Two US Soldiers Die in Iraq Combat

First Combat Deaths of the New Year

Despite the war being officially designated a non-combat operation since August, two US soldiers were killed in combat in Central Baghdad today, the first soldiers slain in the new year.

The details of the deaths, beyond being in “combat” were not readily available, but they are the first US soldiers slain in Iraq since early December, when a sniper killed a soldier in the Wasit Province.

Though death tolls have declined considerably amongst the US forces in Iraq (in no small due to them staying on their bases and not engaging in random combat across the nation), recent studies have shown a large number of civilian deaths are continuing, and are expected to continue for years to come.

Indeed, sectarian tensions have actually risen over the past year, in no small part because of the disputed March election, which saw a Sunni-dominated bloc winning the largest plurality and relegated to a minor player in a grand coalition controlled by Shi’ite religious blocs. While the US is supposed to leave by the end of the year under the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), most expect them to remain well longer.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.