Reed Statement on the Death of Terrorist Leader al-Zarqawi
Washington, DC Today, following reports that terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed in Iraq, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, made the following statement:The death of al-Zarqawi is good news. For years now we have been pursuing him. Hes a very dangerous terrorist and this is also a compliment to the skill and bravery of our American forces in the field. But I would caution not to assume that this means that were at the end of our mission in Iraq. The violence in Iraq was being generated and is being generated by many forces. Zarqawi and his band of international terrorists was one part of it, but there are still inherent tensions in the country between Sunnis and Shias and Kurds and indeed there are even tensions between and within the community - the Shia against the Shia - so, we are far from out of the woods when it comes to violence in Iraq and our presence there. We have to start thinking about how we can stabilize their government and begin to redeploy our forces home.This represents a victory for our forces against a terrorist figure. I know for years now they have been searching for him, trying to bring him down and today they did that it was a successful military operation. But I believe we also have to recognize there are other forces at play than just these international terrorist groups in Iraq. And indeed there are political forces and economic forces that we have to deal with just as effectively as we deal with some of the military aspects.In regards to the question of tracking down and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, Senator Reed stated: We are pursuing Bin Laden, were pursuing Zawahiri who is Bin Ladens deputy. They appear to be in the tribal areas of Pakistan. We are doing it with the cooperation of the Pakistani forces. We cannot let up on that pursuit. And indeed our efforts to run these divisions into the ground also help us because they restrict their ability to coordinate and communicate. But we have to deal with them. I hope we are successful; its been a long, long time since 9-11.