Saddam issues new statement, urging Iraqis to fight
Stating that "victory is at hand," President Saddam Hussein issued a new declaration urging Iraqis to fight on and defend their towns according to a broadcast Wednesday on Iraqi satellite television.
In his statement, which was read by an Iraqi news anchor in a military uniform, Saddam repeatedly called upon his people to fight and said the Iraqi armed forces have not used their full capabilities in the battle.
"Fight them so that Iraq, the bastion of religion and principles, will be secured and our nation will come out of this crisis glorious," he said. "Fight them. Victory is at hand, God willing, although we have only utilized a third or less of our army while the criminals have used everything they brought in."
"Their failure was manifested and victory is glowing, God willing," he said.
Saddam singled out the 11th Division of the Iraqi army and Baath Party members in Nasiriyah and other southern towns who have "exhausted" the coalition forces and urged Iraqis to follow their example in defending their cities.
This fresh statement was different than one broadcast Tuesday night in which Saddam called for Iraqis to wage jihad against coalition forces. That statement was read by Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf.
The failure of the Iraqi leader to deliver a speech on TV has renewed speculation in Washington that he may now be wounded or dead. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said it was "interesting" that the Iraqi leader "did not show up" for the broadcast. (Albawaba.com)