Abu Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, is DEAD.
The US, with intelligence help from Jordan, found the area of his safehouse, determined where he was, and bombed him to oblivion along with seven of his top aides. Evidently the Jordanian analysts were able to recognize the area Zarqawi was hiding in by viewing the backgrounds on a video statement that Zarqawi had recently released.
President Bush's statement is here. An excerpt:
The operation against Zarqawi was conducted with courage and professionalism by the finest military in the world. Coalition and Iraqi forces persevered through years of near misses and false leads, and they never gave up. Last night their persistence and determination were rewarded. On behalf of all Americans, I congratulate our troops on this remarkable achievement.
Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him. We can expect the sectarian violence to continue. Yet the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.
Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al-Qaida. It's a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle. . .
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's reaction is here.
Iraq the Model notes that two of the aides killed with Zarqawi were the primary al-Qaeda intelligence operatives for its HQ in Iraq. Iraq the Model is a blog run by two brothers in Iraq who are more than happy that Saddam's been overthrown. They're justifiably happy today.
Captain Ed has extensive coverage, although why he's giving space to nutcase Michael Berg is beyond me.
The Coalition Central Command issued a press release; it is accessible here.