With civilian deaths continuing to rise in Iraq, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen again sought to laud the “progress” of the situation, claiming that “the violence level is down dramatically” and insisting that he is “confident we’ve got the strategy right.”
Shortly after the latest declaration of confidence, a series of bombs went off in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, killing at least 14 and wounding 35 others. The deadliest strike was in a Shi’ite neighborhood just north of the city.
Despite the repeated claims by the Obama Administration and military officials, the civilian toll in Iraq nearly tripled last month, with 373 killed. Most of the bombings came in the second half of the month, and they largely targeted Shi’ite neighborhoods and religious sites.
President Obama and others however have claimed the security situation has “dramatically improved” in recent days. Officials have also presented the “pullback” from Iraqi cities as a sign of progress, though the troops have continued to patrol in cities and are simply based on a outskirts now.