Iraqi terror leader dies in air raid - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Iraqi terror leader dies in air raid

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June 8, 2006

Albany -- The most wanted terrorist in Iraq is dead. US forces killed Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi Wednesday night. That's welcome news for south Georgia soldiers who saw Al-Zarqawi's handiwork up close in Iraq.  

Al-Zarqawi led a reign of terror in Iraq. US leaders say he and his followers were responsible for numerous bombings, kidnappings, and beheadings against American forces and civilians. Troops who recently returned safely from Iraq hope Al-Zarqawi's death sends a message to other insurgents.

He was a top terror leader against the US forces in Iraq for about three years, and he was wanted for 25-million dollars.

"I was extremely happy, I kept saying good he deserved what he got," said Sgt. Linfred Davis.

Sgt. Linfred Davis is home from a recent tour of duty in Iraq and calls Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's death a milestone in the war.

"I know there are a lot of my brothers over there wearing uniforms that are extremely happy that they finally caught him and hopefully that sends a message to the other insurgents that says you can run you can hide, but we will catch you," said Davis.

Intelligence reports pinpointed Zarqawi's location and special forces acted with a bombing raid on a house just north of Baghdad. President Bush says it's just one step toward Iraqi security, but no time to let down any guards.

"Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and neccessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him," said President Bush.

Which is something Sgt. Davis believes will happen as well. But he has an important message to send to all those insurgents and terrorist who continue to commit crimes in Iraq.

"Anybody else who takes his place, they are going to get the same thing so tell the insurgents, watchout, we're coming, we're not going to stop, we're coming," said Davis.

Zarqawi's death may lower the morale of insurgents or cause a temporary spike in crimes. Those fighting for Iraqi freedom say no matter what they will press on until the war is won.  

Military analysts say Zarqawi's death could have a lasting impact depending on how the Iraqi government follows up. Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki appointed defense and interior ministers Thursday, which means the Iraqi government now has a completed Cabinet.  

F-16 fighter jets dropped two 500 pound bombs on the house where Zarqawi and his men were meeting. Special forces soldiers then checked for survivors and identified Zarqawi's body.

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