While Americans prepare to celebrate another year of independence, the Pentagon had a stark reminder today that the United States is still at war. The military announced that three more American soldiers were killed this week, bringing combat-related deaths for U.S. forces in Iraq to a monthly toll not seen since 2008.
The deaths occurred Wednesday during an enemy attack in southern Iraq, though the Pentagon has yet to disclose the details on how the soldiers died. American convoys have recently come under increasing threat from improvised explosive devices. Fifteen American soldiers were killed in June, the highest number of combat fatalities since June 2008, when 23 soldiers and Marines were killed.
Meanwhile, approximately 1,500 soldiers from the Idaho Army National Guard are approaching their final months at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, Iraq. The 1,500 are joined by 600 soldiers from the Montana Army National Guard and 600 soldiers from the Oregon Army National Guard to make up the 116th Cavalry Brigade, headquartered in Boise. The 116th is responsible for life support, facility maintenance, land management, force protection and base defense for Camp Taji.