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Closing in on Zarqawi?

The Marine Corps Times had an article noting that special forces units had come close to nabbing the bloodthirsty terrorist in mid-April.

Just nine days before al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi released his latest video, a special operations raid killed five of his men, captured five others and apparently came within a couple of city blocks of nabbing Zarqawi himself.

Then, the day Zarqawi’s video debuted, special ops forces killed 12 more of his troops in a second raid in the same town.

The raids in Yusufiyah, 20 miles southwest of Baghdad in the heart of the Sunni Triangle, were the latest battles in a small, vicious war being waged largely in the shadows of the wider counterinsurgency effort.

The recent video release with Zarqawi was assuring all the he was alive and well & still on the warpath against Iraqis and Americans alike.

Today, consider the following from Reuters: US, Iraqi troops kill more than 20 foreign rebels

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces killed more than 20 foreign insurgents, several of them wearing suicide vests, during raids south of Baghdad in the past few weeks, the U.S. military said on Sunday.

The raids took place in and around Yusifiya, a village 15 km (9 miles) south of Baghdad, which insurgents have used as a staging area for suicide attacks in Baghdad, the military said in a statement. [snip]

U.S. and Iraqi forces captured seven wanted insurgents and detained more than 50 other suspects on Saturday during raids on locations believed to be safe houses for foreign fighters and al Qaeda-linked leaders, the military said.

Mixed Humor of Security Watchtower sent a heads up to that story this morning, forwarding a press release from Multi-National Force Iraq citing the same and almost certainly the source of the Reuters story. He normally has a quick reaction time, so be sure to add Security Watchtower to your list of monitored sites today (and going forward).

Also, see the Counterterrorism Blog for more on Zarqawi and Task Force 145, the Task Force hunting down the biggest and most dangerous enemy to the fledgling democracy that is Iraq.

One thing is for certain, if Zarqawi is not among the captured or killed on this day, the noose is tightening and that day may be close at hand.

1 Comment

Query: Who is more important in the overall picture of the GWOT? Is it Zarqawi, Zawahiri or bin Laden?

All of this chatter about propaganda, and yet all three released tapes recently. Which figurehead's head should appear on a stick first? I still vote for bin Laden!