Press Release ● Defense and National Security
For Immediate Release: 
June 8, 2006
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement this morning.  Rep. Hoyer traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan over the Memorial Day Congressional Recess:

             “The American military’s elimination of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – the terrorist murderer who was responsible for scores of suicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq over the last three years – is an important and positive development for the efforts of American and coalition forces there, as well as the new democratic government of Iraq and the Iraqi people.

             “I am pleased by the fact that the American air strike on al-Zarqawi resulted from intelligence reports provided to Iraqi security forces by Iraqi citizens.  It is clear that the suppression of the insurgency and the stability and security of Iraq requires the cooperation of the Iraqi people with the new government and coalition forces.

             “While the death of al-Zarqawi is certainly a positive development, it must be tempered by the sober recognition that this will not end the insurgency.  The new Iraqi government and the Iraqi people – aided by American and coalition forces – still face many challenges in establishing a free, open, democratic government.  We must hope that al-Zarqawi’s death strengthens the new Iraqi government and hastens the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.”