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Al-Jazeera Report casts doubt on Official Story concerning alleged Deaths of Umay and Qusay

Al Jazeera TV transcript, Doha, 1500 gmt, original Arabic, 23  July 2003
www.globalresearch.ca   July 2003

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ALJ307A.html


 Official US statement by Lt. General R. Sanchez:

"We removed the bodies. We brought them to Bayap (ph), where we then proceeded to work on identification. We believe that we have positive identification and that we, in fact, have Uday and Qusay. The identification was done through multiple means. We had senior former regime members do visual identification of the bodies. We had four individuals that independently verified that we had both of Saddam Hussein's sons."

Al Jazeera Report:

"Those who saw the bodies could not recognize them. However, one of the bodies belonged to a bearded man. But the features of the bodies were not recognizable... "


(Taha) The Al-Jazeera correspondent in Mosul has said that the US forces killed four people who were at the house of one of the citizens. He said that the US forces besieged the house first and arrested and interrogated the owner before launching a large-scale attack, using all kinds of weapons, which led to the total destruction of the house and the killing of those who were inside it. Also, one of the citizens was killed when the US forces opened fire on a spontaneous demonstration that followed the operation in the city of Mosul. Four charred bodies were removed from the rubble of the house after a thorough search by armed Americans wearing civilian clothes. The US forces are holding the bodies. Meanwhile, the owner of the house and his son are still under arrest.

Eyewitnesses had earlier told Al-Jazeera that three US soldiers were killed and a fourth was wounded in the armed operation in Al-Falah neighbourhood in city of Mosul.

I have with me from Mosul our correspondent Yasir Abu-Hilalah. Yasir, what exactly happened at Al-Falah neighbourhood in Mosul?

(Abu-Hilalah) My information is based on what I have heard from eyewitnesses who attended the interrogation of the owner of the house, Nawwaf al-Zaydan. Al-Zaydan used to tell the neighbours that he was one of the cousins of the former Iraqi president Saddam Husayn, while some of his neighbours say that he is from another area and has nothing to do with the president, but he only claimed this. At any rate, those who attended the interrogation - since he and his son Sha'lan were arrested before entering the house - said that the interrogation took place at gun point. At first, he was silent, but he then collapsed and told the US soldiers that the two sons of the Iraqi president, Uday and Qusay, and his grandson Mustafa were inside the house, in addition to a member of security, whose name is Abd-al-Samad.

This is what I heard from three eyewitnesses who were present at the house to which Mr Nawwaf was taken. This is what we have heard from eyewitnesses who attended the interrogation. We also heard from eyewitnesses that the US soldiers told them unofficially that Saddam's sons were inside the house. However, we have no official confirmation from the US side. The US side has not made any statement to the press. However, there were several indications that an important personality was inside the house and was targeted by the US forces.

(Taha) Does this explain the attack on the house after the arrest of Nawwaf al-Zaydan and his son? Does this indicate that the bodies that were removed could include those of the two sons of the former Iraqi president?

(Abu-Hilalah) Those who saw the bodies could not recognize them. However, one of the bodies belonged to a bearded man. But the features of the bodies were not recognizable. The interesting thing is that the house is still under siege and no one is allowed to enter it. US intelligence agents stayed in the house for almost five hours and took samples from various parts of the house. They also confiscated videotapes and documents. They took samples from the cars that were parked near the house. There was a car inside the house as well, which indicates that there was perhaps a secret garage for the house to which cars could be driven. I saw a car parked inside the house.

All signs indicate that an important wanted personality required this size of troops and firepower. The entire house was shelled. It turned black. Smoke is rising from the house. All those who were inside the house were killed. Four people were killed, whether they had a relationship with the former president or not, including his sons or relatives or other elements wanted by the US forces. There are conflicting accounts of the number of US forces who were killed, but there are assertions that a number of Americans were killed.

(Taha) There were reports about exchange of fire at the house, and not just shelling by the Americans.

(Abu-Hilalah) The exchange of fire began after the interrogation of the house owner, Al-Nawwaf. It was not planned. Eyewitnesses who attended the interrogation said it was an impromptu interrogation. The man was brought in and apparently the interrogators were from the US army and not from the intelligence. They wore full military uniform, according to witnesses, and they drew their weapons in the face of the owner of the house, who told them that the sons of the president were inside. After he made his statements, one of the people at the house came out and started to open fire at the US forces, which had besieged the house. Afterward, the shelling took place, with the participation of helicopters and armoured vehicles. The battle lasted around three hours. The raid and search operations are still continuing. Until now, no one has been able to enter the house. The US forces are still in the house. This confirms that an important personality was at the house. (Passage omitted; correspondent repeats information)

Al Jazeera 23 July  2003

Text of live satellite interview with Dr Subhi Nazim Tawfiq, strategic and military expert at the Centre for International Studies at Baghdad University, in Baghdad, by Tawfiq Taha, in the Doha studio, broadcast by Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite TV on 23 July

Iraqi Military Expert interviewed on US Attack on Saddam's Sons


(Taha) Dr Subhi, to what extent do you think the evidence presented by the US spokesman on the identity of the bodies of Qusay and Uday was convincing?

(Tawfiq) The evidence was 90 per cent convincing, and not less. The Iraqis remain apprehensive until they see pictures of Qusay and Uday dead.

(Taha) How do you evaluate their killing in this manner, which the US spokesman described in detail?

(Tawfiq) In reality, as a former military officer, I was surprised at such preparations for killing only four people seeking refuge in an unprotected house. These preparations included armoured vehicles, helicopters, fighter jets, medium machine guns and tanks. A siege could have been imposed on the house using much smaller numbers and weapons and they could have forced them to surrender without killing them.

(Taha) In your opinion, were the US forces hasty in their decision to attack the house?

(Tawfiq) It seems that they were not hasty because they received the information the night before and preparations had begun since the evening of 21 July and from the early morning until nearly 2200 when the storming operation began, and which lasted, as I heard, for four hours.

(Taha) In your opinion, what was the reason that made the Americans take the decision to use all these forces in order to attack four people and not wait to surround the house and perhaps arrest them?

(Tawfiq) They wanted a decisive victory. A huge force that concentrates, surrounds and opens fire if need be, and there was a need, for the sake of achieving a decisive victory cannot accept any uncertainties. That is why when those being surrounded began resisting, they opened immense fire on the house and this led to killing the four people.

(Taha) The US spokesmen and the British prime minister said that the death of Uday and Qusay could perhaps be a crucial step in stabilizing the security conditions in Iraq. To what extent do you agree with this?

(Tawfiq) It could have a great effect. The incident greatly affects the resistance, but it does not end it in any way. The Americans are not accepted by the Iraqi street, as it appears from the events that have taken place. However, with regard to Uday and Qusay, Uday was responsible for Saddam's Fedayeen, which was a well organized group skilled in using weapons. The commanders of Saddam's Fedayeen hid or evaded the battle that took place in Baghdad. Their contacts with Uday and their funding could have continued. Therefore, they certainly participated in the resistance against the US forces although they are not the only ones in this respect. As for Qusay, he is more important than Uday because he was in charge of the Special Security (forces) and supervisor of the Republican Guard and the emergency forces. When the commanders of these organizations and formations also disappeared from Baghdad, their contacts with Qusay Saddam Husayn and funding undoubtedly continued, and they certainly participated in the resistance operations that took place against the Americans in most of Iraq, particularly in Baghdad and Tikrit.

(Taha) Dr Subhi Nazim Tawfiq, strategic and military expert, in Baghdad, thank you.

 © Copyright Al-Jazeera, translated by BBC Monitoring 2003  For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .