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.