Baghdad: A regional al-Qaida leader was
killed on Tuesday as US and Iraqi forces continue to put pressure
on the terrorist organization following the reported deaths of
its two top-ranking figures over the weekend, officials said.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri were
killed in a joint operation Sunday in what Vice President Joe
Biden called a "potentially devastating blow" to al-Qaida in
The joint forces quickly followed that up with a
morning raid today. US and Iraqi forces acting on intelligence
information killed suspected insurgent leader Ahmed al-Obeidi
in the northern province of Ninevah, Iraqi military spokesman
Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said.
Al-Moussawi said the slain insurgent, known as Abu
Suhaib, was in charge of al-Qaida in Iraq`s operations in the
provinces of Kirkuk, Salahuddin and Ninevah.
US military spokesman Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza said
American and Iraqi security forces would be keeping pressure
"They`re still a threat here, and we will not lose
sight of that," he told The Associated Press.
Al-Qaida in Iraq has remained a dangerous force as the
US prepares to withdraw most of its troops. The terror group
has launched repeated attacks on civilian targets in Baghdad
in an attempt to sow chaos and exploit political deadlock in
the wake of the inconclusive March 7 parliamentary elections.