US control less than expected in Iraq

U.S.-led forces have control of fewer than one-third of Baghdad's neighborhoods despite thousands of extra troops nearly four months into a security crackdown, a newspaper reported Monday.

US control less than expected in Iraq
U.S.-led forces have control of fewer than one-third of Baghdad's neighborhoods despite thousands of extra troops nearly four months into a security crackdown, a newspaper reported Monday — an assessment that came as the U.S. casualty toll soared.

The New York Times said an American assessment of the security plan through late May found that American and Iraqi forces were able to "protect the population" and "maintain physical influence over" only 146 of the 457 Baghdad neighborhoods.

Troops have either not begun operations aimed at rooting out insurgents or still face "resistance" in the remaining 311 neighborhoods, according to the report, which cited a one-page assessment along with summaries from brigade and battalion commanders in Baghdad.

It appeared to be the first comprehensive analysis of the progress of the operation that began Feb. 14. Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is due to report in September on whether the current troop increase is working amid a fierce debate in Washington over whether President Bush should begin withdrawing American forces.

The Bush administration ordered some 30,000 extra American troops to Baghdad and surrounding areas as part of the security crackdown.

Last Mod: 04 Haziran 2007, 15:29
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