Saturday, November 15, 2008

Iraq update by U.S. Ambassador to U.N.

Yesterday, Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, detailed to the U.N. Security Council statistical evidence of the decline in deadly attacks in Iraq. Khalilzad said that:

Civilian deaths have declined by 80 per cent since June 2007, while deaths among Iraqi security forces fell by 84 Khalilzadper cent, U.S. military deaths by 87 per cent and the number of people killed as a result of ethnic and sectarian violence dropped by 95 per cent during the same period.

Other indicators of the improvement are an 81 per cent decline in detonations of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and a 72 per cent drop in suicide bombings.

The Ambassador did make it clear, however, that this did not mean Iraq was safe or that the insurgency was dead. He said,

"Al-Qaeda in Iraq remains a significant threat, as do Iranian surrogate militants, and JAM [Jaysh al Mahdi].

More than five years have passed since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq toppled the government of Saddam Hussein.

"All retain the intent and capability of carrying out lethal attacks against the Iraqi people, such as the multiple bombings that occurred this week."

Ambassador Khalilzad claimed that al-Qaeda's increased use of people to detonate IEDs and female suicide bombers were a "particular challenge."

He also repeated U.S. allegations of outside interference, saying that Iran is interfering in Iraqi politics and undermining political developments there. And added that foreign fighters continued to flow into Iraq from Syria, but in declining numbers.

[Reference source]

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