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The National Security Archive at George Washington University

CONSORTIUM NEWS - Edited by Robert Parry


December 23, 2003

Kurdish Paper Scooped Sunday Express Story on Kurdish Capture of Hussein

Kosrat Rasul Played a Major Role in Saddam's Capture (12/20/03 - Hawal [Sulaymaniyah, Iraq] via BBC Monitoring Service)

An article published Dec. 20 by the independent Kurdish weekly newspaper Hawal made the same claim of PUK responsibility for Saddam Hussein's capture as published the day after in the London Sunday Express. The account in Hawal is evidently based on Kurdish and Arabic news accounts, while the Sunday Express cited British and Iraqi intelligence officers as its main sources. Both stories are substantively consistent with PUK claims made on the day of Hussein's capture, many hours before the official US announcement.

The near-simultaneous appearance of the stories indicate the PUK is determined to continue claiming credit for Hussein's capture, even in the face of evident US determination to ignore the story in hopes that it will simply go away. (At this writing, US and Pentagon officials have apparently declined to comment whatsoever on the PUK claims.)

Subliminal News has obtained an English translation of the Hawal article, which is reproduced below.

Kosrat Rasul Played a Major Role in Saddam's Capture
Hawal [Sulaymaniyah, Iraq] - Dec. 20, 2003

The first person to announce the capture of Saddam Hussein on 14 December 2003 was (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK, leader) Jalal Talabani, who was immediately notified about it by official sources of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

Afterwards, the honorable Talabani revealed in an interview with (the Iranian-based) satellite TV channel, Al-Alam, that a special force from the PUK had located Saddam's hideout and then notified the Americans about it.

However, Talabani also added that soon after the dictator Saddam Hussein was captured, the governing council made a statement in which it said he was captured with the help from a Kurdish force, that is to say the PUK. Furthermore, on the evening of the same day Admad al-Chalabi held a news conference in Baghdad in which he said that Kosrat Rasul (Talabani's aide) has personally played a leading role in capturing Saddam Hussein.

In this regard, on 16 December 2003 (the London-based Arabic) newspaper Al-Sharq alAwsat published an article in which it said that a month before Saddam's capture Kosrat Rasul had confidently announced that Saddam would be captured very soon.

The paper also pointed out that Kosrat Rasul had attached great importance to the operation and had been assessing it with a special force from the Peshmerga.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat also referred to an interview in made in its London office with Kosrat Rasul during a visit to London in which he gave information about Saddam's movements and the areas he most likely was hiding in.

However, as regards why US military officials did not mention the PUK's assistance in this matter, observers believe it is in order not to let Kurdish-Arab relations be damaged and not to cause a civil war in the area.

[Read the source...]


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