December marked the first month since the United State invaded Iraq more than six years ago that there were no U.S. combat deaths, according to the Pentagon.
"That is a very significant milestone for us as we continue to move forward, and I think that also speaks to the level of violence and how it has decreased over time," said Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
Over the past six years, some 4,373 members of the armed forced have died – 3,477 from hostilities and 898 in non-combat incidents, CNN reports.
Combat fatalities have decreased significantly since June, when the United States started withdrawing troops from Baghdad, Iraq's capital, and other urban areas, according to CNN. The United States also started a troop drawdown in 2009 from about 160,000 to the current level of around 110,000.
President Obama has said he plans to withdraw all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by August 2010 and all remaining troops by December 2011. Britain, the United States' major ally in Iraq, ended combat operations in April.