F-16s Lead Major Allied Victory
ANN REAL TIME NEWS:
1045 EDT -- Military sources are now reporting that the
aircraft responsible for the actual "kill" are in fact, F-16s, and
not helos. 500 pound munitions were apparently used in the strike
that eliminated al-Zarqawi as a future threat to Iraq and the
rest of the world. The details are coming hot and heavy and may yet
change again before the day is out, but one thing is for certain...
some pilot, somewhere, will not have to buy beer for the rest
of his or her life.
ANN REAL TIME NEWS: 0645 EDT -- The leader of the al
Qaeda in Iraq was killed Thursday morning as US and Iraqi forces
using special operations troops and helicopter gunships assaulted a
road house in Baquba. Both US military officials and the Iraqi
prime minister say Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was found mortally wounded
in the rubble of that house after helicopters fired missiles into
the building. Zarqawi was reportedly enroute from Baghdad to
Baquba, a Sunni city 40 miles north of the capital, when he stopped
at the house.
Seven people were reportedly in the building, including two
The attack was carried out by a joint special operations task
force. Iraqi and US soldiers secured the approaches to the house,
and then attack helicopters engaged the building with missile fire.
Commanders say, after the missiles were fired, commandos entered
the house and found Zarqawi near death. He was taken from the scene
by Iraqi forces and given medical treatment, but succumbed to his
The missiles also killed a senior al-Qaeda cleric and spiritual
advisor. No information on the other residents of the house is
available. Initial reports indicate the missiles were fired by H-6
or H-60 helicopters of the 160th SOAR.
An Aero-News reporter familiar with special operations was in
touch with sources in Iraq by electronic means shortly after
Zarqawi was killed, and was tipped off that something was up. His
contact wasn't in a position to know details at that point, but he
said it was clear given changes in his immediate mission that
whatever had occurred was something big indeed. At about 0300
Eastern time, major media outlets began reporting the rumored, then
the confirmed, death of Iraq's most-wanted terrorist.
Sources tell ANN the attack on Zarqawi came as a result of an
intelligence dragnet that has been quietly tightening around the al
Qaeda leader for a long time. Yesterday, forces from the same joint
special operations task force captured another senior al-Qaeda
member, reportedly al-Zarqawi's second-in-command.