Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead!  

_Adriane_ 48M
146 posts
6/8/2006 3:04 am

Last Read:
6/8/2006 9:08 pm

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead!

I hope you burn in hell bastard!

sorry so short, but my emotions are getting the best of me, and I don't have the time I need to write. THanks for stopping in though. I am doing ok, still depressed, but I am working on it.

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 8 - Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in an American airstrike on an isolated safe house north of Baghdad at 6.15 p.m. local time on Wednesday, top U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Thursday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, right, with U.S. Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, at a news conference announcing the death of insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. More Photos >
At a joint news conference with Iraq's prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the top American military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., said Zarqawi's body had been positively identified by fingerprints, "facial recognition" and other indicators. He said seven of Zarqawi's associates had also been killed in the strike.

The announcement of Zarqawi's death, shortly before noon on Thursday in Baghdad, appeared to mark a major watershed in the war. With a $25 million U.S. bounty on his head, the Jordan-born Zarqawi has been the most wanted man in Iraq for his leadership of Islamic terrorist groups that have carried out many of the most brutal attacks of the war, including scores of suicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings.

"Today, we have managed to put an end to Zarqawi," said a beaming Mr. Maliki, who took office three weeks ago at the head of Iraq's first full-term government since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. He said the death should be a warning to other insurgent leaders. "They should stop now," he said. "They should review their situation and resort to logic while there is still time."

Zarqawi, an adopted name taken from the town of Zarqa in Jordan where the insurgent leader was raised, had assumed an almost mythic status for his long run of terrorist attacks and statements issued on Islamic militant websites that declared his goal to be the establishment of a new "caliphate" in Iraq. The term is taken from the term given to the vast areas of the Arab world that came under strict Islamic rule within 100 years of the death of the Prophet Mohammed in the 7th Century A.D.

Mr. Maliki said the raid that killed the Al Qaeda leader had taken place in an area known as Hibhib in Diyala province, which stretches north and east of Baghdad to the Iranian border. The area, 55 miles north of Baghdad, is has drawn intensified American military activity in recent weeks in response to a new wave of sectarian killings, including one on Sunday in which Sunni Arab gunmen pulled 20 people off minibuses near Baquba, including seven high school students, and killed them.

Gen. Casey said an American air strike had targeted "a single dwelling in a wooded area surrounded by very dense palm forest" five miles, north of the city of Baquba, and that "precision munitions" had been used, a phrase that usually refers to laser-guided bombs or missiles. An unconfirmed report on Iraq's state-owned television channel, al-Iraqiya, said the attack had been carried out by U.S. attack helicopters.

Gen. Casey said fuller details of the raid would be given at an American military briefing at 3 p.m. local time, 7 a.m. EST.

The atmosphere at the news conference announcing the killing of Zarqawi was reminiscent of a similar occasion on Dec. 13, 2003, when L. Paul Bremer III, the head of the American occupation then ruling Iraq, announced that Saddam Hussein had been captured in a stifling underground bunker near Mr. Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, 100 miles north of Baghdad.

The mood then was one of triumphalism, with Mr. Bremer declaring "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him!" and U.S. military commanders describing the capture as a major turning point in the war. Those hopes were quickly disappointed as the insurgency rapidly worsened, and Mr. Hussein, now on trial in Baghdad, has used the courtroom dock as a platform to encourage the insurgents to intensify their attacks on American and Iraqi targets.

This time, the mood of the American and Iraqi leaders was more cautious, though Mr. Maliki, opening the news conference with the formal announcement of the Zarqawi killing, was greeted by celebratory shouts and cries of "peace be upon him," the traditional Islamic obeisance to the Prophet Mohammed that Muslims make at moments of joy or special significance.

Gen. Casey, nearing the end of his second year as the American commander here, confined his remarks to a spare summary of the raid that killed Zarqawi. The general shook Mr. Maliki's hand vigorously after the Iraqi leader made the formal announcement of Zarqawi's death, but otherwise seemed at pains not to overstate the significance of the moment.

Zarqawi, he said, "is known to be responsible for the deaths of thousands" with his terror attacks, and his death would be a major blow to Al Qaeda.

But he added a sober note, saying that "although the designated leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq is now dead", hard fighting in the war lay ahead. "This is just a step in the process", he said.

Khalil Khalizad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, took a similar approach. Smiling broadly, the envoy described Zarqawi's death as "a great success for Iraq" in its war with terrorists, and congratulated Gen. Casey, "whose forces carried out this very vital mission."

In a personal nod to Gen. Casey, he noted that the American commander "has been here now for more than 700 days" - an oblique way, perhaps, of saying that Zarqawi's death marked a rare upturn in the war for the force of 135,000 American troops Gen. Casey leads, who have lost more than 2,400 soldiers dead and more than 17,000 wounded, with no end to the war in sight.

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