17 April, 2003
One day after the start of the war against Iraq American Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld appeared on American television screens to say
something that the press interpreted as some sort of American propaganda.
In reality, though, it was the basis for what was later to take place.
that there had been communications between the Americans and leaders
in the Republican Guard in Iraq. He said that the details could not
be disclosed now, but urged listeners to wait for coming days.
Three days later
the American media played an audio tape on which recorded voices could
be heard speaking in Arabic guiding American forces to important bombing
targets. The voices were translated immediately in the headquarters
of the American forces so that orders could be issued accordingly.
In fact, Rumsfeld
was not just talking at random. There had been communications that took
place in total secrecy between the leaders of the Republican Guard and
the Commanders of Saddam's Fedayeen, unbeknownst to the Iraqi leader
and his son who was in charge of a huge military organization that could
have made life hell for the American forces had they joined the battle.
grew in intensity after the Republican Guard entered its first battle
against the American forces in the environs of Baghdad, and after much
of its equipment was destroyed. The Americans could see that they were
facing a force with high military preparedness, one that was well trained
and could inflict tremendous losses on the American forces whenever
they tried to enter Baghdad.
The offer proposed
by the American command in Iraq to the Republican Guard and Saddam's
Fedayeen was generous. The offers were run past Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld, who okayed them immediately. The provided for:
1. In return
for not opposing American forces and for laying down their weapons,
the United States will give the following:
for the Republican Guards top echelon to secure locations outside of
of the Republican Guards leaders of the second echelon to "liberated"
places of which the Anglo-American forces had control inside Iraq.
the top echelon of the Republican Guards large sums of money, with lesser
sums going to the second echelon.
of the leaders of the top echelon of the Republican Guard, and to those
who had not committed "war crimes" official roles in "liberated"
Iraq after the end of the war.
citizenship and residency in the United States to some of the first
echelon commanders and their families, depending on their wishes.
a balance between the Iraqi Opposition that will have a limited role
in the administration of Iraq on the one hand, and Republican Guard
commanders who did not fight the American forces, on the other.
2. As a guarantee
of this (which the commanders of the Republican Guard did not completely
trust), the United States disclosed some of its agents whom it had planted
among the "human shields" who were guiding the American military
to positions to be bombed and where President Saddam Hussein and the
Iraqi leadership could be found. A brief meeting was held between one
of the agents serving as a "human shield" and some members
of the Republican Guard during which the latter were handed official
written documents addressed to the first echelon of the Republican Guard.
These reassured the Republican Guard commanders that the assurances
were reliable. The documents provided for:
After the occupation
of Saddam International Airport, Republican Guards of the top echelon
should arrive at the airport so that they could be transported away.
If that proved impossible, a place should be agreed upon where an Apache
helicopter or two could land somewhere near Baghdad in order to transport
of the second echelon should secure themselves within the Iraqi Republican
Palace adjacent to the Airport. American forces would fire some shells
at it in order to announce that they had taken it, then American forces
would transfer them to the airport.
be issued to the commanders of the Second Echelon of the Republican
Guard not to resist and to lay down their weapons, together with promises
of their safety, and that of their families, and they would be transported
to secure locations. In turn they were to issue orders to those of lower
rank in their commands not to put up resistance. The Republican Guard's
first echelon used a deception to get lower ranks to accept such an
order by telling them that the resistance would be carried on secretly
in accordance with a plan prepared by the Iraqi leadership to protract
the war and catch the American forces in a trap that had been laid for
them. This trick was used on the lower ranking commanders of the Republican
First and Second
echelon commanders of the Republican Guard would be given sums of money
in dollars as a down payment to guarantee the implementation of the
From the beginning,
the heads of the American Central Intelligence Agency followed a plan
to use the work of agents posing as "human shields." The CIA
chiefs used peace activists in America carefully and systematically.
They sent three groups of peace activists to the region, and in particular
into Baghdad on the basis that that would be the place where the decisive
battle would be fought.
worked with the Iraqi leaders who placed different groups of human shields
in important places such as: factories and manufactories that had great
importance for the population. Storehouses of weapons belonging to the
Republican Guard were located inside those factories and manufactories,
and this fact was openly acknowledged. But inside, hidden under ground,
there were huge stockpiles of weapons sufficient for waging a resistance
struggle for years. These were ostensibly civilian installations but
on the inside were military. These included centers where rockets were
gathered for destruction under the UN supervised program, while some
of them were stored in underground military storehouses.
The Iraqi measures,
whereby they distributed the human shields to vital locations, was in
fact a trap set for the Iraqis, for the human shields carried difficult-to-detect
delicate communication devices for communicating with the American forces
during the bombing. It later became clear that these devices played
an outstanding role in pinpointing the positions of Saddam and his leaders,
as well as places where weapons were being stored.
the Airport The occupation of Saddam International Airport was a turning
point inasmuch as it enabled the American forces to carry out their
entire plan as it had been detailed in the documents that they had been
given and as they had been promised. The commanders of the Republican
Guard were reassured, in particular those of the first echelon, that
what the American forces had promised them was the truth. The Republican
Guard commanders then provided complete information about the various
military positions around the airport and inside of it. They also gave
complete information about the tunnels that extended from the Republican
Palace to inside the airport, tunnels that had been built especially
so that the Iraqi president could use them should he ever be in danger.
American forces occupied these tunnels, unknown to any but the first
echelon of the Republican Guard.
On the second
day after the occupation of the airport Muhammad Sa`id as-Sahhaf assured
the world that Saddam International Airport was still in the hands of
the Iraqi forces. He based his assurances on a promise of an "innovative
and unusual" sort of response, as he put it, when Iraqi fighters
and Republican Guards would sweep from the palace through the tunnels
and on towards the airport in a surprise attack on the American forces
occupying the airport. He did not know even as he spoke that American
forces had discovered the location of those secure tunnels and that
they would confront the small numbers of Iraqis who were sent there,
under the leadership of third echelon commanders of the Republican Guard,
and who would find the Americans waiting for them.
Time at that
difficult juncture was golden. The American forces saw that the road
had opened up to Baghdad, so they carried out two essential operations
The first operation:
to introduce tanks to the approaches of Baghdad from where they would
penetrate to the area of the Palestine Hotel, on condition that they
would not cross the bridge to the opposite bank. This occurred after
they were sure that orders had been issued to the Republican Guard to
disappear in accordance with the "secret plan" to which the
first echelon commanders had already alerted their junior officers.
The second operation:
to prepare a military transport plane of at least 200 seats to transport
the first echelon commanders of the Republican Guard and some members
of the second echelon to secure locations.
The orders given
to the American soldiers who advanced to secure a bridgehead for the
rest of their forces were as follows:
to silence the media that were transmitting pictures of the places where
the breakthrough was occurring (this is what took place when the offices
of al-Jazeera TV, and the Abu Dhabi TV station, were shelled) and to
try to herd the journalists into a place from which they could not move,
except by order of the coalition forces, or, to be precise, the US Marines.
Second: To cut communications and electricity off from the area and
to attempt to shell the little electricity generators in the area in
order to completely knock out any means for transmission once and for
Third: To shell
the satellite dishes on the roof of the Palestine Hotel. It was here
where the al-Jazeera journalist Tariq Ayyoub was martyred.
Fourth: To deal
with the limited resistance in the area of the bridge with small arms
rather than with artillery bombardment because some of the second echelon
the Republican Guard were too late to reach the appointed meeting places
in time and might possibly have to reach the coalition forces by crossing
the Sanak Bridge.
Many first-echelon commanders of the Republican Guard gathered at Saddam
International Airport. They had to wait eight more hours before the
rest of the commanders showed up. The American command found to their
surprise that the first echelon commanders of Republican Guard forces
had brought along with them the top commander of Saddam's Fedayeen,
a man who took his orders directly from Saddam Hussein's son. This convinced
the American forces that they had put Saddam's Fedayeen out of action
along with the Republican Guard. After that commander informed them
that had been attracted by the agreement reached with the Republican
Guard, and requested that he be accorded the same terms that had been
granted to the Republican Guard, consent was granted immediately.
military aircraft took off from Saddam International airport at 8:00
p.m. on the third day of the occupation of the airport. Some sources
in the American command maintain that the plane flew directly to the
United States, via Germany. Others say that it took them by way of Kuwait.
What is certain, however, is the fact that they left for the United
States. At the same time two helicopters were whisking the second echelon
commanders of the Republican Guard to Basra where they were met by British
of Saddam Hussein
political sources maintain that those secret communications between
Republican Guard commanders and the Americans took place according to
American instructions that were issued to the Republican Guard leaders
so as to prevent their being detected. The most modern technology was
used, including tiny transmitter-receiver devices that had been given
to the Republican Guard Commanders in their first meeting with the Human
Shields. This is the secret of how they kept Saddam Hussein in the dark
about their contacts.
The final task
of the Republican Guard Commanders gathered at the airport was to give
the important information about the location of the Iraqi president
and his leadership in what was to be their last meeting in al-Mansour.
This information enabled the American forces to aim at the place where
the meeting was being held and strike it with guided missiles. Most
probably the Iraqi President and his leadership, including his two sons,
were killed in the bombardment. None of the leadership was saved from
that attack except Muhammad Sa`id as-Sahhaf, the Information Minister,
whose whereabouts are still unknown. He alone among the members of the
leadership was out of the area at the time of the attack, which came
shortly after he delivered a press statement in front of the Palestine
Hotel that day.
Authorities have kept quiet about the whereabouts of Saddam's family,
in particular the women and children among them, although they know
where they are, and whether they are living or dead. There are some
reports that they are in Syria. Others have said that they slipped away
to Tikrit. In fact, however, the American forces bombed the location
where the family was staying and were able to catch the whole family
together after they slipped away to the place where the President's
half-brother Barzan at-Tikriti was staying. When his house near Baghdad
was bombed the family was wiped out.
A Final Word:
This information was leaked by American sources. Nevertheless, it should
be more than 75 percent true because it originated with political and
not military personnel.
remains: Where did those mountains of weapons go? Where did the forces
who "melted away" into the angry Iraqi population go?
did discover vast storehouses of weapons that could have been used by
the Republican Guard -- though they were in fact never used -- heavy
weapons, light weapons in a huge store room in Baghdad. American forces
are keeping that quiet -- which is a further indication of the proof
of what we have said.
But one major
question remains open. If they did not find the bodies of Saddam, his
leaders and his two sons, the matter remains a source of embarrassment.
Coming weeks will no doubt provide us much more information.