- Title: IRAQ: Iraqis play down the death of 4,000 U.S. soldiers
- Date: 24th March 2008
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI CITIZEN YASSIN TAHA, SAYING: "God willing the death toll will reach four million and more because they have done nothing to us since their arrival until now. They said that they will bring democracy, but we did not see democracy. they said also that they would bring freedom, where is the freedom? Is it the ongoing death?"
- Embargoed: 8th April 2008 12:49
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: International Relations,Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVA1PNNM5P96RTC99683DTWXAW13
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Iraqis on the streets of Baghdad attach little significance to the U.S.
military death toll since the invasion of 2003 reaching 4,000.
Iraqis said on Monday (March 24) that the death of 4,000 U.S.
soldiers in Iraq since the invasion in 2003, means nothing amid ongoing violence that caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
The U.S. military said on Monday that the number of U.S. soldiers to die in Iraq has reached 4,000, just days after the fifth anniversary of a war that President George W. Bush says the United States is on track to win.
"The death of 4,000 American soldiers does not concern us, what really concerns us is the death of innocent Iraqis, which totals up to hundred of thousands. The American presence and the the U.S. invasion of Iraq was not justified. The coming of the invaders and those who came with them on the their tanks lack justifications," said Iraqi citizen Lewis, a resident of Baghdad's central district of Karrada.
The U.S. military said in a statement four soldiers were killed late on Sunday (March 23) when a roadside bomb, the biggest killer of American soldiers in Iraq, exploded near their vehicle in southern Baghdad. One soldier was wounded in the attack.
The deaths came on a day when the U.S.-protected "Green Zone", the government and diplomatic compound in central Baghdad, was hit by repeated rocket and mortar fire, part of an upsurge in violence in the capital and elsewhere.
The violence, in which dozens were killed, underscored the fragility of Iraq's security. There has been an increase in attacks since January, although U.S. military commanders say overall levels of violence are down 60 percent since last June.
Other Iraqis said that the United States has failed to fulfil promises of democracy and freedom.
"God willing the death toll will reach four million and more because they have done nothing to us since their arrival until now. They said that they will bring us democracy, but we did not see democracy. They said also that they would bring freedom, where is the freedom? Is it the ongoing death?," said Iraqi citizen Yassin Taha.
What impact the 4,000 milestone will have on a war-weary American public and the U.S. presidential campaign will be hard to assess in the short term, but war critics are likely to seize on it to boost their case for U.S.
troops to be withdrawn.
The U.S. military dismisses such tolls as arbitrary markers.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None