August is already the deadliest month for U.S. troops in the nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan, with almost half of those casualties coming when the Taliban shot down a helicopter carrying elite forces and others.
Sixty-six U.S. troops have died so far this month, according to the media tally maintained by the Associated Press. The record death toll comes amid a gradual troop drawdown in a war increasingly becoming unpopular with the American people.
President Obama addresses the American Legion's annual conference Minneapolis on U.S. combat in the decade after the Sept. 11 attacks.
July 2010 had been the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, when 65 Americans were killed in the war.
So far this year, 299 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan this year, while a total of 402 coalition forces have died in that war in the past eight months.
In addition to the 66 Americans killed so far this month, more than a dozen coalation forces from other countries were killed this month in Afghanistan, including two British, four French, one New Zealander, one Australian, one Polish and four other troops of unspecified nations, AP reported.
Nearly half of the Americans were killed this month Aug. 6 when their Chinook helicopter was shot down a in eastern Afghanistan in the deadliest incident in the war. A rocket-propelled grenade fired by Taliban fighters killed 30 Americans, most of them elite Navy SEALs being flown in to reenforce Army Rangers who were under fire.