Two top al-Qaida leaders killed
U.S. military officials released the names of two more “senior” al Qaida in Iraq operatives believed killed by airstrikes last week near Husaybah.
The airstrikes came just days before a large offensive was launched in the area, west of Baghdad.
The airstrikes were targeting suspected insurgent safe houses in the towns of Karabilah and Ubaydi; the men inside the target houses were allegedly responsible for operations in Husaybah and beyond.
The two were identified as:
Abu Umar, “a senior terrorist leader and foreign fighter facilitator” for insurgent cells in the Ubaydi, Husaybah and al Qaim areas. Umar had recently replaced another cell leader killed by airstrikes in previous days, U.S. military officials said, and was responsible for planning and directing car bomb and roadside bomb attacks.Abu Hamza, described as the “commander of several terrorist cells” in the Husaybah and Karabilah areas. Abu Hamza allegedly was responsible for car bomb, roadside bomb, and indirect fire attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops, including “recent terrorist attacks” on Camp Gannon, officials said.The airstrikes were carried out on Oct. 31, after “multiple intelligence sources and tips from concerned citizens,” U.S. officials said.
There was no information offered on how the identifications were made.