Background: Saddam Hussein’s Sons
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LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: Today our coalition forces associated with the 101st airborne division, special forces, and air force assets conducted an operation against suspected regime members. An Iraqi source informed the 101st Airborne Division on today that several suspects, including Qusay and Uday, numbers two and three on the U.S. Central command’s most-wanted list, were hiding in a residence near the northern edge of the city. The six-hour operation began when the division’s second brigade combat team approached the house and received small- arms fire. The division subsequently employed multiple weapons systems to subdue the suspects, who had barricaded themselves inside the house and continued to resist detention fiercely. Four persons were killed during that operation, and were removed from the building, and we have since confirmed that Uday and Qusay Hussein are among the dead. The site is currently being exploited. Four coalition soldiers were wounded in the operation, and I pray for their speedy recovery.
REPORTER: General, could you tell us whether DN… tests on the two bodies that you said belong to Qusay and Uday are positive?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: We are currently continuing to exploit the site, and we continue to investigate the elements that were recovered from the scene. Yes, sir?
REPORTER: Sir, Harris Whitbeck from CNN. If in fact you used DNA to confirm the identities, where would the original sample have come from?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: I couldn’t answer that question.
REPORTER: Andrew Marshall from Reuters. Did you get any information resulting from today’s raid that might lead you to the whereabouts of Saddam himself?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: We are still continuing to exploit the site and everything that we captured in that raid. Yes, sir?
REPORTER: General, said Selau from al-Arabia. How come you confirmed that it’s Uday and Qusay, Saddam Hussein’s sons, was there?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: Because we’re fairly… we’re certain that Uday and Qusay were killed today. Yes, sir?
REPORTER: Could you be more specific, though, sir? Jeffrey Kaufman, ABC News. Could you be more specific? How were you able to make a positive identification?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: We have had… we’ve used multiple sources to identify the individuals.
REPORTER: Can you tell us, sir, what manner they died? Was it…
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: They died in a fierce gun battle. They resisted the detention and the efforts of the coalition forces to go in there and apprehend them, and they were killed in the ensuing gunfight and the attacks that we conducted on the residence. And tomorrow I’ll give you additional details on how that transpired.
REPORTER: Sir, there were two $15 million rewards for information leading to these characters. Were those rewards… will those rewards be paid out?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: We’re pursuing that at this point in time. I would expect that it probably will happen. Yes, sir?
REPORTER: Sir, two things. First, can you… do you know who the two other people killed were? And second, can you just give a little more about what circumstances behind the informant coming to you this morning?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: It was a walk-in last night that came in and gave us the information that those two individuals were in that residence. And the other two that were killed in there, we’re still working to get the final confirmation on who they are.
REPORTER: Sir, I was on the street a little while ago speaking to people, Iraqis, about this, and they were extremely skeptical and said, “prove it. We have to see pictures. We have to see evidence.” They seemed extremely distrustful of this kind of word. Is there something you will do to confirm in their minds that this has in fact transpired?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: Yeah, you can come back tomorrow when we conduct the detailed briefing of the operation. We will show you additional details. Any other questions?
REPORTER: Sure, just on the identification. I mean, were the bodies in such a condition that it wasn’t just apparent from looking at their faces that… who they were?
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ: No, the bodies are in a condition where you could identify them.