Three more American soldiers were reported killed in western Iraq Friday in fighting near the Syrian border. American troops are involved in a push to drive insurgents out of the area.
Two of the American soldiers died after being hit by small arms fire in Khaldiyah, 55 miles west of Baghdad. The soldiers were members of a U.S. army unit detailed to the 2nd Marine Division.
The other American killed was a Marine. He was killed during Operation Steel Curtain, by a roadside bomb according to the military. The incident took place in Karabilah, along the Syrian border 200 miles west or Baghdad. The identities of the three dead soldiers was not being disclosed pending notification of their families.
These three deaths bring the total number of Americans killed in the war in Iraq to 2,059 according to the Associated Press.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Iraq to meet with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Rice and Jaafari used the occasion to maintain pressure on Syria for allowing foreign jihadists to enter Iraq over the Syrian border.
'Why do they not control their borders?' al-Jaafari asked. 'We demand they control their borders, prevent infiltration and terrorism. We want good relations with Syria, but this cannot be achieved with the existence of such violations.'