Those who contended there was no Al Qaeda presence in Iraq may eventually become right, but that's because they are being killed and captured at a rapid clip:
Iraqi security forces killed 14 "terrorists" and arrested almost 200 suspects, the government said Monday, in a spectacular follow—up to their earlier capture of an alleged top—level Al Qaeda leader.
Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki's office announced that over the previous 24 hours a large force of Iraqi troops and police swept through suspected insurgent strongholds in the Euphrates valley south of Baghdad.
Taken with the arrest of Hamed Jumaa Al Saedi, an Iraqi alleged to be the Al Qaeda militant network's number two in the country, the arrests will be seen as a victory for Maliki's embattled government in its war with insurgents.
"Over the past 24 hours Baghdad and its outskirts witnessed a series of military operations carried out by security forces from the defense and interior ministries to achieve security and stability," Maliki's office said.
The raids took place Sunday in a region south of Baghdad that is mainly inhabited by members of the country's restive Sunni minority and has been a hotbed of the insurgency.
"The units in charge of the southern and middle Euphrates district, the 8th and 10th army divisions, killed 14 terrorists and arrested 98 of them along with 95 more suspects," the statement said.
Police in Hilla, south of Baghdad, said that US forces and aircraft assisted Iraqi troops in Monday's arrest operation near Jorf Al Sahkr, but there was no immediate confirmation of this from US headquarters in Iraq.
Of course, those who argued that Iraq would be a magnet for Islamofascist terrorists and it was better to fight them there than here have always been right it would seem.
Clarice Feldman 9 05 06