Iraqi opposition member: U.S. has plan to kill Saddam
The United States has drafted a general plan to assassinate Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, an Iraqi opposition leader told Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera.
Washington is tracking Saddam's movements through satellite data and human intelligence, with the aim to order air strikes "to try to kill him" when they are sure "they have determined with accuracy the spot where he can be found," said former Iraqi intelligence chief Wafiq Sammarai.
The warplanes could take off from the southern Turkey military base of Incirlik and bases in the Gulf, by the Mediterranean or the Red Sea, said Sammarai, who defected from Iraq in 1994 and joined the London-based Iraqi National Congress opposition group.
Sammarai called the plan "serious", but emphasized he did "not think this operation is going to come soon. "If they fail (in killing Saddam), they could conduct raids against several targets," said Sammarai.
Meanwhile, the main Iraqi Shiite Muslim opposition faction has held talks with the United States on overthrowing Saddam’s regime, the group's leader said in remarks published Saturday.
Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Hakim, head of the Iran-based Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI), told Al-Hayat newspaper there had been an "exchange of views" with Washington in case of "US military intervention in Iraq.
"Dialogue took place with 14 members of the US Congress who came to Britain" for talks with SAIRI representatives "as well as US State Department officials," Hakim said.
"Information in our possession confirms that the United States is serious in its plan to change (the Iraqi regime), but the manner and date are not clear," he said.
Hakim emphasized that SAIRI had "received no support from the United States," and that any regime change in Baghdad "should be made within the framework of the United Nations and its resolutions." "We must count on the Iraqi people and not on foreign forces," he said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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