SADDAM HUSSEIN MAY BE DEADgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
January 3rd SADDAM 'MAY BE DEAD' - EGYPTIAN INTELLIGENCE
Saddam Hussein has had a major stroke and may even be dead, according to Egyptian security sources. The Iraqi dictator has not been seen since a New Year’s Day parade when he was shown on Iraqi TV firing his gun into the air. Reports say he was taking the salute from his military when he collapsed.
Sky News sources in Baghdad say that while all is quiet on the streets of the Iraqi capital there has been increased troop movement around Saddam’s presidential palace.
The military parade on Sunday was the biggest since the Gulf War and was a chance to show off sophisticated surface-to-surface, anti-aircraft missiles plus over 1,000 modern Russian-made tanks.
None of the missiles violate UN arms control restrictions imposed after the Gulf War when Iraq invaded neighbouring Kuwait.
Saddam has survived more than a decade of UN sanctions against Iraq for the invasion, but the country’s infrastructure has been severely damaged.
The Iraqi government claims that more than 10,000 people, most of them children, have died as a result of sanctions.
The UN does allow the sale of some of Iraq’s oil in exchange for medicine and food, but Saddam has been accused of spending the cash earned from oil on building presidential palaces and rebuilding his war machine.
Uday Hussein - a chip off the old block
If reports of Saddam’s demise are true his likely successor is his eldest son Uday who survived an assassination attempt four years ago.
Uday (pictured) is known to be as ruthless as his father. He was wheelchair-bound for years after the attempt on his life but has gradually been given more and more control of key government institutions by Saddam.
There are several opposition groups in exile who say they would be prepared to go back and take control of the country. But the various factions are not thought to be unified enough to govern and analysts have warned of civil war in the country without a strong leader at the helm.
The United States has invested a large sum of money in the Iraqi opposition to help it remove Saddam from power.
-- jax (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001
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-- jax (email@example.com), January 04, 2001.
Wednesday, 3 January, 2001, 23:38 GMT Iraq denies Saddam stroke
Saddam Hussein was shown chairing the meeting Iraqi television has broadcast film of President Saddam Hussein at work, following reports that he was in intensive care after suffering a severe stroke.
The main item on state television's early evening news showed the Iraqi leader, apparently fit and well, chairing a cabinet meeting.
An Iraqi opposition group based in Syria had reported that the 63-year-old president had been taken ill after attending a military parade on Sunday.
The Iraqi information ministry has described the story as ridiculous.
"These press reports are stupid and do not even merit a response," a spokesman for Iraq's Information Ministry told reporters in Baghdad.
On Monday, Damascus-based opposition group, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, issued a statement saying Saddam Hussein had suffered a "severe stroke" the previous day.
A BBC diplomatic editor said that the opposition was reliable at reporting facts on the ground in Iraq, but less skilled at analysis.
He suggested that the opposition might be trying to guess what was going on based on accurate but partial knowledge of the facts.
Another Iraqi source told the London-based, Saudi-owned newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat that the president had collapsed after suffering a stroke and was taken to a hospital in Baghdad where he was put under intensive care.
The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said Saddam Hussein became ill during a banquet after a military parade to mark New Year.
During the march-past - the largest in 10 years - the president repeatedly stood up and fired over 140 rounds into the air from a rifle one-handedly.
The Iraqi information ministry cited the president's appearance at that parade as proof of his health - despite the alleged stroke taking place afterwards.
It is not clear who would succeed the Iraqi leader if he were to die in office.
He has two sons, Uday and Qusay, both of whom hold influential positions in the Iraqi establishment.
Elder son Uday survived an assassination attempt in 1996, and is believed to have recovered from severe injuries.
His younger son Qusay was reportedly put in charge of a family council last year when rumours of the president's allegedly poor health began to circulate.
In September, there were unconfirmed reports that Saddam Hussein was suffering from lymph cancer and preparing to undergo chemotherapy.
-- Rachel Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 04, 2001.