Friday, April 4
Saddam Urges Strikes In 'New' Speech
CBS News, April 4, 2003
As U.S. troops converged on Baghdad, Iraqi television Friday broadcast what it said was an appearance by Saddam Hussein that made reference to events occurring after the air strikes aimed at killing him.
Saddam's fate has been in question since the war began with those air strikes, and his earlier TV appearances might have been taped before the fighting began.
A few small portions of Friday's appearance suggest it was made since military action started on March 19, a U.S. intelligence official said. The speech referred to the capture of an Apache helicopter March 23, which Iraqi officials have said was brought down by farmers in central Iraq.
"Perhaps you remember the valiant Iraqi peasant and how he shot down an American Apache with an old weapon," Saddam said in the brief speech. Saddam also said the U.S.-led forces had "bypassed your (Iraqi) armed defenses" in the battlefield and urged his followers to "strike them forcefully, strike them."
In other developments:
Information Minister Mohammed al-Sahhaf said Iraqi forces on Friday night will do "something unconventional, not by the military." Asked if "unconventional" means the use of weapons of mass destruction, al-Sahhaf replied, "that's not what I said." He said what he calls "commando and martyrdom operations" will be staged in "a very new, creative way. "
An apparent suicide car bombing at a U.S. checkpoint in western Iraq killed three coalition soldiers as well as a pregnant woman and the driver.
U.S. troops found thousands of boxes of white powder, nerve agent antidote and Arabic documents on how to engage in chemical warfare at an industrial site south of Baghdad, a U.S. officer said. However, a senior U.S. official in Washington said initial testing indicated the white powder was explosives, not chemical or biological weapons. [...]
Inside 'Chemical Ali's' palace
Paul Harris with British forces near Basra, BBC News, April 4, 2003
In a flat landscape of mud fields and flat-topped farmhouses, the palace of "Chemical Ali" stands out for miles.
Its crenellated tower of yellowish stone rises above a stand of green date palms.
It is a symbol of dominance and power.
Or at least it used to be. Because Ali doesn't live here anymore.
Only the name of Saddam Hussein himself strikes as much terror into the hearts of ordinary Iraqis as Ali Hassan al-Majid.
After organising the gassing of the Kurds in 1986, he is better known as Chemical Ali. [...]