Another one bites the dust. Via News.com.au:
A US air strike on a fleeing vehicle killed a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leader on Friday in the same area where two American soldiers went missing a few hours later, a US military spokesman said.
US forces had been on the trail of Mansur al-Mashhadani, identified as the top al-Qaeda religious leader in the country, before he was killed in the Yusufiya area just south of Baghdad, said Major General William Caldwell.
Mashhadani was one of the top five al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders and close to its mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was also killed by a US air strike on June 7.
“He was a right-hand man to Zarqawi,” Gen. Caldwell said.
US forces had spotted Mashhadani and two other militants in a car in the Yusufiya area south of Baghdad.
His vehicle was destroyed from the air as he tried to get away.
Mashhadani had previously been captured by US troops and then released in 2004.
Wonder if the hard left will cry “figurehead” and “Bush creation!!!!!!!!” at this one, too?
Maybe the AP will find one Iraqi and give legitimacy to his claim that US forces “beat to death” Mashhadani …
Update: Four more top AQ terrorists in Iraq have been detained. Via CENTCOM:
BAGHDAD, Iraq â€“ Coalition forces detained a senior al-Qaida in Iraq network member and three suspected terrorists during coordinated raids southwest of Baqouba June 19.
The terrorist is reportedly a senior al-Qaida cell leader throughout central Iraq , north of Baghdad . He’s known to be involved in facilitating foreign terrorists throughout central Iraq , and is suspected of having ties to previous attacks on Coalition and Iraqi forces.
Coalition forces secured multiple buildings and detained the known terrorist plus three suspected terrorists without incident. Troops found an AK-47 with several magazines of ammunition and destroyed them all on site.
Several women and children were present at the raid sites. None were harmed and all were returned to their homes once the troops ensured the area was secure.
Check Suitably Flip for more on the story about the four detained AQ members. There seems to be some confusion (via the media) as to what AQ terrorists were killed or detained and when. But one thing is for sure: our military is on the move, and they’ve been racking up big time since the demise of that “Bush creation” Zarqawi.