ERBIL — The United States has sent a congratulatory message to Iraq, as well as the country's security forces, on capturing the mastermind behind the 2016's deadly bombings in the capital Baghdad which killed hundreds of people.
"The United States congratulates the Government of Iraq and its security forces on the capture of the suspect for the bombing of the Al-Laith complex in Karrada in 2016," reads a statement by the US embassy in Baghdad.
"Five years ago, this terrorist attack in Karrada killed and injured hundreds of innocent civilians," the statement reminded. "We stand in remembrance of the victims of this horrific act of terror."
This comes a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced that the security forces had captured Ghazwan Alzawbaee during an operation, noting: "5 years after the terrorist bombing of Karrada, our brave forces succeeded in capturing the terrorist Ghazwan Alzawbaee in a complex intelligence operation outside the country."
"He is the primary culprit behind the Karrada atrocity and many others," Kadhimi further explained.
The US embassy said that Monday's arrest "represents a crucial step forward in bringing those responsible to justice and in Iraq’s continued fight to ensure the enduring defeat of Da’esh."
Yehia Rasool, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Commander-in-Chief, pointed out in a statement that Ghazwan, who was also known as Abu Ubaida of Baghdad, had been wanted by the Iraqi courts and that he was captured in one of the countries.
On July 3, 2016, the Islamic State jihadists exploded, in the neighborhood of Karrada, Baghdad province, a truck laden with explosives early in the morning to target the popular marketplace where families were busy shopping just a few days before the Muslim Eid feast, leaving 324 people killed.