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U.S. Given Impetus to Hunt for Saddam

Posted July. 28, 2003 21:42,   


U.S. forces have been given an impetus to hunt for Saddam, after the deaths of his two sons. The deaths, however, have caused a series of unfortunate side effects, such as additional Iraqi civilian causalities. At the same time, resistance among Iraqi citizens is becoming stronger. There is now even speculation that U.S. may have to enter in to a Third Gulf War.

General Richard Myers, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during his visit to Iraq Monday that “A flood of new information on the whereabouts of Saddam has recently been offered to U.S. forces. It is just a matter of time to catch him. He`s trying so hard to save his own skin that there is hardly any chance for him to command or control guerilla attacks.”

U.S. troops carried out a raid on three farmhouses in Tikrit, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s hometown, after receiving a tip from a source Monday that Saddam and his head of security were staying in one of them. “The operation was carried out according to very reliable information, but it seems that we missed capturing Saddam by a whisker,” an official of the U.S. forces said. “We believe that Saddam moves every 2 to 4 hours in Tikrit.”

U.S. forces are planning to take DNA samples from the farmhouse he was thought to be hiding out in to determine whether or not he really was there.

In Mansur, Task Force 20, a special squad that has been hunting Saddam ever since the end of the war, raided a two-story house after receiving another tip Monday

Mohammed Al-Haive, the landlord of the house, said that he has not seen Saddam for over a year. “We were on such good terms that if someone said Saddam was in my house, most people would have believed it,” said Haive, who is also the leader of a local tribe.

During the operation in Mansur, at least 3 Iraqi civilians were killed and 8 were wounded, which caused Iraqis to violently protest against U.S. forces, claiming “U.S. forces attacked civilian vehicles without any warning.”

“Five American soldiers were killed by the resistance of Iraqis over the last weekend alone and 49 soldiers have been killed since Bush declared the war over,“ the U.S. Central Command said.

Meanwhile, Anthony Cordesman, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned “Unless the Iraqi situation changes immediately and radically, the United Sates may end up fighting a third Gulf War against the Iraqi people. The U.S. made critical mistakes by failing to maintain the Iraqi police system, and by naively believing that the U.S. would automatically gain support from Iraqis if Saddam’s regime collapsed.”

Ki-Tae Kwon Seung-Jin Kim kkt@donga.com sarafina@donga.com