Saddam killed his top commander as U.S. forces stormed Baghdad

Monday, May 5, 2003

LONDON Iraqi President Saddam Hussein killed his leading military commander on charges of treason as U.S. forces captured Baghdad.

The London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily said Saddam and his younger son, Qusay, executed Gen. Seif Eddin Al Rawi on April 8. The newspaper said Al Rawi, commander of the elite Republican Guards, was accused of treason and shot in the head and back.

Al Rawi was summoned by Saddam and executed on the day U.S. marines captured the Iraqi capital. The newspaper said Al Rawi's body was sent to his family.

The newspaper report appeared to indicate that Saddam had not intended to allow the rapid advance of the U.S. military toward Baghdad. Saddam had deployed six Republican Guard divisions around the Iraqi capital, Middle East Newsline reported.

But two of the divisions, the Baghdad and Medina divisions, were neutralized by U.S. air attacks. The four other divisions were said to have failed to put up serious resistance.

On Friday, U.S. Central Command announced the capture of three Saddam aides. The command said two of them were members of the Revolutionary Command Council and the third was the director of Iraq's weapons development program. All three were captured on Thursday.

The captured aides were identified as Abdul Tawab Mullah Huwaysh, director of the Office of Military Industrialization. The Office of Military Industrialization was responsible for the development of Iraq's most lethal weapons. Huwaysh was listed as No. 16 on the U.S. most-wanted list.

The other two Iraqis were Taha Muhyl al Din Maruf, vice president and a member of the Revolutionary Command Council. Maruf was No. 42 on the U.S. list of 55 most wanted Iraqis.

The United States also captured Mizban Khadr Hadi, another Revolutionary Command Council member who had been an adviser to Saddam since the early 1980s. Hadi was No. 41 on the U.S. list.

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