US soldier recalls first moment of Saddam Hussein capture

Published February 4th, 2023 - 07:53 GMT
Two Saddams
A combo shows former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (L) during his trial in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone 06 December 2005 and after his capture by the US army (R) 13 December 2003. Two years after being pulled from a "rat hole" in Iraq, Saddam is demanding clean clothes and new shoes, while his countrymen focus on this week's crucial election. AFP PHOTO/- (Photo by AFP)

ALBAWABA - Till this day, no details emerged on how the Americans captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein 19 years ago, partly because the operation was top secret and nobody could talk about until 2028 when it would be declassified.

But retired Sgt Kevin Holland, head of an elite American unit called 'Delta Force,' broke the U.S. military rule by speaking up about the minute the Iraqi leader was flushed out of a hole in the ground on that bleak night in 2003.

Holland recalled the initial tense situation. He said first he decided to deal with the covered hole by sending a dog, who came back running scared, and then he hurled a grenade inside the hole, which forced Saddam out.  

Holland told the story on an American podcast called Danger Close run by Jack Carr on Dec. 9, 2022. Now, the podcast is making headlines in the print and social media. But there was no immediate conformation from the U.S. army on the authenticity and accuracy of the content.

He recalled the search for Saddam, who was eventually found by his team 10 kilometers outside his hometown of Tikrit huddled in a manhole. 

Holland said Saddam's first words when he was pulled out of the hole were: "I am the president of Iraq and ready to negotiate." The American soldier added that the U.S. team was stunned by the way he looked: A head with bushy hair. 

Holland added Saddam was punched to the ground because he had Glock 18 pistol on him.

One Jordanian website added that one of Saddam's bodyguards snitched on him and that is how the American's got to him. 

The Iraqi leader was then put on trial in an Iraqi court and hanged on Dec. 30, 2006. He ruled Iraq from 1979 till 2003, when the U.S.-led multinational coalition invaded his country and ousted him.

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