BAGHDAD -- Iraqi civilian deaths in Baghdad dropped significantly in June, a possible indication that recent American military operations around the country and raids on car-bomb shops in the "belts" ringing the capital are starting to pay off.
But June also marked the end of the bloodiest quarter for U.S. troops since the war began in March 2003.
Unofficial figures compiled by McClatchy Newspapers' show 189 Iraqis, including police and government security forces, were killed in the capital through Friday, a drop of almost two thirds since this year's high in February, when 520 were killed. The average monthly death toll of Iraqis in Baghdad was 410 from December through May.
In addition we are starting to see movement in Sadr City:
U.S. military officials said two pre-dawn raids Saturday in Shiite-dominated Sadr City in eastern Baghdad killed 26 "terrorists" and captured 17 fighters with links to Iran. U.S. forces said they opened fire on fighters detonating roadside bombs or firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades from buildings and from behind parked cars.
No U.S. casualties were reported.
We still need to get rid of that turd Maliki though:
Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has openly criticized the U.S. military for previous civilian deaths, demanded an explanation of the Sadr City attacks. He also said U.S. and Iraqi forces need to seek the government's permission to launch raids in Baghdad.
Garver said U.S. forces attacked because the targets were members of a "secret cell network" linked to Iran, "not because of their affiliation with a militia or whatever."
h/t Dan Riehl via Instapundit