American death toll in Iraq lowest since 2003 invasion
Eleven American troops were killed in Iraq in July, the lowest monthly toll since the 2003 invasion, according Pentagon figures. The number compares with the deadliest month of November 2004 when 137 American troops died, an independent toll by icasualties.org showed. The previous low was in May this year when 19 soldiers were killed.
Since the US-led invasion of March 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein, a total of 4,125 American troops have been killed in Iraq, according to independent website icasualties.org.
The downward trend started in the middle of 2007 after a US troop "surge". According to AFP, Icasualties.org said the number of Iraqi civilian dead dropped to 302 last month, the lowest since April 2005, from 373 in June while the toll among Iraqi security forces rose in July to 91 from 77.
The commander of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, said in an interview published earlier this week that overall violence was falling to almost "normal" levels. But he warned that the trend could be reversed by "sensational attacks." "If you could reduce these sensational attacks further, I think you are almost approaching a level of normal or latent violence," Petraeus told USA Today.