The record low death toll comes with just months before all US troops withdraw
An Iraqi boys walks up to an American solider during a patrol in Kirkuk. For the first time since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, a month passed without a single American military fatality, figures showed on Thursday. © Ali al-Saadi - AFP/File
The record low death toll comes with just months before all US troops withdraw
AFP
Last updated: September 1, 2011

First fatality-free month for US military in Iraq

For the first time since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, a month passed without a single American military fatality here, a US military spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"August was the first month with no hostile deaths and no non-combat deaths, which includes accidents or illness," Major Angela Funaro told AFP in an emailed response to questions.

"However, there were two other months on record (December 2009 and 0ctober 2010) when the USF-I (United States Forces-Iraq) had no hostile deaths but at least one non-combat-related death," she added.

The record low death toll for August comes with just months to go before a year-end deadline for all US troops to withdraw from Iraq, unless Baghdad and Washington reach an accord on a post-2011 military training mission.

The previous low for a month was in December 2010, when one soldier died, according to figures from the independent website www.icasualties.org.

A total of 4,474 American service personnel have died in Iraq since the invasion that ousted now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein, according to the website.

Some 47,000 US soldiers are still stationed in Iraq, charged primarily with helping train and equip their domestic counterparts, though they also conduct joint counter-terror missions.

All of them must pull out by the end of the year, under the terms of a 2008 security pact, but Iraqi politicians announced on August 3 that they would open talks with Washington over a military training mission to last beyond 2011.

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