Thursday, April 22, 2010

Iraqi Forces Kill Top AQI Military Commander in the North

Via The Long War Journal -

Iraqi security forces killed al Qaeda in Iraq’s top military commander for the north during a raid yesterday in the outskirts of Mosul.

The al Qaeda military commander, identified as Ahmad Ali Abbas Dahir al Ubayd and also known as Abu Suhaib, was killed during a raid in a region just northeast of Mosul, the US military said in a press release. Ubayd was killed after Iraqi forces, backed by US soldiers, took fire from a building where he was sheltering.

Ubayd was responsible for al Qaeda’s military operations in the northern provinces of Ninewa, Salahadin, and Kirkuk, according to Voices of Iraq.

"He was the guy in charge of operations from Tikrit all the way up to Mosul out to the Syrian border,” General Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, told Fox News. “He was the military emir."

Khalifa’s death is the latest blow to al Qaeda in Iraq’s leadership over the past three days. On Sunday, Iraqi and US forces killed Abu Ayyub al Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq who was appointed by Ayman al Zawahiri, and Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the leader of al Qaeda’s puppet Islamic State of Iraq. Both men were killed, along with an aide to al Masri and Baghdadi’s son, after the joint Iraqi-US force launched an operation in the Thar Thar region just outside of Tikrit.

Iraqi and US forces are reported to have seized a treasure trove of intelligence after killing Baghdadi and al Masri. Intelligence teams retrieved documents, laptops, cell phones, and correspondence with al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin laden, US military intelligence officials told The Long War Journal.

Intelligence gathered from the raid that killed al Masri and Baghdadi helped Iraqi and US forces hunt down Ubayd, General Odierno said.

US intelligence officials told The Long War Journal that intelligence gathered in the past four months during operations against al Qaeda’s northern network helped the joint forces zero in on al Masri and Baghdad.

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