TEHRAN TIMES– June marks the deadliest month in combat related fatalities for U.S. forces in Iraq since 2009 amid fears of a rise in attacks against the U.S. military.
The most recent killing of two American soldiers in northern Iraq on Sunday raised the U.S. forces’ death toll to 11 in June. Sunday’s casualties raised the total death toll for U.S. forces in Iraq to 4,463 since March 2003, according to icasualties.org.
U.S. military commanders warn that there could be a rise in attacks against U.S. troops as they prepare to withdraw from war-torn Iraq. Many of the remaining U.S. military bases in southern Iraq have faced a surge in rocket and mortar attacks, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.
Analysts believe that the prolonged presence of U.S. troops in the war-ravaged country and the U.S. military officials’ efforts to keep the troops in Iraq beyond December 2011 are the root causes of armed attacks on American soldiers.
“There are stories that the U.S. has been telling Iraqi officials that they would like to stay there a little bit longer and that they think they would need to keep the troops there a bit longer and that is I think why some of these violences are happening in Iraq,” Director of Peace Action Paul Martin said.
According to a security agreement between Baghdad and Washington, known as the Status of Forces Agreement, all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011.
“We hear a lot about Afghanistan, but we still have 50,000 troops in Iraq and probably double that in contractors and I don’t think the American people know about that,” Martin added.
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