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Rumor and Combat

KUWAIT CITY: While Coalition forces press operations along the Euphrates River Valley, an interesting report emerges from the city of Mosul. During a shootout at a suspected al Qaeda safe house, eight terrorists either shot each other or blew themselves up to avoid capture. Unconfirmed reports indicate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, may have been one of those killed. According to an unnamed U.S. counterterrorism official, “[t]here are efforts under way to determine if he was killed.”

In the past we’ve looked at potential successors to Zarqawi. Since this time, three known al Qaeda in Iraq “princes” have been confirmed killed (Suleiman Khalid Darwish and Abu Azzam) or captured (Abu Talha), and Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri is believed to have died as well. The death of Zarqawi would be an important psychological victory for the Coalition and a blow to al Qaeda, but, as Col Stephen Davis commented in the past, “[t]he reality is that while one day Zarqawi will die or will be captured and nothing much will change. We will continue to fight and kill the insurgents in [Western Anbar] with our focus being on dismantling the networks.”

And the dirty job of fighting the insurgency and dismantling the jihadi networks continues. In Haditha, a roadside bomb attack killed fifteen Iraqi civilians and one U.S. Marine. An ambush followed the bombing, and Iraqi Army soldiers and Marines beat off the attack and killed eight insurgents and wounded another.

Fresh on the heals of Operation Panther, a combined Coalition force of 150 Iraqi Army soldiers and 300 Marines launched Operation Bruins in northern Ramadi. Multinational Forces-West describes the operation as “part of a series of disruption operations in Ramadi and is designed to set the conditions for successful elections in December. The forces are conducting cordon and searches, blocking off known insurgent escape routes and searching for weapons caches.” In Ramadi: North, South, East and West, and Operation Panther, we stated “the Coalition is attempting to address the Ramadi problem by slowing bringing in Iraqi troops and pairing them off with U.S. units, and trying to avert a full scale operation like the one conducted in Tal Afar… the small scale offensives in Ramadi… are designed to target specific neighborhoods as well as outlying areas of the city…”

Multinational Forces-West reports “Attacks against Iraqi and U.S. Forces in the Ramadi area have decreased 60 percent in the last few weeks, as a result of these ongoing operations.” One such insurgent attack in downtown Ramadi had disastrous results; thirty two insurgents were killed by U.S. And Iraqi troops.

The Coalition is slowly and methodically strangling the insurgency and al Qaeda in northern and western Iraq, and persistent operations are denying al Qaeda safe havens in their former self-declared “Islamic Republics” on the Syrian border. The death of Zarqawi, if true, should be credited to the persistent pressure applied by Coalition forces, and the introduction of Iraqi troops into the northern and western regions of Iraq.

Reference

Listed below are links that reference Rumor and Combat:

» Al-Zarqawi Killed? from By Dawn's Early Light
Reports from Mosul give hope that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may be killed in an attack today. Bill Roggio reports more from Kuwait. [Read More]

Feedback

Bill,

This could spell the end of major terror operations in Iraq! Good luck in this possibility of ending Zark.

Here's to hope!

Step by step the net closes around the Insurgents and Foreign agents.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the rumors are true. Hats off to our boys over there (you too my bro).

Bill, This is great news if it's true. It would greatly disrupt their operations for a while at least. I've also noticed the successor of a powerful person is not as good as the original person. Stay safe out there!

Will you be getting better information from Mosul? How long will you be in Kuwait City? Are you moving around there or in a compound? Is it a nice place to visit?

I am getting more familiar with the new site, and am trying not to get lost in all the great information there. You and Steve and Marvin will do good things here.

Take care.

Mom

Hey, I forget again... how did Al Qaeda get in Iraq anyway? Pre-9/11 they had no presence there.

Oh, that's right. After we invaded Iraq, they moved in.

So, Bill good luck in Iraq! Here's hoping you don't bring Al Qaeda back to New Jersey! Seems they have a habit of showing up after folks.

Maybe some of them came from the terorrist training camp at Salman Pak. Or from Afghanistan after it became untenable for them. Or maybe they were Saddam's goons previously. The possibilities are legion.

Mark at least Bill has the guts to back up his writing with first hand observations; more than you can do sitting in your barcolounger. The least you can do is respond to his post above, instead of insulting him. I wouldnt expect better from a former WP writer anyway.

As for AQ in Iraq, the more we kill or aprehend in Iraq the better. Wether they were there before or not isnt the issue. In fact one could argue that they have done themselves a tremendous disservice by killing fellow muslims. They have shown their ass so to speak and have been exposed for the psychotic murderers that they are. Not a great deal of support for that in the muslim world.

By the way I take it that you have a better solution to fighting Islamofascists Mark? I think forcing them to place men and resources in Iraq only to be killed by our military has proved itself to be a brilliant plan, wether this was the original plan or not. The bonus of having AQ in Iraq be forced to kill innocents as there only means of making an imprint has only gotten them roundly hated by many. It is only those like you, there intended audience, useless idiots all, who are impressed with their actions.

'Have fun in Iraq Bill'!!!? That shows the kind of class I would expect from someone like you. It is with great pleasure and a strong measure of respect that I support Bill , a man who is putting much on the line to get us all some perspective, good or bad. He will be there to witness this war being won and I am sure he will be proud to be on the right side of history. Unfortunately you wont.

So, "Mark Spittle," how's the weather on "Planet Moonbat?"

It's clear you REALLY need to expand your daily selection of reading material beyond Democratic Underground, DailyKos, and The Nation.

Ignorance, paranoia, and seething, unhinged hatred are poor substitutes for a life, son.

Just like I predicted some time ago, little offensives in different parts of Ramadi would be by far the best to clean it out before the elections.

That said 11 members of the 101st were killed last week patrolling Iraqi roads by IEDs. After the election we absolutely must hand over patrolling responsibility to the Iraqis.

Justin,

Insufficient patrols is what gives the jihadi's time to plant heavy Armour Penetrating IED's. Unless there are sufficient Iraqi's to patrol an area, not patrolling is a poor option.

Bill, my wife and I are praying for you. Keep up the fantastic work you're doing! The following is a Letter to the Editor I'm faxing to several newspapers:

BEYOND THE PALE

Beyond the pale! I can’t think of other words to describe what’s happening in our county! We were attacked by an enemy so completely and satanically evil on 9/11/01 murdering 3000 American innocents; that murdered Americans in foreign lands during previous administrations; that even attacked the USS Cole killing 17 sailors and that is bent on destroying all of us – yet there are those appeasers and cowards that are ready to cut and run! Can’t they see that we are in a world war, that terrorists have attacked Madrid, Bali, London, Paris, Amman, Istanbul and elsewhere? Can’t they see that unless the US and allies search and destroy these animals in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, we will be battling these demon possessed miscreants here on our shores? What evidence do these seditious Democrat leaders need to convince them that what they (Rep. John Murtha, D-PA, in particular) are advocating is tantamount to treason? Have they considered how they undermine the war effort and harm our brave troops? Ben Laden and al Zarqawi and their cancerous scum become embolden every time they hear retreat rhetoric from old media and Democrats.

Folks, you must go to embedded bloggers (billroggio.com, michaelyon.blogspot.com, etc.) to get the truth – that US and Multi National Forces are kicking the beans out of the terrorists and insurgents and winning the war!

Sam Patti

Then US deaths will continute at a politically un-sustainable pace for a long time. That is the worse option.

This is a pure numbers game, with the US only needing to train and equip a certain number of Iraqi troops while building a logisitical system for them to continue building after we are gone.

I don't mind the deaths from patrolling Iraq streets on humvees. But, politically there isn't a choice in the matter, they have to end ASAP or we will lose the war just as Zawhari expects us to in his letter. I am first and foremost a student of political science, and can tell you that if support for the war continues to erode as it has been for the past year, that will will have about seven months before the politicians shut this war down like they shut down Vietnam.

Everything is going right in the war, except for the very political unsustainable number of US soldiers that are being killed patrolling Iraqi roads.

At the time when the Democrats and craven Republicans are trying to have us withdraw and lose the war on terror. Remember the inkstained hands of the voters in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have people who are committed to our kind of future even at the risk of their lives. We have humble friends around the world who are not bowing under the threats of the terrorists.
All the more shameful, what is going on in our own Congress.

Iraq has increased the reward amount for information leading to the capture of individuals involved in the production and/or utilization of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) through the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq (MNSTC-I) Small Rewards Review Board. Under this program, the review board can authorize payment of up to $10,000.

http://www.soldiersperspective.us/

Hi Bill,
I can only say THANK-YOU! I have been reading your work for a while. My son is serving with RCT 2 and even though I don't really know you I feel comfort knowing that you are there to tell the truth about what they are doing and what they are facing. You and your family are in my prayers. God Bless you and Thank-you.
Anne