Monday, October 01, 2007

The Grim Reaper in September 2007

The first case was reported in mid-August, the first death last week. The World Health Organization puts the number of confirmed cases in Iraq -- most of which are in the northern provinces -- stands at 2,758 as of the end of September. The death tolls now registers fourteen. The enemy -- cholera -- is not unknown in Iraq, but considering that the northern provinces, largely dominated by the Kurds, had a dozen year redevelopment head start over the rest of Iraq controlled by Saddam Hussein, the number of reported cases raises concerns for the inhabitants of other provinces and cities where clean water is in extremely short supply.

The monthly statistics for Iraq and Afghanistan are in. The number of U.S. fatalities reached the 3,800 mark on September 28 while overall coalition fatalities reach 4,1000 at virtually the same day.

For the month of September, 63 U.S. military personnel participating in Operation “Iraqi Freedom” died; 41 deaths were from hostile causes and the remainder from non-hostile causes. Three other coalition soldiers, two UK and a Romanian, also died during the month. Of the 300 coalition deaths, 170 were serving in UK units.

The September U.S. total is down by 21 from August and is the first time this year that monthly fatalities have been less than 80. Still, with three months to go in the year and 800 fatalities already, 2007 will easily be the deadliest year on record for the U.S. in Iraq. ( In 2004, 849 U.S. military personnel were killed in Iraq.) Two more U.S. servicewomen dies in September in Iraq; this raises to 64 the number of U.S. servicewomen who have died since the war began and 90 servicewomen across all nationalities in the coalition forces.

As of the end of August the Pentagon reports that 27,767 U.S. military members had been wounded in the war. Total aerial medical evacuations from all causes stood at 36, 943. Four soldiers are listed as missing in action. The number of suicides is 122 since March 19, 2003.

Iraqi deaths during September, based on accounts in the public media, stood at 720 civilians and 93 members of Iraqi security forces. The civilian toll is some 800 fewer than in August, Even dropping the Iraqi Red Crescent estimate of 500 civilians killed in the August bombings in and near the town of Sinjar, a drop of 300 suggests underreporting, particularly since in past years Ramadan has seen increases, not decreases.

In Afghanistan, seven more U.S. and 17 coalition soldiers died in September. Total 2007 fatalities now stand at 89 U.S. and 97 from all other countries. With three more months to go in 2007, coalition nations have lost more soldiers in 2007 than in any other year, while the U.S. total is 10 less than the 99 killed in 2005. All told 702 non-Afghan soldiers have died since October 8, 2001. Again, after the U.S., Britain and Canada have suffered the most number killed -- 81 and 71, respectively.

And the generals want another six months -- at least?

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