Roadside Bombs In Iraq Fall Sharply

Roadside Bombs In Iraq Fall Sharply
November 13th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Roadside Bombs In Iraq Fall Sharply

Roadside Bombs In Iraq Fall Sharply
USA Today
November 13, 2007
Pg. 1
Troops at Risk -- IEDs in Iraq
U.S. points to caches of ammunition found
By Blake Morrison and Peter Eisler, USA Today
The number of roadside bombs found in Iraq declined dramatically in August and September from earlier this year, and U.S. officials say the discoveries of thousands of ammunition caches might explain the drop.
Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are responsible for at least 60% of U.S. casualties in Iraq. The Pentagon has repeatedly refused to release figures on the number of IED attacks in Iraq or the number of casualties that have resulted.
USA TODAY obtained the month-by-month tally, which represents the total numbers of IEDs exploded or unexploded found in Iraq, including those targeting U.S. and coalition troops, Iraqi security forces and civilians.
Since the start of the year through September, coalition forces found 25,208 IEDs, according to the figures, which were confirmed by the Pentagon. In those nine months, IEDs killed 510 coalition troops.
The numbers of IEDs found and the deaths they caused have declined steadily since June. In September, coalition forces found 2,022 IEDs. That's down 38% from March, this year's peak.
On Monday, the U.S. command in Baghdad also said rocket and mortar attacks have dropped to their lowest levels in 21 months. The tallies were issued a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said suicide attacks and other bombings in Baghdad also declined.
U.S. officials say the figures show that efforts to crack the Iraqi insurgency are succeeding. The decline in IEDs is due to "a combination of the right technology and equipment, world-class training, and successfully attacking the networks that build and employ the IEDs," says retired Army general Montgomery Meigs, director of the military's Joint IED Defeat Organization.
In Iraq last week, U.S. commanders cited a spike in the number of ammunition caches that U.S. and coalition forces have found. "The clearing of these caches has helped contribute to the downward trends we are seeing in IED explosions and indirect fire," Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said.
In the first 10 months of 2007, coalition and Iraqi forces have found 5,364 caches of explosives and ammunition twice the volume found in all of 2006. "These caches consist of a range of munitions, homemade explosives and other items necessary to build improvised explosive devices," Smith said.
Iraqi security forces found and cleared many of the caches, Smith said. He credited the increasing effectiveness of those forces and the recent surge in U.S. troops as key factors.
"Starting in April, when the majority of the surge forces had arrived in Iraq, the number of caches found spiked considerably. And in the ensuing months, we've seen a steady increase," Smith said.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of U.S. forces south of the capital, said Sunday he believed the decrease in rocket and mortar attacks would hold because of what he called a "groundswell" of support from regular Iraqis. "If we didn't have so many people coming forward to help, I'd think this is a flash in the pan. But that's just not the case," Lynch said.
Contributing: Paul Overberg; the Associated Press

Similar Topics
If Iraq Worsens, Allies See 'Nightmare' Case
Roadside Bombs Kill Troops At Highest Rate Of Iraq War
Reporters in Iraq face snipers, roadside bombs and kidnappings
Insurgent Bombs Directed at G.I.'s Increase in Iraq
Shaking hands with Sadam Hussein