Thursday, June 08, 2006

Leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq Has Been Killed - New York Times

Leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq Has Been Killed - New York Times

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.

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.

Of course this won't mean an immediate end to all the violence in Iraq, but it does allow an opening for negotiations. It also forces into place a new leadership team, probably Iraqi, that may not be as willing to target other Iraqis. It provides an opening lets hope we can exploit it effectively.

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