American and Iraqi forces are driving Al-Qaeda in Iraq out of its last redoubt in the north of the country in the culmination of one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror.
After being forced from its strongholds in the west and centre of Iraq in the past two years, Al-Qaeda’s dwindling band of fighters has made a defiant “last stand” in the northern city of Mosul.
A huge operation to crush the 1,200 fighters who remained from a terrorist force once estimated at more than 12,000 began on May 10.
Operation Lion’s Roar, in which the Iraqi army combined forces with the Americans’ 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, has already resulted in the death of Abu Khalaf, the Al-Qaeda leader, and the capture of more than 1,000 suspects.
Let’s hear it for the American press in wartime! While in the big picture our troops vanquish the enemy, the Times of New York this morning instead brings you a breathless Reuters account of how a terrorist killed six Baghdad civilians with a car bomb — that is, if you get to Iraq news at all. I mean, let’s face it, there are the truly vital reports to get through, such as: “A Ban on Cockfighting, But the Tradition Lives On.” All the news that’s fit to print, you know.