WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) released the following statement in response to media reports that an Iraqi intelligence team found and killed Abu Ayyub al-Masri, al Qaeda’s top leader in Iraq:


“Every day, the brave men and women of our military and their Iraqi counterparts risk their lives in an effort to root out terrorists, and media reports of the killing of Abu Ayyub al-Masri point to our continued progress against al Qaeda in Iraq and its affiliates. We will continue to work closely with the Iraqis to eliminate this terrorist cell in order to create the conditions necessary to build a peaceful and stable Iraq in the future.


“Under President Obama, we have stepped up the fight against terrorists, capturing or killing hundreds of al Qaeda’s fighters and their affiliates in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen—including the most significant captures of Afghan Taliban leaders since the start of the war in Afghanistan. By continuing to work with regional partners and following the new strategy in Afghanistan laid out by the President, we will continue to keep our nation safe from future attacks by those who seek to do us harm—which is why we’re there.”