Falluja Terrorists Killed

More good news on the terror front, although one wouldn’t grasp that from the WaPo coverage:

U.S. Air Strike in Fallujah Kills 20

In a bloody surprise attack, the U.S. military launched precision weapons into a poor residential neighborhood of Fallujah on Saturday to destroy what officers described as a safe house used by fighters loyal to Abu Musab Zarqawi and perhaps, at times, by the fugitive terrorist leader himself.

Residents said about 20 people were killed, including women and children, despite a cease-fire with U.S. occupation forces that has brought relative peace for the last six weeks to the rebellious city 35 miles west of Baghdad. Images from the site of the blast showed two collapsed houses, with people in white robes picking through the rubble looking for buried victims and lost property.

“This leads to nothing but more confrontation with the enemy,” Abdullah Janabi, head of Fallujah’s Mujaheddin Council, declared in an interview with the al-Jazeera satellite television network.

A statement issued by Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the spokesman for U.S. military forces in Iraq, said it was not known whether the elusive Zarqawi was inside the house at the time of the 9:30 a.m. attack but that “multiple confirmations of actionable intelligence” indicated that several of his operatives were present. Kimmitt said secondary explosions lasting 20 minutes pointed to the presence of a large store of munitions and explosives in the targeted building.

Zarqawi, a Jordanian national whom U.S. officials have linked with the al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, has been cited by U.S. occupation authorities as one of the leaders of a relentless campaign of bombings and assassinations being waged against the occupation and Iraqis who cooperate with the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi interim government.

FILED UNDER: Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.