Spontaneous street celebrations in parts of Baghdad and elsewhere took place when Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki announced the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Al-Zarqawi was the godfather of sectarian killing and terror in Iraq. He declared a civil war within Islam and a global war of civilizations. His network is suspected in the death of thousands of civilians in Iraq and abroad. He led a campaign of car bombings, assassinations, and suicide attacks that took the lives of thousands of Iraqis in an effort to incite sectarian strife.
Prime Minister Maliki says that Iraq "will soon reach a tipping point in our battle against the terrorists." Jawad al-Bolani, Iraq's new Interior Minister, says, "Killing Zarqawi is a new beginning for Iraqi security and establishing peace between the different components of society." General Abdul Qader Al-Mafraji, the new Iraqi Defense Minister, says, "We have to be one team with the multinational forces to achieve victory against terrorism."
White House spokesman Tony Snow says that "terrorist leaders have received a message, which is, you can't hide":
"There has been a concerted effort to go after terrorists. And maybe one of the most important things to understand is that Iraqis are now cooperating. They're providing intelligence."
Mr. Snow says that in Iraq, "There are serious security challenges ahead":
"We know we have killed a terror leader, but we also know that there are many other people committed to preventing democracy from taking root. The death of Zarqawi does not change overnight the situation, but I think in the long run it can have ramifications, because it does send messages to the terrorists, and it does send messages to the Iraqi people that they can play a role as well."
President George W. Bush says, "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," says Mr. Bush, "the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.