The air defenses of Iraq have been greatly degraded as a result of persistent bombings from the coalition forces, Pentagon said on Saturday.
Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said the US-led coalition forces have struck Iraqi targets with 6,000 precision-guided bombs since the outbreak of the Iraq war.
In addition, the United States has launched 675 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and as of Thursday, 4,300 precision-guided munitions and 600 Tomahawks had been used in the war, McChrystal said.
U.S. and coalition aircraft flew more than 1,000 missions over Iraq on Friday, the spokesman said. Seven Tomahawk cruise missiles have missed their targets because of mechanical malfunctions, the general said.
Pentagon spokesman Victoria Clark said there was only less than one percent failure rate within the Tomahwawk missiles.
Commenting on the recent suicide bombing which killed four US soldiers in cental Iraq, the general said the military would work to shore up protections of military checkpoints and other sites.
The attack ``looks and feels like terrorism,'' McChrystal said.``To protect our soldiers clearly requires great care.'
There are reports that some units of the coalition forces, including those among the closest to Baghdad, have run low on food, water and ammunition.
Asked whether the US troops are facing a supply problem, McChrystal said there was no supply problem.
Also on Saturday, US defense officials said the US forces are bolstering security for supply lines vulnerable to Iraqi attack by placing troops from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division near Nassiriya in southern Iraq.