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US strike in Syria "decapitated" al Qaeda's facilitation network

Al Qaeda leader Abu Ghadiya was killed in yesterday's strike inside Syria, a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal. But US special operations forces also inflicted a major blow to al Qaeda's foreign fighter network based in Syria. The entire senior leadership of Ghadiya's network was also killed in the raid, the official stated.

Ghadiya was the leader of al Qaeda extensive network that funnels foreign fighters, weapons, and cash from Syria into Iraq along the entire length of the Syrian border. Ghadiya was first identified as the target of the raid inside Syria late last night here at The Long War Journal. The Associated Press reported Ghadiya was killed in the raid earlier today.

Several US helicopters entered the town of town of Sukkariya near Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, just five miles from the Iraqi border. US commandos from the hunter-killer teams of Task Force 88 clear the buildings sheltering Ghadiya and his staff.

The Syrian government has protested the attack, describing it as an act of "criminal and terrorist aggression" carried out by the US. The Syrian government claimed eight civilians, including women and children, were killed in the strike. But a journalist from The Associated Press who attended the funeral said that only the bodies of seven men were displayed.

The US official said there were more killed in the raid than is being reported. "There are more than public numbers [in the Syrian press] are saying, those reported killed were the Syrian locals that worked with al Qaeda," the official told The Long War Journal. "There were non-Syrian al Qaeda operatives killed as well."

Those killed include Ghadiya's brother and two cousins. "They also were part of the senior leadership," the official stated. "They're dead. We've decapitated the network." Others killed during the raid were not identified.

The strike is thought to have a major impact on al Qaeda's operations inside Syria. Al Qaeda's ability to control the vast group of local "Syrian coordinators" who directly help al Qaeda recruits and operatives enter Iraq has been "crippled."

Ghadiya's staff

The identity of Ghadiya and several members of his senior staff has been known since February 2008 when the US Treasury identified Ghadiya, his brother, and his two cousins as members of the network. The US Treasury department publicly designated Ghadiya, his brother, Akram Turki Hishan Al Mazidih, and his two cousins, Ghazy Fezza Hishan Al Mazidih and Saddah Jaylut Al Marsumis as senior members of al Qaeda's foreign facilitation network.

Ghadiya, whose real name is Badran Turki Hishan Al Mazidih, was an Iraqi from Mosul. He was working as an al Qaeda logistics coordinator in Syria since 2004, when he was appointed to the position by Abu Musab al Zarqawi. After Zarqawi's death, he "took orders directly, or through a deputy" from Abu Ayyub al Masri, al Qaeda's current leader in Iraq,

Ghazy Was Ghadiya's "right-hand man," the Treasury stated. "As second-in command, Ghazy worked directly with [Ghadiya], managed network operations, and acted as the commander for [Ghadiya's] AQI [al Qaeda in Iraq] network when [Ghadiya] traveled."

Akram directed al Qaeda operations along with Ghadiya in the Al Qaim region right on the border with Syria. He smuggled weapons from Syria into Iraq, and ordered "the execution of AQI's enemies," Treasury stated. "Akram also ordered the execution of all persons found to be working with the Iraqi Government or US Forces."

Marsumi was an al Qaeda financier who "facilitated the financing and smuggling of AQI foreign fighters from Syria into Iraq." He helped Syrian suicide bombers enter Iraq, and also wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ghadiya to facilitate operations.

All four men lived openly inside Syria. The US Treasury identified Ghadiya, Ghazy, and Akram as living in Zabadani. Marsumi lived in the village of Al Shajlah.

A senior US general and the Iraqi spokesmen both noted that al Qaeda leaders were openly living inside Syria, and the Syrian government did nothing to shut down the network.

"The attacked area was the scene of activities of terrorist groups operating from Syria against Iraq," Ali al Dabbagh, Iraq's spokesman told Reuters. "Iraq had asked Syria to hand over this group which uses Syria as a base for its terrorist activities."

Major General John Kelly, the commander of Multinational Force - West, described Syria as "problematic" during a briefing on Oct. 23. "The Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi intelligence forces feel that al Qaeda operatives and others operate, live pretty openly on the Syrian side," Kelly said. "

Background on al Qaeda's Syrian facilitation network

Syria has long been a haven for al Qaeda as well as Baathists who fled the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Terrorists and insurgents took advantage of the long, desolate, and unsecured border, which stretches more than 460 miles along Iraq's western provinces of Anbar, Ninewa, and Dohuk.

At the height of the Iraqi insurgency, an estimated 100 to 150 foreign fighters poured into Iraq from Syria each month. Operations in Anbar and Ninewa have pushed that number down to 20 infiltrators a month, according to the US military.

Wanted insurgent leaders, such as Mishan al Jabouri, openly live in Syria. Jabouri, a former member of the Iraqi parliament, fled to Syria after being charged with corruption for embezzling government funds and for supporting al Qaeda. From Syria Jabouri ran Al Zawraa, a satellite television statement that aired al Qaeda and Islamic Army of Iraq propaganda videos showing attacks against US and Iraqi forces.

Al Qaeda established a network of operatives inside Syria to move foreign fighters, weapons, and cash to support its terror activities inside Iraq. An al Qaeda manual detailed ways to infiltrate Iraq via Syria. The manual, titled The New Road to Mesopotamia, was written by a jihadi named Al Muhajir Al Islami, and discovered in the summer of 2005.

The Iraqi-Syrian border was broken down into four sectors: the Habur crossing near Zakhu in the north; the Tal Kujik and Sinjar border crossings west of Mosul; the Al Qaim entry point in western Anbar; and the southern crossing at Al Tanf west of Rutbah near the Jordanian border. Islami claimed the Al Tanf and Habur crossing points were too dangerous to use, and Al Qaim was the preferred route into Iraq.

The US military learned a great deal about al Qaeda's network inside Syria after a key operative was killed in September of 2007. US forces killed Muthanna, the regional commander of al Qaeda's network in the Sinjar region.

During the operation, US forces found numerous documents and electronic files that detailed "the larger al-Qaeda effort to organize, coordinate, and transport foreign terrorists into Iraq and other places," Major General Kevin Bergner, the former spokesman for Multinational Forces Iraq, said in October 2007.

Bergner said several of the documents found with Muthanna included a list of 500 al Qaeda fighters from "a range of foreign countries that included Libya, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Oman, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom."

Other documents found in Muthanna's possession included a "pledge of a martyr," which is signed by foreign fighters inside Syria, and an expense report. The pledge said the suicide bomber must provide a photograph and surrender their passport. It also stated the recruit must enroll in a "security course" in Syria. The expense report was tallied in US dollars, Syrian lira, and Iraqi dinars, and included items such as clothing, food, fuel, mobile phone cards, weapons, salaries, "sheep purchased," furniture, spare parts for vehicles, and other items.

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point later conducted a detailed study of the "Sinjar Records," which was published in July 2008. The study showed that al Qaeda had an extensive network in Syria and the Syrian government has allowed their activities to continue.

"The Syrian government has willingly ignored, and possibly abetted, foreign fighters headed to Iraq," the study concluded. "Concerned about possible military action against the Syrian regime, it opted to support insurgents and terrorists wreaking havoc in Iraq."

Al Qaeda established multiple networks of "Syrian Coordinators" that "work primarily with fighters from specific countries, and likely with specific Coordinators in fighters’ home countries," according to the study. The Syrian city of Dayr al Zawr serves as a vital logistical hub and a transit point for al Qaeda recruits and operatives heading to Iraq.

A vast majority of the fighters entering Iraq from Sinjar served as suicide bombers. The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point estimated that 75 percent conducted suicide attacks inside Iraq.


Added: Oct-27-2008 
By: SupremeCobra
In:
Iraq, Middle East
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  • Hey if those countries won't do anything about terrorists then we will, don't cry when we come over the border and drop bodies

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (10) | Report

  • Effing kick ass- where are the site pussies! What do you have to say now? Violating Syrian sovereignty and all that BS. I bet they haven't a thing to post about this- they're too busy watching Oprah.

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (7) | Report

  • good shit

    Posted Oct-27-2008 By 

    (5) | Report

  • bada bing.

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (5) | Report

  • stay out of iraq bitches. try that cross-border shit again and get murked

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (5) | Report

  • That's some fucking construction workers who were shot by the Americans. I guess the jihadist heroes, being Islamist faggot pedophile pussies they are, never fought back. At the sight of American helicopter troops they ran in terror and got shot in the backs. I suppose if they had the courage to pick up their weapons and fight back like men, they would have never been mistaken for "construction workers" but fighters.

    This article deals a stunning blow to Islamoliars at Liveleak.

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (5) | Report

  • These pr1cks has the gall to cry terrorist act, when they've just been caught red handed, aiding and organizing an insurgency in Iraq that's cost so many lives.
    Iran is and has been doing it the whole time as well, and Iran is where Muckfuker al-sader goes when things get too hot.
    Fuk Syria, I hope the US bombs the sh1t out of the Presidential palace like they did to Gaddaffi.
    Now Mommar plays real nice.

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (4) | Report

  • fucking excellent post ,, thank you supreme cobra

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (4) | Report

  • LOL and the state run Syrian media said they were all civilians. hehe yeah right.

    Like Americans are going to do a daring daylight raid in Syria just to cap some construction workers. If you can believe that, I have a bridge for sale for ya.

    This is a nice victory for the U.S. military. Syria will cry about it but they won't do shit. They are already helping the insurgents in Iraq, so it's not like we have to worry about their support too much.

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (4) | Report

  • We are trembling in anticipation of how angry Islamoliars from Liveleak will respond. They are now frantically looking through their video collections. They will soon post a sniper attack from Iraq from 2005. They are about to post it as "new attack". Oh my god, I'm so fucking scared, Allah have mercy.

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Good Posting (leak).

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • D strikes again.

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Hahahah...sheep purchases...

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • I hope the Middle east gets swallowed up by a tsunami one day

    Or hit by a meteorite, what ever.

    You are the weakest link!

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Nice! Now obama cant welcome this scourge with open arms.

    Eat your hearts out socialist left, and die!!

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • And they try to show balls by complaining to the UN? F em and pursue them as deep as it takes to show that Syria is a hideout for them. Don't cry like a bastard bitch Syria when you support them!

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • excellent

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • It's weird how they claim women and children were killed and then a journalist who would just as soon say he saw women and children said he just saw 7 men.... oh well believe a buerocracy headed by a prince
    or someone who's whole life depends on his dependability? I don't know it up to you

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (2) | Report

  • ISLAMIST PEDOPHILE TERRORISTS
    YOU LOSE TONIGHT
    YOU LOSE TONIGHT
    CURL UP AND CRY
    DOWN WITH ISLAM

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (2) | Report

  • http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/54828.html

    think this is the article

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Anyone fancy a bet that they get OBL before the elections?
    Ide put up a few bucks/euros

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • If you can see this ,when these people started taking aggressive actions against the chritians by killing them, and trying to drive them out,The God of the living took it personal, ( Psalms 105:15 " Touch not mine anointed" ) (Edmond Burke said " Evil prevails when good men do nothing ) The God of the living lifted his hand away from these evil men, they brought this on themselves ( he is willing that none should perish )and allowed the evil to come in( John 10:11 " the thie More..

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Haha, what you going to do Syria? Hmmm?

    You gay president isn't going to do shit.

    Isn't that guy a flamer or what?

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Where are all the children that were killed in this raid? They said the soldiers went in and shot the children in the head. Then were are the propaganda videos on this.

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • NEXT!

    Posted Oct-28-2008 By 

    (0) | Report