These are just a few of the adjectives I have heard used to describe the man who was responsible for bringing peace to Ramadi more than any other.
Sheikh Sattar was the mastermind and visionary leader who created and lead the way to the Sunni Awakening and was a top official of the Anbar Salvation Council. Uniting 42 clans together, tired of seeing his fellow Countrymen brutalized, intimidated, and murdered by Al Qaeda and other insurgent forces, Sheikh Sattar last year was the most influential leader in all of Anbar in bringing cooperation with U.S. authorities and providing personnel and winning the confidence of the local populace to secure the city of Ramadi with hundreds of young men eager to join the immature and woefully small Iraqi Police force at the time.
With his residence less than a kilometer from the Ar Ramadi back gate, Sheikh Sattar was continually attempting to build relationships with us by inviting units to his compound for afternoon tea and dinner. Our relationship was open and friendly. One of the surgical team members was just there last week. . .on the same day Sheikh Sattar was in Al Asad meeting with President Bush. Tonight, I'm saddened to write that he was assassinated a few hours ago just outside his compound by an IED blast.
As the surgical team sits here in Taquaddum and counts down the few remaining days left in Anbar, it's been a somber mood as we talk about all the good he has done and the personal loss felt. Sheikh Sattar's death is going to be a blow to the progress made in Ramadi and may initially shake the confidence of the city and it's officials. On the other hand, we sincerely hope that his death only further resolves the rest of the city and officials to double their resolve to eradicate Ramadi of it's violence and instability in the face of this shameful murder.
Thursday, September 13, 2007