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Old 06-08-2006, 07:26 AM   #1
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Somehow I doubt that many people, Iraqi or otherwise, will be mourning his death. He lived by the sword and died by the sword.

Airstrike kills terror leader al-Zarqawi in Iraq
U.S. hails attack on 'godfather of sectarian killing'

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq, was killed in a coalition airstrike near Baquba, jubilant U.S. and Iraqi authorities announced Thursday.

The 3-year-old insurgency has "lost its leader," Gen. George Casey, the U.S. military commander in Iraq, told reporters.

Details are still emerging of the operation against the self-proclaimed leader of al Qaeda in Iraq who pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden. (Watch how al-Zarqawi's body was identified -- 2:28)

But the killing of al-Zarqawi, who had a $25 million bounty on his head, is a major coup for the embattled coalition forces.

"Today is a good day," U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad told a news conference soon after cheers and applause broke out when Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced: "Zarqawi has been killed."

Khalilzad called al-Zarqawi "the godfather of sectarian killing and terror in Iraq" -- and said the death "marks a great success for Iraq and the global war on terror."

"His organization has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in Iraq and abroad."

The 39-year-old Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi was accused of terrorist links before the Iraq war and soon led the insurgency after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. (Watch how al-Zarqawi murdered his way to the most-wanted list -- 2:50)

Multiple attempts have been made to capture or kill him and he was held briefly by Iraqi security forces in 2004 but was released because no one knew who he was.

In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called al-Zarqawi's death "a very important moment in Iraq. A blow for al Qaeda in Iraq is a blow for al Qaeda everywhere."

Casey said al-Zarqawi and a key lieutenant, spiritual adviser Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, were at an isolated safe house outside Baquba at 6:15 p.m. (10:15 a.m. ET) on Wednesday.

"Tips and intelligence from Iraqi senior leaders from his network led forces to al-Zarqawi and some of his associates who were conducting a meeting approximately eight kilometers north of Baquba when the airstrike was launched," he said.

Baquba is a volatile area northeast of Baghdad in Diyala province, a mixed Shiite-Sunni jurisdiction. There have been many roadside bombings and shootings throughout the province and within the week, severed heads were found in fruit boxes there.

"Iraqi police were first on the scene after the air strike, and elements of Multi-National Division North, arrived shortly thereafter," Casey said. "We have been able to identify al-Zarqawi by fingerprint verification, facial recognition and known scars."

In addition to Zarqawi and the spiritual adviser, seven others died in the attack.

Casey wouldn't provide many details about the action but said that "all of these operations are the result of a long, painstaking process where tips and intelligence are received, processed and checked out."

This particular operation had been in the works for a couple of weeks, leading to the location of the house in a wooded area and the meeting, he said.

Al-Maliki indicated that the strike on al-Zarqawi was the "result of cooperation" with ordinary Iraqis, saying that authorities many times have asked the citizenry to provide information.

"This is a message to all those who take violence as a path."

Khalilzad said the demise of al-Zarqawi won't end the violence in Iraq, but it is "an important step in the right direction."

CNN's Jamie McIntyre contributed to this report.

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Old 06-08-2006, 08:21 AM   #2

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So the finally got him. Good riddance. I can't say I mourn his death.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:02 AM   #3

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Now all we have to do is wait to see who takes his place so we can kill that guy... then see who's next so we can kill that guy... then see who's next so we can kill that guy...

As long as there are these sorts of radicals out there, we'll be dealing with a hydra. Not that I think there's any alternative at this point, but I don't think killing Zarweenie or Bin-hidin or any of the 'leaders' will have more than a temporary affect.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:06 AM   #4
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Good riddance. It's at least a symbolic victory and I hope the coalition manage to make the most out of it.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:06 AM   #5

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Originally posted by Thoran:
but I don't think killing Zarweenie or Bin-hidin or any of the 'leaders' will have more than a temporary affect.
Hmmm, well, history really is nothing but a continual series of temporary effects.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:22 PM   #6
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How long until someone claims he's a martyr?

In any case, I'm not sad to see his existence ended.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:35 PM   #7

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Originally posted by Bungleau:
How long until someone claims he's a martyr?

In any case, I'm not sad to see his existence ended.
They already have!!! maybe a martyr in hell. May he burn forever.

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Old 06-08-2006, 01:25 PM   #8

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Excellent. Now if only we could do the same with OBL.
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:34 PM   #9
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Well, at least he's with his 70 virgins now.
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:04 PM   #10
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Well the death of this man has another ripple effect, a positive one.

Word of the death of a top al-Qaida leader in Iraq quickly rippled through the ranks of Canadian and coalition soldiers in Afghanistan, boosting the morale of troops fighting their own battle against insurgents.

What this means is that the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are fighting a common enemy. Terrorist!!! So a victory in one location means something to people in the other as this piece of crap caused problems in the other country as well. I hope his 70 virgins have the faces of bulldogs.

[ 06-08-2006, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: pritchke ]
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