- Birth Date:
- Death date:
- Person's maiden name:
- Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti
- Extra names:
- Saddam Hussein, Sadāms Huseins, Sadams Huseins Abd al Madžīds al Tikrītī (arābu: صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي, Ṣaddām Ḥusayn ʿAbd al-Maǧīd al-Tikrītī, Саддам Хусейн, Садда́м Хусе́йн А
- General, Marshal, Member of the Government, Military person, Politician, Victim of crime
- Iraq, مجمع حصا (ar)
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي Ṣaddām Ḥusayn ʿAbd al-Maǧīd al-Tikrītī; 28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and its regional organisation Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region—which espoused ba'athism, a mix of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism—Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup (later referred to as the 17 July Revolution) that brought the party to power in Iraq.
As vice president under the ailing General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, and at a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, Saddam created security forces through which he tightly controlled conflict between the government and the armed forces. In the early 1970s, Saddam nationalized oil and other industries. The state-owned banks were put under his control, leaving the system eventually insolvent mostly due to the Iran–Iraq War, the Persian Gulf War, and UN sanctions. Through the 1970s, Saddam cemented his authority over the apparatuses of government as oil money helped Iraq's economy to grow at a rapid pace. Positions of power in the country were mostly filled with Sunnis, a minority that made up only a fifth of the population.
Saddam formally rose to power in 1979, although he had been the de facto head of Iraq for several years prior. He suppressed several movements, particularly Shi'a and Kurdish movements seeking to overthrow the government or gain independence, and maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War and the Persian Gulf War. Whereas some venerated Saddam for his opposition to Israel—which included the use of military force—he was widely condemned in the west for the brutality of his dictatorship.
In 2003, a coalition led by the U.S. and U.K. invaded Iraq to depose Saddam, in which U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused him of possessing weapons of mass destruction and having ties to al-Qaeda. Saddam's Ba'ath party was disbanded and Iraq made a transition to a democratic system. Following his capture on 13 December 2003, the trial of Saddam took place under the Iraqi interim government. On 5 November 2006, Saddam was convicted of charges related to the 1982 killing of 148 IraqiShi'ites and was sentenced to death by hanging. His execution was carried out on 30 December 2006.
Capture and incarceration
Saddam, shortly after being captured by American forces in December 2003.
Saddam shortly after capture by American forces, and after being shaved to confirm his identity
In April 2003, Saddam's whereabouts remained in question during the weeks following the fall of Baghdad and the conclusion of the major fighting of the war. Various sightings of Saddam were reported in the weeks following the war, but none was authenticated. At various times Saddam released audio tapes promoting popular resistance to his ousting.
Saddam was placed at the top of the U.S. list of "most-wanted Iraqis". In July 2003, his sons Uday and Qusayand 14-year-old grandson Mustapha were killed in a three-hour gunfight with U.S. forces.
On 13 December 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by American forces at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near Tikrit in a hole in Operation Red Dawn. Following his capture on 13 December Saddam was transported to a U.S. base near Tikrit, and later taken to the American base near Baghdad. The day after his capture he was reportedly visited by longtime opponents such as Ahmed Chalabi.
On 14 December 2003, U.S. administrator in Iraq L. Paul Bremer confirmed that Saddam Hussein had indeed been captured at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near Tikrit. Bremer presented video footage of Saddam in custody.
Saddam was shown with a full beard and hair longer than his familiar appearance. He was described by U.S. officials as being in good health. Bremer reported plans to put Saddam on trial, but claimed that the details of such a trial had not yet been determined. Iraqis and Americans who spoke with Saddam after his capture generally reported that he remained self-assured, describing himself as a "firm, but just leader."
British tabloid newspaper The Sun posted a picture of Saddam wearing white briefs on the front cover of a newspaper. Other photographs inside the paper show Saddam washing his trousers, shuffling, and sleeping. The United States government stated that it considers the release of the pictures a violation of the Geneva Convention, and that it would investigate the photographs. During this period Hussein was interrogated by FBI agent George Piro.
The guards at the Baghdad detention facility called their prisoner "Vic," and let him plant a little garden near his cell. The nickname and the garden are among the details about the former Iraqi leader that emerged during a 27 March 2008 tour of prison of the Baghdadcell where Saddam slept, bathed, and kept a journal in the final days before his execution.
Saddam speaking at a pre-trial hearing
On 30 June 2004, Saddam Hussein, held in custody by U.S. forces at the U.S. base "Camp Cropper", along with 11 other senior Ba'athist leaders, were handed over legally (though not physically) to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for crimes against humanity and other offences.
A few weeks later, he was charged by the Iraqi Special Tribunal with crimes committed against residents of Dujail in 1982, following a failed assassination attempt against him. Specific charges included the murder of 148 people, torture of women and children and the illegal arrest of 399 others.
Among the many challenges of the trial were:
- Saddam and his lawyers' contesting the court's authority and maintaining that he was still the President of Iraq.
- The assassinations and attempts on the lives of several of Saddam's lawyers.
- The replacement of the chief presiding judge, midway through the trial.
On 5 November 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Saddam's half brother, Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court in 1982, were convicted of similar charges. The verdict and sentencing were both appealed, but subsequently affirmed by Iraq's Supreme Court of Appeals. On 30 December 2006, Saddam was hanged.
Saddam was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, 30 December 2006, despite his wish to be shot (which he felt would be more dignified). The execution was carried out at Camp Justice, an Iraqi army base in Kadhimiya, a neighborhood of northeast Baghdad.
The execution was videotaped on a mobile phone and his captors could be heard insulting Saddam. The video was leaked to electronic media and posted on the Internet within hours, becoming the subject of global controversy. It was later claimed by the head guard at the tomb where his body remains that Saddam's body was stabbed six times after the execution.
Not long before the execution, Saddam's lawyers released his last letter. The following includes several excerpts:
“ To the great nation, to the people of our country, and humanity,
Many of you have known the writer of this letter to be faithful, honest, caring for others, wise, of sound judgment, just, decisive, careful with the wealth of the people and the state ... and that his heart is big enough to embrace all without discrimination.
You have known your brother and leader very well and he never bowed to the despots and, in accordance with the wishes of those who loved him, remained a sword and a banner.
This is how you want your brother, son or leader to be ... and those who will lead you (in the future) should have the same qualifications.
Here, I offer my soul to God as a sacrifice, and if He wants, He will send it to heaven with the martyrs, or, He will postpone that ... so let us be patient and depend on Him against the unjust nations.
Remember that God has enabled you to become an example of love, forgiveness and brotherly coexistence ... I call on you not to hate, because hate does not leave a space for a person to be fair and it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking and keeps away one from balanced thinking and making the right choice.
I also call on you not to hate the peoples of the other countries that attacked us and differentiate between the decision-makers and peoples. Anyone who repents — whether in Iraq or abroad — you must forgive him.
You should know that among the aggressors, there are people who support your struggle against the invaders, and some of them volunteered for the legal defence of prisoners, including Saddam Hussein ... some of these people wept profusely when they said goodbye to me.
Dear faithful people, I say goodbye to you, but I will be with the merciful God who helps those who take refuge in him and who will never disappoint any faithful, honest believer ... God is Great ... God is great ... Long live our nation ... Long live our great struggling people ... Long live Iraq, long live Iraq ... Long live Palestine ... Long live jihad and the mujahedeen.
Saddam Hussein President and Commander in Chief of the Iraqi Mujahed Armed Forces
Additional clarification note:
I have written this letter, because the lawyers told me that the so-called criminal court — established and named by the invaders — will allow the so-called defendants the chance for a last word. But that court and its chief judge did not give us the chance to say a word, and issued its verdict without explanation and read out the sentence — dictated by the invaders — without presenting the evidence. I wanted the people to know this.
” — Letter by Saddam Hussein
A second unofficial video, apparently showing Saddam's body on a trolley, emerged several days later. It sparked speculation that the execution was carried out incorrectly as Saddam Hussein had a gaping hole in his neck.
Saddam was buried at his birthplace of Al-Awja in Tikrit, Iraq, 3 km (2 mi) from his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein, on 31 December 2006.
Marriage and family relationships
- Saddam married his first wife and cousin Sajida Talfah (or Tulfah/Tilfah) in 1958 in an arranged marriage. Sajida is the daughter of Khairallah Talfah, Saddam's uncle and mentor. Their marriage was arranged for Hussein at age five when Sajida was seven. They were married in Egypt during his exile. The couple had five children.
- Uday Hussein (18 June 1964 – 22 July 2003), was Saddam's oldest son, who ran the Iraqi Football Association, Fedayeen Saddam, and several media corporations in Iraq including Iraqi TV and the newspaper Babel. Uday, while originally Saddam's favorite son and raised to succeed him he eventually fell out of favour with his father due to his erratic behavior; he was responsible for many car crashes and rapes around Baghdad, constant feuds with other members of his family, and killing his father's favorite valet and food taster Kamel Hana Gegeo at a party in Egypt honoring Egyptian first lady Suzanne Mubarak. He became well known in the west for his involvement in looting Kuwait during the Gulf War, allegedly taking millions of dollars worth of gold, cars, and medical supplies (which were in short supply at the time) for himself and close supporters. He was widely known for his paranoia and his obsession with torturing people who disappointed him in any way, which included tardy girlfriends, friends who disagreed with him and, most notoriously, Iraqi athletes who performed poorly. He was briefly married to Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri's daughter, but later divorced her. The couple had no children.
- Qusay Hussein (17 May 1966 – 22 July 2003), was Saddam's second — and, after the mid-1990s, his favorite — son. Qusay was believed to have been Saddam's later intended successor, as he was less erratic than his older brother and kept a low profile. He was second in command of the military (behind his father) and ran the elite Iraqi Republican Guard and the SSO. He was believed to have ordered the army to kill thousands of rebelling Marsh Arabs and was instrumental in suppressing Shi'ite rebellions in the mid-1990s. He was married once and had three children.
- Raghad Hussein (born 2 September 1968) is Saddam's oldest daughter. After the war, Raghad fled to Amman, Jordan where she received sanctuary from the royal family. She is currently wanted by the Iraqi Government for allegedly financing and supporting the insurgency and the now banned Iraqi Ba'ath Party. The Jordanian royal family refused to hand her over.
- Rana Hussein (born c. 1969), is Saddam's second daughter. She, like her sister, fled to Jordan and has stood up for her father's rights. She was married to Saddam Kamel and has had four children from this marriage.
- Hala Hussein (born c. 1972), is Saddam's third and youngest daughter. Very little information is known about her. Her father arranged for her to marry General Kamal Mustafa Abdallah Sultan al-Tikriti in 1998. She fled with her children and sisters to Jordan.
- Saddam married his second wife, Samira Shahbandar, in 1986. She was originally the wife of an Iraqi Airways executive, but later became the mistress of Saddam. Eventually, Saddam forced Samira's husband to divorce her so he could marry her. There have been no political issues from this marriage. After the war, Samira fled to Beirut, Lebanon. She is believed to have mothered Hussein's sixth child. Members of Hussein's family have denied this.
- Saddam had allegedly married a third wife, Nidal al-Hamdani, the general manager of the Solar Energy Research Center in the Council of Scientific Research.
- Wafa el-Mullah al-Howeish is rumoured to have married Saddam as his fourth wife in 2002. There is no firm evidence for this marriage. Wafa is the daughter of Abdul Tawab el-Mullah Howeish, a former minister of military industry in Iraq and Saddam's last deputy Prime Minister.
In August 1995, Raghad and her husband Hussein Kamel al-Majid and Rana and her husband, Saddam Kamel al-Majid, defected to Jordan, taking their children with them. They returned to Iraq when they received assurances that Saddam would pardon them. Within three days of their return in February 1996, both of the Kamel brothers were attacked and killed in a gunfight with other clan members who considered them traitors.
In August 2003, Saddam's daughters Raghad and Rana received sanctuary in Amman, Jordan, where they are currently staying with their nine children. That month, they spoke with CNN and the Arab satellite station Al-Arabiya in Amman. When asked about her father, Raghad told CNN, "He was a very good father, loving, has a big heart." Asked if she wanted to give a message to her father, she said: "I love you and I miss you." Her sister Rana also remarked, "He had so many feelings and he was very tender with all of us."
List of government and party positions held
- Head of Iraqi Intelligence Service (1963)
- Vice President of the Republic of Iraq (1968–1979)
- President of the Republic of Iraq (1979–2003)
- Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq (1979–1991 and 1994–2003)
- Head of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council (1979–2003)
- Secretary of the Regional Command (1979–2006)
- Secretary General of the National Command (1989–2006)
- Assistant Secretary of the Regional Command (1966–1979)
- Assistant Secretary General of the National Command (1979–1989)
|Relation name||Relation type||Description|
|3||Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti||Brother|
|5||Аршад Яссин||Brother in-law|
|6||Abid Hamid Mahmud||Cousin|
|8||Tariq Aziz||Coworker, Idea mate|
|10||Qaboos bin Said Al Said||Familiar|
|14||Osama bin Laden||Familiar|
|15||Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri||Partymate, Idea mate|
|16||Abu Musab al-Zarqawi||Idea mate|
27.11.1895 | At the Swedish–Norwegian Club in Paris, Alfred Nobel signs his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after he dies.
17.01.1991 | Tuksneša vētra Kuveitā
1991.gada 17.janvārī sākas operācija "Tuksneša vētra" - ASV uzsāk Kuveitas atbrīvošanu.
30.11.1995 | Official end of Operation Desert Storm
19.03.2003 | 8.Saeimas ārkārtas sēde - par dalību Irākas karā
Latvijas Republikas 8.Saeimas ziemas sesijas divpadsmitā (ārkārtas) sēde 2003.gada 19.martā. Sēdi vada Latvijas Republikas 8.Saeimas priekšsēdētāja Ingrīda Ūdre