“Saddam’s” nine messages

The following is a chronology of the nine messages alleged to have been recorded by ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein since the April 9 fall of Baghdad:

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July 4: The first message says Saddam is still in Iraq and announces that “cells and brigades of jihad (holy war)” have been formed throughout Iraq to launch attacks on coalition forces. He calls on Iraqis not to collaborate with the coalition and help the resistance. He says the message was recorded on June 14.

July 8: A tape attributed to Saddam tells all Iraqis, whether Arab, Kurdish or Turkmens that “your principal mission is to throw out the invaders by uniting your ranks.” No date was given for the recording.

July 17: In the most defiant message yet, a tape broadcast on the 35th anniversary of the seizure of power by Saddam’s Baath party hails attacks on US troops and says victory is “near and certain, God willing.” It also blasts the US-sponsored Governing Council as “lackeys” as well as the “lies” used by Washington and London as a pretext to launch the war. No date was given for when it was recorded.

July 23: A message warns the war against the coalition is not over “politically or militarily,” and says the United States will not win the “battle of the wills.” The voice addresses former members of the armed forces and the Republican Guard who it says are participating in operations with the resistance against the occupation. The speaker says the message was recorded on July 20, two days before Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay were killed in a gunbattle with US forces in the northern city of Mosul.

July 29: A message mourns the deaths of Uday and Qusay, saying they led a “valiant battle with the enemy lasting six hours.” It hails the “martyrdom” of Uday and Qusay and curses the “two liars” US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Aug 1: A long and rambling tape is aired in which the speaker calls on Iraqis to resist the occupation, which has caused huge losses for Iraq. He calls on Iraqis to safeguard the properties of the state and the Baath party until “things return to normal.” He says the message was recorded on July 27.

Sept 1: In an audiotape he denies involvement in a bomb attack in the Shiite city of Najaf that killed more than 80 people on August 29. He calls for Iraqis to strike foreign forces in Iraq, whatever their nationality.

Sept 17: The voice on an audiotape, said to be Saddam’s, calls for an unconditional withdrawal of American troops, addressing US President George W. Bush.

Nov 16: An audiotape said to have been recorded by Saddam half-way through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, or around November 10, says the US-led coalition has reached “a dead end” in Iraq after thinking the invasion would be a “picnic”. The voice also says the fight against the US-appointed Iraqi authorities was “legitimate”.

Source: AFP

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