American-backed Iraqi forces have killed the country’s two senior terrorists in the Al-Qaeda organization, the United States confirmed Monday. American officials said the deaths are a “potentially devastating blow” to the international terror network.
The terrorists were identified as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who killed in a house after troops stormed it approximately six miles southwest of the home town of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told reporters that ground troops and aerial missiles were used in the assault, which cost the life of an American soldier who died in a helicopter crash that army officials said was an accident and not due to terrorist fire.
The United States has been struggling to make advances against anti-Iraqi government terrorists since its invasion in 2003. The Obama administration, like its predecessor, has been under heavy criticism at home for the deaths of American soldiers and for spending billions of dollars in the war without conclusive results.
The killing of the Al-Qaeda terrorists will likely bolster the standing of the American-backed al-Maliki. He is trying to win another term in office following last month’s general election in which Thursday electorate did not give anyone a clear majority.