At least one Arab television media outlet reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed in Iraq on Sunday afternoon when eight terrorists blew themselves up in the in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.This report remains unconfirmed. Debka claims that there are teams of US soldiers trying to determine the identity of the group that blew themselves up in Mosul.
The unconfirmed report claimed that the explosions occurred after coalition forces surrounded the house in which al-Zarqawi was hiding.
If this report is confirmed, it's a substantial victory, though as we've already seen elsewhere - the killing or capture of high level terrorists doesn't necessarily translate into lessened terrorist attacks. We have to press the advantage while we can.
The report alleging Zarqawi's death comes on the heels of reporting that Zarqawi's family in Jordan renounced his actions after the bombings in Amman last week that killed 57 and wounded over 100.
Now, the soldiers in the field know what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, and have ready access to what the media is saying about events in both countries. What was formerly a love-hate relationship between the media and the soldiers has turned into a hate-hate relationship because of the egregious media bias. So do the milbloggers who have been dutifully noting not only the media bias, but all the good news from Iraq and Afghanistan.
If confirmed, this is bigtime good news for Iraq and the coalition efforts. And, it comes because of our capture of one of the Amman suicide bombers before she was able to blow herself up. It is quite possible that there is a link between the two events.
Also reporting this story: The Jawa Report and Little Green Footballs.
Additional sources are fleshing out the story a bit more. Iraq the Model links to an AP report that confirms that DNA testing is underway to confirm identities of individuals in Iraq.
Others blogging***: Speed of Thought, Say Anything, Alphabet City, Michelle Malkin, No End But Victory, Polipundit, Bareknucklepolitics, Six Meat Buffet, Interested Participant, and OpiniPundit. Wizbang notes that the incident in Mosul comes on the heels of King Abdullah II's response to the Amman bombings to take the fight to Zarqawi. PA Pundit, Chateau D'if, Ace of Spades has his fingers crossed. Flopping Aces has a good feeling about this based on what we know so far. Generation Why? and Don Surber also chime in.
I'm updating bloggers linking to various reports and providing analysis as necessary.
FoxNews is reporting that there is no confirmation that Zarqawi was involved in the raid on a compound in Mosul.
On Saturday, police Brig. Gen. Said Ahmed al-Jubouri said the raid was launched after a tip that top Al Qaeda operatives, possibly including al-Zarqawi, were in the house in the northeastern part of the city.
During the intense gunbattle that followed, three terrorists detonated explosives and killed themselves to avoid capture, Iraqi officials said. Eleven Americans were wounded, the U.S. military said. Such intense resistance often suggests an attempt to defend a high-value target.
Roger L. Simon pursues an interesting theory that someone within al Qaeda tipped off the coalition about Zarqawi, perhaps as a way to eliminate a severe liability. He points to the Zawahiri letter as proof that al Qaeda was tiring of Zarqawi's indiscriminate terror campaign. To me, what's a few bombings and couple hundred Muslims murdered between sociopathic nihlists.
Meanwhile, Stop the ACLU thinks that this is a broken record - he's heard it before. We all have. Sooner or later it is going to come to pass. Here's hoping for sooner.
Confederate Yankee has the skinny on what the Left spinning the potential death of Zarqawi. They're trying to make it out to be somehow insignificant.
Drumwaster chimes in with the following:
Obviously, this is going to be HUGE for Iraq if Zarqawi is found to be dead. That is why the Americans are researching it (the story about that is linked both here and at Iraq the Model) so closely....they want to be sure, like they were with the deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein. AND....they want the fact that these supposedly brave and pious Islamofascists committed suicide, and therefore took the cowardly way out, to be public knowledge in the Islamic world. That would put the whole Wahabbist movement in a new light, and show a good percentage of the Muslim world the hypocrisy of their actions, and the moral depravity of their cause.Has Zarqawi met God? AJ Strata wonders (along with frequent updates. OSM is on top of the situation as well, and notes that LGF carried the story more than four hours earlier than the big US media outlets. It remains to be seen whether the original Jerusalem Post article will be validated. The White House is downplaying the significance of today's events.