Thursday, June 08, 2006


Yes, you read right. The AP’s Patrick Quinn is reporting that terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

“has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad, Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said al-Zarqawi was killed Wednesday evening along with seven aides.”
You should’ve seen the smiles on U.S. Ambassador Khalilzad’s and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki’s faces as they announced the deaths. I’ll guarantee that this will be a major boost to President Bush’s approval ratings. People have been dispirited with news about the Haditha incident and a perceived lack of progress in Iraq. That perception should be discredited immediately by Zarqawi’s killing.

While continuing to monitor the press conference in Iraq on FNC,

Gen. George Casey said that, in addition to Zarqawi being killed in the airstrike, Sheikh Abdul Rahman was killed with him. The airstrike was on an “isolated safehouse approximately 8 km north of Baquba.”
Needless to say that killing both Zarqawi and Sheikh Abdul Rahman is a huge deal, even bigger than just getting Zarqawi. FNC’s Greg Palkot said that the killing of Zarqawi will change the dynamic in Iraq in that Zarqawi was able to recruit people all the way from Europe to come kill Americans. Palkot also noted that Zarqawi was far more ruthless than Zawahiri, being totally willing to kill fellow Muslims, including women and children.

UPDATE: Fox is reporting that the Iraqi Parliament has confirmed the Defense and Interior ministers. They haven’t given the names of those ministers confirmed.

UPDATE II: Here’s a Gen. Casey quote from an AFP article that’s significant:

“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 (five miles) north of Baquba, when the air strike was launched.”

The significance of this can’t be underestimated. To have gotten the tip that led to Zarqawi’s death in the airstrikes from his inner circle can’t make whoever succeeds Zarqawi more than a bit nervous.

UPDATE III: Fox & Friends are interviewing Stephen Schwartz, author of “The Two Faces of Islam”. Schwartz is absolutely jubilant, citing the fact that the tip that triggered the airstrike came from Zarqawi’s inner circle. He’s saying that this is confirmation of what he’s been hearing that the Saudis are getting serious about fighting the GWOT. He also said that this tells him that the Iraqi people were putting alot of pressure on the terrorists. Schwartz said that this is definitely a major turning point. I hope so but I’ll wait to see if it turns out that way.

UPDATE IV: President Bush will deliver a statement on the killing of Zarqawi from the White House at 6:30am CT. Expect him to congratulate the Iraqi government on this & on the confirmation of their Defense & Interior Ministers. He’s also likely to thank the Jordanians for their help in pinpointing Zarqawi’s location.

UPDATE V: FNC’s Brett Baier is opining that, based on conversations that he’s had with senior defense officials, that they consider this a bigger get than bin Laden himself because Zarqawi is “more involved operationally.” WOW!!!

UPDATE VI: Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney is guessing that a Hellfire missile from a Predator drone is what they used to kill Zarqawi. He said, too, that Task Force 145 likely wasn’t too close to this ’safehouse’ because it might’ve tipped them off that something was about to happen.

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