News

US General Predicts More Casualties as Iraq Surge Continues

Multimedia

Audio

The commander of U.S. forces south of Baghdad says more fighting and more casualties are ahead in the coming months, as the U.S. surge of forces is completed and clashes with insurgents increase. The officer spoke Friday, after more than 100 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq in April, including 13 of his own, making it the deadliest month so far this year for U.S. forces. VOA's Al Pessin reports from the Pentagon.

Speaking from Iraq on a video link, Major General Rick Lynch said his forces are moving to eliminate insurgent sanctuaries, and the insurgents are counter-attacking just as frequently.

He says the pace will increase even more when he receives the rest of the additional forces he is to get as part of the U.S. troop surge President Bush announced in January.

"We're going to take the fight to them," said General Lynch. "When these surge units get on the ground, we're going to move to control those sanctuaries. But that's going to come at [some] cost. He's not going to give those sanctuary areas up without a fight. So there's a fight that's fixin' to happen in those sanctuary areas."

General Lynch says that means more casualties.

"Over time, especially as we continue to put our forces in areas in which they have never operated, we can expect continued casualties," he said.

General Lynch says Iraqi forces are playing a large role in the fighting in his area, and another general reported on Thursday that 300 Iraqi troops were killed in action throughout the country in April.

General Lynch says he expects to have all the additional forces for his region by mid-June, and he says his mission is to prevent both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias from using the area south of Baghdad as a staging ground for attacks on the capital.

He also says he has seen evidence of fighting among the various armed groups.

"We're seeing that here in Iraq," said General Lynch. "We're seeing it in my battlespace. Candidly, what we have here is a struggle for power and influence. And it's not all about Sunni violence against Shias or Shia against Sunnis. Sometimes, within the respective sects you see fighting amongst themselves."

General Lynch also reported that high-powered roadside bombs provided by Iran are killing some of his troops. He says two weeks ago, U.S. and Iraqi forces found caches of mortar systems, rockets and ammunition with Iranian markings and recent date stamps.

The general, whose previous tour in Iraq ended last June, says the new strategy focuses on providing security for ordinary Iraqis. He says that, and increased reconstruction efforts, are beginning to have an impact, although he acknowledges there is still much work to be done.

He also says insurgents are alienating many local people by bombing civilian targets, including a busload of women and children this week in the town of Mahmudiyah. He says the attack killed eight women and injured four children.

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs