BRIEFING: AT WAR WITH IRAQ
BY WORLD TRIBUNE.COM WITH MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE

Day 15 April 3, 3003
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U.S.: Saddam has lost control of his military

ABU DHABI The United States has assessed that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein lost control of his military.

U.S. officials said advancing coalition forces have encountered little to no resistance along the outskirts of Baghdad. They said Republican Guard formations around the capital show little will to defend the city.

"There is increasing evidence that the regime cannot control its forces or the Iraqi population in most of the country," Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, deputy operations chief for U.S. Central Command, said.

Officials cited the capture of Saddam's palace about 90 kilometers northwest of Baghdad on late Wednesday. They said U.S. special operations forces encountered little resistance and there were no senior officials in the facility.


Saddam in latest TV non-appearance: 'Fight them with your hands'

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, his capital increasingly besieged by coalition forces, remains in hiding.

Saddam has not made one verifiable television appearance since a punishing U.S. air attack on his Baghdad headquarters on March 20. Saddam's last speech was broadcast on Iraqi television on March 24.

On Thursday, Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Sahaf read another statement attributed to Saddam on Iraqi television. The message again exhorted Iraqis to defend Baghdad against coalition troops.

"Fight them with your hands," the message attributed to Saddam said. "God will disgrace them. God is great."

U.S. officials said they suspect that Saddam has either been incapacitated by the March 20 attack or has gone into hiding in fear of assassination.


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