A Viper Takedown for Zarqawi

Speaking to reporters

at the Pentagon via phone Thursday, Lt. Gen. Gary North, head of US Central Command Air Forces, confirmed that two USAF F-16Cs dropped the bombs that led to the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi on June 7. North said the F-16s were flying a regularly scheduled mission, when they were diverted to the target site just north of Baqubah and dropped two 500-pound bombs in two separate strikes on a safe house containing Zarqawi and some followers. “We knew it was a high value target,” said North, adding, “We knew with 100 percent assurance that the house … was the house that Zarqawi was in.” Both aircraft were equipped with Litening targeting pods, allowing both Viper pilots to observe the target from medium altitude before dropping their weapons. North said the first weapon was a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb and the second a GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition.