Fresh on the heels of reports from Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend that US ground troops have been sent closer to the front lines in the offensive in Mosul, Pentagon officials are now admitting that “some number” of US troops have been wounded in the last six to eight weeks in Mosul.
The indications from Tonwsend’s comments were that President Trump dramatically loosened restrictions on US “non-combat” troops in Iraq being embedded into combat operations, and Col. John Dorrian, a coalition spokesman, conceded they have been under fire “at different times” since then.
The admission suggests the woundings happened as far back as eight weeks ago, and that the Pentagon is only now willing to confirm that the incidents happened. Even more noteworthy, officials are still openly refusing to say how many US troops were wounded in Mosul, insisting it was just “some number.”
The refusal to offer anything beyond the most vague details possible may suggest that in addition to loosening the restrictions on combat in Iraq, the Trump Administration is reducing transparency on US military operations abroad.
Though the US is often lax in reporting on civilian casualties in their assorted wars, up until now they’ve been pretty forward with offering figures on US military casualties. The lack of timely and precise updates on military casualties may be an effort to further limit public opposition to the conflicts by denying the public a clear picture of what is happening abroad.