BAGHDAD ø U.S. Army intelligence has concluded that daily U.S. air strikes have hurt the terror network led by Abu
Mussib Al Zarqawi.
U.S. officials said military intelligence has detected a drop in
communications and activities in insurgency-controlled Sunni cities such as
Faluja and Samara.
Over the last month, officials estimated, about 100 Al Zarqawi operatives
have been killed in U.S. bombing operations, mostly in
Faluja. They said the air strikes were based on enhanced intelligence
regarding the movement of senior operatives.
At the same time, U.S. combat aircraft continued pounding suspects
hideouts of Al Zarqawi in Faluja, Middle East Newsline reported. The military said it conducted what it
termed a "precision strike" on the confirmed "Zarqawi terrorist site" in
"Several credible intelligence sources confirmed that members of the
terrorist group were operating at the site at the time of the strike," a
U.S. military statement said.
On Sept. 17, Al Zarqawi's chief aide was killed in a U.S. air strike as
he was driving from Faluja to Baghdad. Officials said the death of Sheik Abu
Anas Al Shami, a Palestinian and spiritual leader of Tawhid, marked the
greatest blow to the Sunni insurgency movement.
"We have had a lot of good effect against the Zarqawi network in the
past several weeks," U.S. Central Command chief Gen. John Abizaid said on
Sept. 22. "We'll continue to work against them as long as it takes. We will
find him, root him out and destroy him and his organization, and we'll do it
as quickly as we possibly can."
On Tuesday, the U.S. military continued to report successes against the
Sunni insurgency movement. The military said U.S. forces captured an
insurgency leader in Kirkuk the previous day.
The insurgent was identified as Hussein Salman Mohammad Al Jabburi.
Officials identified Al Jabburi as head of an Al Zarqawi-aligned network,
Ansar Al Sunna.
Officials said the U.S. military was interrogating Jabburi. Neither the
officials nor the military provided additional information.
The U.S. strikes have not impacted the main element of the
insurgency in Iraq ø supporters of the former Saddam Hussein regime.
Officials acknowledged that Saddam's former special operations forces were
tightening control over several Sunni cities, particularly Ramadi in western