A Look at U.S. Deaths in the Iraq War

Tuesday, October 25, 2005; 5:22 PM

(Reuters) - Most of the U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war, which have hit a milestone of 2,000 since the American-led invasion in March 2003, occurred after President Bush declared "major combat operations" over in May 2003.

Following is a look at some facts and figures on U.S. Iraq war casualties.


A total of 140 U.S. troops were killed from March 20 to May 1, 2003, when Bush declared on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended," and that "in the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." A banner aboard the ship stated, "Mission Accomplished." About 93 percent of U.S. military deaths have occurred since then in a guerrilla war with insurgents who rose up after President Saddam Hussein was toppled.


The deadliest month of the war for the U.S. military was November 2004, when 137 died in the month that Marines led a ground offensive in Falluja to deprive insurgents of a safe haven. There have been two other months in the war with at least 100 U.S. military deaths: January 2005 (when parliamentary elections were held) and April 2004 (when violence flared in Falluja and the Shi'ite south).


The month with the fewest U.S. personnel killed in the war was February 2004, when 20 were killed during a lull in insurgent violence that ended dramatically in April of that year. U.S. military deaths were under 40 in four of the first five months after Bush declared an end to major combat, but only twice since then amid a tenacious insurgency.


The U.S. death toll in the Iraq war reached 500 in January 2004, 1,000 in September 2004, 1,500 in March 2005 and 2,000 in October 2005.


In the previous Gulf War in 1991, 382 U.S. troops were killed, according to the Pentagon. In the Vietnam War, 58,000 U.S. troops were killed. In the Korean War, 54,000 U.S. troops were killed.

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