Monday, April 14
Regime pair may be ready to surrender
Michael Howard in Mosul and Rory McCarthy in Camp as-Sayliya, Qatar, The Guardian, April 15, 2003
US forces in Mosul in northern Iraq believe they are close to negotiating the surrender of two leading members of Saddam Hussein's regime thought to be sheltering among diehard neighbourhoods in the city.
US special operations forces which have taken charge of Mosul suspect that Izzat Ibrahim, vice-chairman of the revolutionary command council and northern regional commander, and General Sultan Hashim Ahmed, Saddam's minister of defence, may be ready to give themselves up along with other leading members of the Ba'athist regime.
The two men are sixth and 19th respectively on the US most wanted list of Iraqis. Both come from Mosul.
Colonel Robert Waltemeyer, who leads the US operation in Mosul, declined to confirm the negotiation, but said yesterday: "We want to provide every opportunity for former members of their regime to offer their formal surrender."
The news comes the day after the capture of Watban al-Tikriti, a half-brother of Saddam and a former interior minister. Yesterday sources revealed that an SAS patrol had been responsible for the arrest near Mosul on Sunday.
A team of around seven SAS soldiers stopped al-Tikriti as he drove up to a checkpoint outside the city after a tip-off. He was captured without a fight. Al-Tikriti was apparently trying to escape to Syria. He is being held by the US military inside the country. [...]