WASHINGTON, Sep. 4, 2006 – Iraqi police killed one of the most wanted insurgent leaders in the Euphrates River Valley during a Sept. 2 counterinsurgency operation in the city of Rawah, U.S. officials reported. Sadam Shihab Ahmad had played a key role organizing local anti-coalition operations, officials said. He also was suspected of involvement in the beheading of a Rawah policeman earlier this year.
When Ahmad, along with an accomplice, saw Iraqi police approaching their position in Rawah, the two suspects attempted to flee in a vehicle, but the police blocked their escape route. A policeman ordered Ahmad and his passenger to exit the vehicle with their hands up. Refusing the order, Ahmad pointed an assault rifle at the policeman, who then fired several rounds at Ahmad, killing him.
Immediately after the shooting, Ahmad's passenger exited the vehicle and threw a hand grenade at the policeman, but it failed to explode. The policeman then shot and wounded the suspect. The wounded insurgent was taken to a U.S. military medical facility, where he was reported to be in stable condition. The police also detained a third suspect.
The Rawah operation illustrates how the Iraqi police are fast-becoming a viable law enforcement organization, said U.S. Marine Maj. Lowell F. Rector, officer in charge of the police transition teams in western Anbar province. "The Iraqis are gathering their own intelligence, following up on leads, executing what they've been taught by coalition forces and are catching the bad guys," said Rector, a 42-year-old reservist who's a police officer in Columbus, Ohio.
The Marines' 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 7, is responsible for training and mentoring the Iraqi security forces in Rawah. RCT-7 also is responsible for western Anbar province, a 30,000-square-mile-area that stretches from the Jordanian and Syrian borders hundreds of miles east to Hit, a city about 70 miles northwest of Ramadi.