petra­eus, the top U.S. com­man­der in Iraq, is due to report in Sep­tem­ber on whether the cur­rent troop increase is wor­king amid a fierce debate in Wash­ing­ton over whether Pre­si­dent Bush should begin wit­hdra­wing Ame­ri­can for­ces.

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Al-Qaida: Cap­tu­red U.S. tro­ops kil­led

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