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Home > News > Report

Profile: Saddam Hussein

rediff.com Newsdesk | December 14, 2003 19:06 IST
Last Updated: December 14, 2003 11:17 IST


Former Iraq president Saddam Hussein, who was executed on Saturday in Baghdad, was born on April 28, 1937, in village al-Oja near Tikrit.

Hussein's father died before he was born and he was raised by his mother and her second husband (who was also his uncle), Khairallah Talfah.

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As a teenager, he became involved in the nationalist movement to overthrow the British-controlled monarchy.

In 1956 he took part in an unsuccessful coup to overthrow King Faisal II and Prime Minister Nuri as-Said.

He joined the Baath party in 1957 and a year later King Faisal was killed in a coup led by Abdul Karim Kassem.

In October 1959 he took part in a conspiracy to kill prime minister Kassem. But he had to flee the country as the conspiracy failed.

Five years later Kassem was overthrown and executed. The Baath party assumed control and Hussein returned home.

During this period he married his cousin Sajida. They later had two sons (Uday and Qusay) and three daughters.

But within months, the Baath party had been overthrown and he was jailed. He remained there until, in a bloodless coup, Major General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr of the Baath party became president in July 1968.

Once out of jail, Hussein gained a position on the ruling Revolutionary Command Council.

For years he was the power behind Bakr, who was ailing. In July 1979, he pushed aside the president to become his country's ruler.

During the early years of his presidency, he was a poster boy of United States. The US sold his regime arms to fight the Iranians, against whom Hussein declared war in 1980. But the war dragged on for eight years, and in the process claimed more than a million lives.

In 1990 he committed arguably his biggest blunder by invading Kuwait. The US, which till then was willing to overlook all his faults, could not afford to have him control Kuwait, and so launched a war to oust the Iraqi army from the tiny state in early 1990.

Then began a decade of punishing UN sanctions, which crippled the already weakened Iraqi economy and army.

In 2003, the US-led coalition launched a war against Iraq because it feared that the regime was developing weapons of mass destruction.




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Number of User Comments: 122




Sub: Sadam still alive

Kill one Saddam and there will be another thousands of Saddam who will take birth and play their intrumental rural in modernising Islam world otherwise ...


Posted by Sushil





Sub: Hey There

Dear Saddam, We appreciate your support for our country whenever we needed it. We support you no matter what race we come from or what ...


Posted by Sougandh





Sub: Saddam Hussiein's Hanging

I would like to say Saddam Hussiein is the real hero of this modern world, he can die for his country but he will not ...


Posted by siba





Sub: Saddam Hussein

Dear Satyam, Saddam Hussein was a secular man and AGAINST fanatics like the Al-Qaeda and the mob ruling in Afghanistan then. So The Americans did ...


Posted by Manam





Sub: Hanging of Saddam

Disgusting and revolting to read comments made by members of a particular community supporting Saddam. Where were your opinions when thousands of Muslims in Iraq ...


Posted by RMD




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