HVT #6 - al Qaeda's Emir of Anbar Province Killed
Khalid Mahal, the Emir of Anbar Province, and his aide Nasif Al-Mawla have been killed in operations
The Muthanna Complex and the Thar Thar region, an al Qaeda and insurgent staging area. Click to Enlarge.
Task Force 145, the global hunter-killers of high value al-Qeda targets, is conducting a full court press in Iraq. The Kuwaiti News Agency reports al Qaeda's Emir in Anbar province, Khalid Mahal, and Nasif Al-Mawla, his aide, were killed during an operation in the Thar Thar region. An American intelligence source will not comment on Mahal's death but did state "operations are ongoing."
Regional emirs are essentially military commanders (or senior generals in western terms), and Mahal would have reported directly to the Mujahdeen Shura, al Qaeda's leadership council in Iraq.
Anbar province is a critical theater for al Qaeda, and al Qaeda has repeated attempted to establish Islamic Emirates in the region. The Thar Thar region is an area where Baathists have settled, and numerous weapons caches were prepositioned in anticipation of the current insurgency. This is an ideal location as it is strategically located near Baghdad, Samarra, Balad, Ramadi and Fallujah. The Jazeera desert region has been the focus of numerous Coalition and Iraqi Army operations over the past year, and the Iraqi Army has been conducting independent operations in this area.
Khalid Mahal's death marks the 6th High Value Target killed or captured in Iraq in September. Yesterday, Omar al-Farouq, a senior aide to bin Laden and a former operations chief in Southeast Asia was killed in Basra. Muntasir Hamoud Ileiwi al-Jubour, a member of Ansar al-Sunnah's military Shura, and an as of yet unnamed military commander of the 1920s Revolution Brigades were captured over the weekend. Abu Jaafar al-Liby was killed and Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi was captured earlier this month. Both were members of al Qaeda in Iraq's Mujahideen Shura. Task Force 145 has some good intelligence on al-qaeda and related jihadists, and is executing its mission.