Iraq: July 31, 2003

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There are now 13,400 non-U.S. troops in Iraq, from 18 countries. Some 8,300 are British, So far, 30 nations have agreed to provide troops for peacekeeping in Iraq. 

The U.S. believes that al Qaeda is operating in Iraq. This is based on the number of non-Iraqis captured, and interrogated, and the new tactics used for attacks on American troops. The attacks follow procedures found in al Qaeda training manuals, particularly the dependence on accurate, long distance RPG fire. To counter this, underbrush is being removed from roads used by American troops, and convoys are often accompanied by ground troops and attack helicopters to either discourage attacks, or catch the attackers. Both of these effects are being seen. Sometimes, U.S. troops have been able to ambush the ambushers. Snipers, as well as UAVs overhead, are used to spot and hit attackers first.

The U.S. is offering $500 for working portable anti-aircraft missiles. Most of these are Russian made SAM-7 missiles. For missiles not in working order, $250 is offered.

In the last three months, 52 American soldiers have been killed in action.

 

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