It would have been foolhardy for us to try to occupy that capital city and pile up American casualties from sniper attacks by Iraq's guerillas.
1. pile up [ phrasal vb ] same as pile
Example: Newspaper and magazines were piled up on the floor.
if something piles up or someone piles it up, the amount of it increases a lot
Example: All the time the bills were piling up.
Example: These policies could be piling up financial trouble for future government.
2. guerilla [gə`rɪlə] (n.) a member of a military group that is not official and usually wants to change a political situation. Their main method is to make unexpected attacks in small groups.
[ only before noun ] using unexpected methods of attack to surprise the enemy
Example: guerrilla groups/ fighters/ leaders
Example: The enemy avoided direct confrontation and concentrated on guerrilla warfare.
Schwarzkopf reiterated that it was his mission to hurl back the invaders with a minimum of bloodshed but not, he added in a caustic tone, “to splatter Saddam over the desert sands. That dictator's days are numbered,” the gerneral concluded, “but I expect his end is likely to come at the hands of his own people.”
3. bloodshed (n.) a situation in which people are killed or injured, especially during fighting
Example: A ceasefire was called in an attempt to prevent further bloodshed.
4. splatter (v.) if a liquid splatters somewhere, drops of it hit a surface violently
Example: Blood splattered his coat.
Example: Oil was splattering across the stove.
(v.) to make something splatter
Example: The kids had splattered juice all over the carpet.
5. sb's/ sth's days are numbered someone or something is not likely to continue in a particular situation or to exist much longer
Example: His days in the team are probably numbered.