Schemes of Al-Qaeda in Iraq

  • 16 September 2007

The news of assassination of Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the leader of “Anbar Awakening Council” in Iraq, on the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan has come as a major shock. The reaction of all Iraqi political forces and the unanimous condemnation of this heinous crime highlight the great loss suffered on the Iraqi scene, in the absence of Sheikh Abu Risha. This man was a prominent figure in Iraq’s confrontation against terrorists, and had played an important role in restoring peace and security to the Anbar province. This was previously the most chaotic and turbulent region of Iraq, which started making impressive gains in the security situation nearly a year ago with the formation of “Anbar Awakening Council” by 42 Sunni clans to fight Al-Qaeda, and the support of US forces as well as the Iraqi government. Abu Risha formed this alliance under the name of “Anbar Awakening Council,” and the latter formed the so-called “Anbar Salvation Council” to fight Al-Qaeda with the support of the Iraqi government.

Perhaps the most significant implication of the Abu Risha assassination comes with the serious warning conveyed by perpetrators of this operation who are trying to undermine seriously the successes realised by the Iraqi people. Definitely, the objective here is to keep Iraq enmeshed in an endless spiral of anarchy and instability. Iraqi leaders should understand that this targeting of Iraqi achievements would continue in the near future, along with developments like the total or partial withdrawal of foreign forces. Inevitably, this necessitates an immediate end to the existing clashes among all political forces and a concerted drive toward facing the enemies of Iraq, who are targeting and destroying all signs of hope for the Iraqi people.

The schemes of these organizations want Iraq to become a prisoner of the present chaos and instability. Therefore, all possible efforts should be directed toward defeating these evil designs, if Iraqi leaders have to bridge existing differences among themselves and have to create a new national charter necessary for building the Iraqi nation. They should also benefit from vigorous international support for fighting terrorist organizations in Iraq. They also have to take advantage of the Arab support after the declaration of more than one country of their intention to reopen their embassies in Baghdad.

The assassination must not weaken the morale of the people of Anbar and Iraq in facing these powers that keep Iraq in its troubled situation, which the country is experiencing nowadays. In fact, this operation must provide a strong impetus for revitalizing Arab role in helping Iraq overcome the serious challenges facing it currently.