Operation Red Dawn
Operation Red Dawn was the U.S. military operation
Military operation
Military operation is the coordinated military actions of a state in response to a developing situation. These actions are designed as a military plan to resolve the situation in the state's favor. Operations may be of combat or non-combat types, and are referred to by a code name for the purpose...

 conducted on 13 December 2003 in the town of ad-Dawr
Ad-Dawr, is a small agricultural town near the Iraqi town of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's birthplace....

, Iraq, near Tikrit
Tikrit is a town in Iraq, located 140 km northwest of Baghdad on the Tigris river . The town, with an estimated population in 2002 of about 260,000 is the administrative center of the Salah ad Din Governorate.-Ancient times:...

, that captured Iraq President Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

, ending rumours of his death
Rumours of the death of Saddam Hussein
Prior to his capture on December 13, 2003, former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's death was reported as a strong possibility by various Western analysts and officials, after a bombing attack on Baghdad at the start of the 2003 Iraq War, March 20, 2003, and subsequently after a second attempt in the...

. The operation was named after the 1984 film Red Dawn
Red Dawn
Red Dawn is a 1984 American war film directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Kevin Reynolds. It stars Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Grey....

. The mission was assigned to the 1st Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

 Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, commanded by Major. Gen Raymond Odierno and led by Col. James Hickey
James Hickey (soldier)
Colonel James Hickey was the US Army leader of Operation Red Dawn which captured Saddam Hussein near Tikrit, Iraq.-Early life & Military Career:...

 of the 4th Infantry Division, with joint operations Task Force 121
Task Force 121
Task Force 121 is an example of the United States' 'Joint Task Force' concept of conducting special operations. TF121 is a multi-service force commanded by U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Gregory L. Trebon. The spearhead of the force is a forty-man team made up of operators from the U.S. Army's...

 - an elite and covert joint special operations team.

They searched two sites, "Wolverine 1" and "Wolverine 2," outside the town of ad-Dawr, but did not find Saddam Hussein. A continued search between the two sites discovered him in a "spider hole
Spider hole
A spider hole is U.S. military parlance for a camouflaged one-man foxhole, used for observation. A spider hole is typically a shoulder-deep, protective, round hole, often covered by a camouflaged lid, in which a soldier can stand and fire a weapon...

" hide out at 20:30hrs local Iraqi time. Despite being armed with a pistol and an AK-47
The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

 assault rifle
Assault rifle
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies...

, and provisioned with US$750,000 in cash, Saddam did not resist capture.

The capture was dramatized in the final episode of House of Saddam
House of Saddam
House of Saddam is a 2008 drama that charts the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein. A co-production between BBC Television and HBO Films, the series was first broadcast on BBC Two in four parts between 30 July and 20 August 2008. The mini-series has been very well received across the Arab...



The operation was named after the 1984 film of the same name
Red Dawn
Red Dawn is a 1984 American war film directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Kevin Reynolds. It stars Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Grey....

 starring Patrick Swayze
Patrick Swayze
Patrick Wayne Swayze was an American actor, dancer and singer-songwriter. He was best known for his tough-guy roles, as romantic leading men in the hit films Dirty Dancing and Ghost, and as Orry Main in the North and South television miniseries. He was named by People magazine as its "Sexiest...


Shi'ite and Kurdish

On American announcement of President Saddam Hussein's capture, pro-American Iraqis celebrated publicly. Hours later, an explosion occurred near the Palestine Hotel housing foreign reporters. After investigating, authorities determined a stray bullet had struck and detonated some fuel cans.

Jalal Talabani
Jalal Talabani
Jalal Talabani is the sixth and current President of Iraq, a leading Kurdish politician. He is the first non-Arab president of Iraq, although Abdul Kareem Qasim was half Kurdish....

 told the Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamic Republic News Agency
The Islamic Republic News Agency , or IRNA, is the official news agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is government-funded and controlled under the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The agency also publishes the newspaper Iran. , the Managing Director of IRNA is Ali Akbar...

, "With the arrest of Saddam the financial resources feeding terrorists have been destroyed, and his arrest will put an end to terrorist acts in Iraq." Ahmed Chalabi
Ahmed Chalabi
Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi is an Iraqi politician. He was interim oil minister in Iraq in April-May 2005 and December-January 2006 and deputy prime minister from May 2005 until May 2006. Chalabi failed to win a seat in parliament in the December 2005 elections, and when the new Iraqi cabinet was...

, of the Iraqi Governing Council
Iraqi Governing Council
The Iraqi Governing Council was the provisional government of Iraq from July 13, 2003 to June 1, 2004. It was established by and served under the United States-led Coalition Provisional Authority...

, said a group, led by Kosrat Rassoul, of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan helped U.S. forces find his hide out.


Hours after the capture, but before its publication, a car-bomb exploded outside a Khaldiyah police station, killing some 10 people and wounding 20 others, mostly policemen, said U.S. officials, however, Iraqi officials reported more casualties.

International reactions

Middle East
 Afghanistan: The Afghan government welcomed news of the capture of Saddam Hussein, deeming it a warning to opposition leaders such as Osama Bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 and Mullah Omar
Mohammed Omar
Mullah Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council"...


 Bahrain: The official Bahrain News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman who said [his capture] should restore unity and cohesion to the Iraqis, to build "a promising future in a prosperous Iraq enjoying security and co-operating with its neighbors to promote stability and development" in the region.

 Egypt: Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher
Ahmad Maher (diplomat)
Ahmad Maher was the foreign minister of Egypt from 2001 to 2004. He came from a family of diplomats and politicians...

 said, "I don't think anyone will be sad over Saddam Hussein. His arrest does not change the fact that his regime was finished, and it is the natural consequence of the regime's fall. The Iraqi regime had harmed the Iraqi people, and had pulled the Arab region into several storms."

 Iran: Vice President
Vice President of Iran
Vice President of Iran is defined by article 124 of the Iranian constitution, as anyone appointed by the President to lead an organization related to Presidential affairs. , there are 12 Vice Presidents in Iran...

 Mohammad-Ali Abtahi expressed satisfaction, stating, "I am happy they have arrested a criminal, whoever it may be, and I am even more happy, because it is a criminal who committed so many crimes against Iranians." Iran joined the call for justice, adding, "Iranians have suffered much, because of him, and [the] mass graves in Iraq prove the crimes he has committed against the Iraqi people".

 Jordan: The government spokeswoman said they hoped that a page has been turned and that the Iraqi people would be able to assume their responsibilities as soon as possible and build their future according to their will. The first and last word concerning the capture of Saddam Hussein or his fate must be given to the Iraqi people.

 Kuwait: Information Minister Mohammed Abulhassan said, "Thank God that he has been captured alive, so he can be tried for the heinous crimes he has committed. Kuwait today feels more relaxed, and assured, after the departure of this tyrant, and, after all, are certain now that he will never return. The Kuwaiti people are happy for the Iraqi people; it is the end of the rule of tyranny. Saddam's capture is a turning point and an opportunity for Iraqis to unite."

 Lebanon" The country was tense at news of the U.S. capture of Saddam Hussein at the weekend; people were surprised by how easily he was captured, however, it did not equal a U.S. military victory. "The capture of Saddam will not save the U.S. from the world's condemnation for supporting the greater enemy, Israeli P.M. Ariel Sharon", said Selim Al-Hoss, ex-Lebanese P.M.

 Palestinian National Authority:
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 government had no comment, however Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, a senior Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 leader, said the U.S. would "pay a very high price for the mistake" of capturing Saddam Hussein.

Following Saddam Hussein's capture, the climate among Palestinians was disbelief and gloom.

 Saudi Arabia: Prince Bandar bin Sultan
Bandar bin Sultan
Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is a prince of the Saudi royal family and was Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005. He was appointed Secretary-General of the National Security Council by King Abdullah on 16 October 2005...

, Saudi ambassador to the United States, stated that "Saddam Hussein was a menace to the Arab world."

 Syria: Syrian Information Minister Ahmad al-Hassan advised Syria's position on Iraq was not based on the fate of individuals. We want an Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 that preserves its territorial integrity, its unity and its sovereignty.


 Bangladesh: Foreign Minister Morshed Khan
Morshed Khan
Morshed Khan was the foreign minister of Bangladesh from 2001 to 2006. Prior to entering politics, Khan was one of the most successful businessmen in Bangladesh...

 was quoted as saying, "We hope this will pave the way for the Iraqi people to have a government of their own, a government by the people and for the people of Iraq."

 People's Republic of China: Foreign Ministry
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China is an executive agency responsible for foreign relations between the People's Republic of China and other countries in the world. The agency is led by the Foreign Minister. The current minister is Yang Jiechi...

 spokesman Liu Jianchao hoped that the latest development of the situation in Iraq was conducive to the Iraqi people taking their destiny into their own hands, and to realising peace and stability in Iraq.

 Hong Kong: Sing Tao Daily
Sing Tao Daily
The Sing Tao Daily is Hong Kong's second largest Chinese language newspaper. It is owned by Sing Tao News Corporation Limited, of which Charles Ho Tsu Kwok is the chairman. Its English language sister paper is The Standard...

editorialized: "The desperate capture of Iraqi former president Saddam symbolizes the bad fate of a corrupt dictator
A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch. When other states call the head of state of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship...

 and also the best Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 present this year for US President George Bush, but for the Iraqis who have undergone a baptism of fire in the war, the days of peace are still far away, and the road of reconstruction is as long and arduous as before." South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post
The South China Morning Post , together with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is an English-language Hong Kong newspaper, published by the SCMP Group with a circulation of 104,000....

editorialized: "With Hussein's capture, Iraqis can at last begin to close this brutal and tragic chapter in their history."

 India: The Indian government's response to the capture of Saddam Hussein was measured and guarded. When Secretary of State Colin Powell called Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha on Monday to discuss the capture of Saddam, whom Washington had named a tyrant, Sinha is said to have reacted in a manner that did not echo the effusion flowing from the rest of the world. In the words of an official with the foreign ministry, Sinha "maintained a stiff upper lip".

Sinha, in his brief conversation with Powell, merely expressed hope that such developments would contribute to the stabilization of Iraq. Powell told Sinha that the capture would bring "a change in the existing situation and lead to greater respect for the Iraqi Governing Council
Iraqi Governing Council
The Iraqi Governing Council was the provisional government of Iraq from July 13, 2003 to June 1, 2004. It was established by and served under the United States-led Coalition Provisional Authority...


 Indonesia: In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, the reaction was muted. Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa
Marty Natalegawa
Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa, more commonly known as Marty Natalegawa, is an Indonesian diplomat and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Second United Indonesia Cabinet...

 says the arrest of the former Iraqi president had not changed how Indonesia felt about the situation in Iraq. Indonesia's leaders strongly opposed the U-S-led invasion of Iraq. Indonesian leaders also said they hoped the capture of Saddam Hussein would help bring peace to Iraq and return control of the country back to its citizens.

An Indonesian sentenced to death in 2002 Bali bombings agreed, saying Muslim militants would continue the fight against America.

"Even if 1,001 Saddam Husseins were arrested it would not weaken our struggle," Ali Ghufron shouted to reporters as he left a court on the resort island.

 Japan: Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Japan
The is the head of government of Japan. He is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members, and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office...

 Junichiro Koizumi
Junichiro Koizumi
is a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan from 2001 to 2006. He retired from politics when his term in parliament ended.Widely seen as a maverick leader of the Liberal Democratic Party , he became known as an economic reformer, focusing on Japan's government debt and the...

 on Monday said he hoped that Saddam Hussein's capture would lead to improvements in Iraq. He said the capture would be positive if it brings major steps toward the stability and reconstruction of Iraq. Prime Minister Koizumi's cabinet had approved a controversial plan to send troops to Iraq. He said he would continue to assess the security situation in Iraq before dispatching the soldiers.
In Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda agreed the arrest was "great news," but cautioned it would not necessarily lead to peace.

"The problem, however, is terrorism. I don't think the arrest of Saddam Hussein can stop all terror attacks," Fukuda said.

 Malaysia: The Malaysian government said the Iraqi people should decide how Saddam would be brought to justice on accusations of gross human rights violations.

Iraqis should "be given the right to decide on the manner and procedure of bringing Saddam Hussein to face justice," said Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Malaysia
The Prime Minister of Malaysia is the indirectly elected head of government of Malaysia. He is officially appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the head of state, who in HM's judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House of Representatives , the...

 Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi is a Malaysian politician who served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2009. He was also the President of the United Malays National Organisation , the largest political party in Malaysia, and led the governing Barisan Nasional parliamentary coalition...

, head of the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

. Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar
Syed Hamid Albar
Tan Sri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar , is a Malaysian politician and the former Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs. He is currently the chairman of the Land Public Transport Commission. He is also a member of the United Malays National Organisation , part of the ruling Barisan Nasional...

 expressed hope that the capture of Saddam Hussein would contribute towards bringing peace and stability in Iraq and the surrounding region and stated that the United Nations should now play a bigger role in achieving this objective. "With peace and stability in Iraq, we hope that an Iraqi government representing the free and independent Iraqi people could be set up to start the reconstruction process of that nationfor the benefit of its people," he said. He said the views and inputs of the Iraqis should be taken into account in deciding whatever action would be initiated against Saddam. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed urged a fair trial for Saddam Hussein.

 Pakistan: The response in Pakistan also was low-key. Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan called the capture an important development.

 South Korea: South Korea welcomed the news, which came hours after its government made a final decision to send 3,000 troops to Iraq.

 Sri Lanka: More than 46 Sri Lankan lawyers planned to defend the former Iraqi President at his trial. The inhabitants of Saddam Hussein Nagar, Sri Lanka
Saddam Hussein Nagar, Sri Lanka
Saddam Hussein Town is the name of a village exclusively inhabited by local Muslims in the Batticaloa district of Sri Lanka. It is named after Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, who donated all the funds required to build the village and its central Mosque...

 expressed great disappointment at the news of Hussein's capture.

 Republic of China: An hour after U.S. announced the captured, President
President of the Republic of China
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China . The Republic of China was founded on January 1, 1912, to govern all of China...

 Chen Shui Bian congratulated the U.S. for what he called "a big victory".


 Belgium: The Flemish-language De Standaard
De Standaard
De Standaard is a Flemish daily newspaper published in Belgium by Corelio . Circulation was about 102.280 in 2007. It was traditionally a Christian-Democratic paper, associated with the Christian-Democratic and Flemish Party, and in opposition to the Socialist Flemish daily De Morgen...

newspaper stated that "Showing degrading pictures of a prisoner, even if he was a cruel tyrant, does not increase the moral authority of those who overpowered him."

 Early Modern France: A statement from President Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

 said,"The president is delighted with Saddam Hussein's arrest."

 Germany: Chancellor
Chancellor of Germany
The Chancellor of Germany is, under the German 1949 constitution, the head of government of Germany...

 Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder is a German politician, and was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , he led a coalition government of the SPD and the Greens. Before becoming a full-time politician, he was a lawyer, and before becoming Chancellor...

 greeted the development "with much happiness." In a telegram to George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, he called for intensified efforts to rebuild Iraq.

 Vatican City: Top Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

 official Renato Martino, a cardinal deacon and President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is a part of the Roman Curia dedicated to "action-oriented studies" for the international promotion of justice, peace, and human rights from the perspective of the Roman Catholic Church...

, attacked the way Saddam Hussein was treated by his captors, saying he had been dealt with like an animal. Martino said he had felt pity watching video of "this man destroyed, [the military] looking at his teeth as if he were a beast." The cardinal, a leading critic of the US-led war in Iraq, said he hoped the capture would not make matters "worse." Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 did not comment.

 Poland: Poland at the time commanded thousands of international troops in Iraq. Defence Minister
Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland
Ministry of National Defence is the office of government in Poland under the Minister of Defence. During the Second Polish Republic and World War II it was called the Ministry of Military Affairs...

 Jerzy Szmajdziński
Jerzy Szmajdzinski
Jerzy Andrzej Szmajdziński was a Polish politician who was a Vice-Marshal of Polish Sejm and previously served as Minister of Defence. He was a candidate for President of Poland in the 2010 election....

 welcomed the news, but said the arrest could prompt retaliation from Saddam's supporters. "The coming days could be equally dangerous as these past days," he said.

 Russia: Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov
Igor Ivanov
Igor Sergeyevich Ivanov is a Russian politician and was Russian Foreign Minister from 1998 to 2004.- Early life :...

 said, "We think the arrest of Saddam Hussein will contribute to the strengthening of security in Iraq and to the process of political regulation in the country with the active participation of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...


 Spain: Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Spain
The President of the Government of Spain , sometimes known in English as the Prime Minister of Spain, is the head of Government of Spain. The current office is established under the Constitution of 1978...

 José María Aznar
José María Aznar
José María Alfredo Aznar López served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004. He is on the board of directors of News Corporation.-Early life:...

 said that "Saddam is directly responsible for the killing of millions of people over the last 30 years. Today, the moment has arrived for him to pay for his crimes.

 United Kingdom: Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

, President Bush's strongest Iraq War ally, called the capture good news for Iraqis, saying: "It removes the shadow that has been hanging over them for too long of the nightmare of a return to the Saddam regime."

North America

 Canada: Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, PC , also known as Paul Martin, Jr. is a Canadian politician who was the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, as well as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada....

 congratulated U.S. troops Sunday and sent telegrams of congratulations to U.S. President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He would state that he was confident that the deposed Iraqi leader will be prosecuted fairly. "What's important is that he be tried before a tribunal that is just, that is credible and that has international recognition," said Martin. "I'm sure that will be the case." Martin spoke to reporters from his Montreal riding, said Saddam's capture will bolster reconstruction efforts in Iraq. "Now that he has been captured there's no doubt in my mind that we will now be able to move to a very very different level of reconstruction," he said. "This is a great victory to the coalition forces but the biggest winners of all of this will be the people of Iraq," he said.

 United States:
  • President
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

     George W. Bush
    George W. Bush
    George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

     said that Saddam would "face the justice he denied to millions. For the Ba'athist holdouts responsible for the violence, there will be no return to the corrupt power and privilege they once held".
  • Secretary of Defense
    United States Secretary of Defense
    The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

     Donald Rumsfeld
    Donald Rumsfeld
    Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

     stated, "Here was a man who was photographed hundreds of times shooting off rifles and showing how tough he was, and in fact, he wasn't very tough, he was cowering in a hole in the ground, and had a pistol and didn't use it, and certainly did not put up any fight at all. In the last analysis, he seemed not terribly brave." Rumsfeld said the U.S. has not decided whether to classify Saddam Hussein as a prisoner of war
    Prisoner of war
    A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

    , but that the U.S. would abide the Geneva Conventions
    Geneva Conventions
    The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

    . More than 24 hours after his capture, the uncooperative Saddam Hussein had said little in his interrogation.


Australia's Prime Minister John Howard
John Howard
John Winston Howard AC, SSI, was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies....

  reacted to the news happily. He said the Iraqi people could breathe a sigh of relief now that the former dictator was no longer at large. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed him.

 New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark
Helen Clark
Helen Elizabeth Clark, ONZ is a New Zealand political figure who was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008...

 reiterated the New Zealand legislature's opposition to capital punishment
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

, with such opposition extending to the treatment of Saddam Hussein.


People Daily newspaper
The capture of deposed Iraq leader Saddam Hussein is, no doubt, a major victory for the United States and the coalition of the willing, chief among which is Britain. The curtain has now fallen on one of the world's most ruthless and intriguing leaders.

 Arab League

Secretary General Amr Mussa said the Iraqi people should "decide the fate of the old regime and its old leaders," alluding to the discovery of mass graves after Saddam's fall during the US invasion in April.

International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

The International Committee of the Red Cross says the US-led coalition in Iraq had given the agency the "green light" to visit Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader.

Red Cross spokesman Florian Westphal confirmed that ICRC visits to the captured Iraqi leader would go ahead according to international rules governing the detention of all prisoners of war. He said discussions are under way as to how and where those visits would take place.

 United Nations

A spokesman for Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

, United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Secretary General, said the capture "offers an opportunity to give fresh impetus to the search for peace and stability in Iraq".

Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix
Hans Blix
is a Swedish diplomat and politician for the Liberal People's Party. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs . Blix was also the head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from March 2000 to June 2003, when he was succeeded by Dimitris Perrikos...

 said the Allied Coalition might ask Saddam Hussein meaningful questions about Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programmes, "He ought to know quite a lot, and be able to tell the story; we all want to get to the bottom of the barrel".

Prisoner abuse charges

In December 2005, Iraqi lawyer, Khalil Dulaimi, Esq., repeated Saddam Hussein's complaints of having been beaten and tortured by U.S. Army soldiers, saying he, himself, had seen the bruises. The US denied having harmed him; the investigating Iraqi judge said that, until that week, Hussein had never claimed mistreatment, even when asked directly. His attorney, Khalil Dulaimi, who still regarded Saddam Hussein as President of Iraq, said he revealed the torture to him in a brief interview during the trial in Baghdad.

"The President was tortured severely by the American forces, and I saw bruise marks on his body; they are visible", Dulaimi told the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 in a telephonic interview, adding, "They are still torturing him psychologically". He did not describe or say where Hussein's body was bruised, neither did he detail what he meant by psychological torture.

Counsellor Dulaimi said he complained with the court on Thursday, urging its investigation. The chief prosecutor, Jaafar al-Mousawi, said he had not seen a complaint, adding he would visit him, and his seven co-defendants, to review their health and "listen to their demands and supply them with everything they need".

In his trial, Saddam Hussein upset listeners when he said U.S. Army soldiers beat and tortured him, insisting "the marks are still there", but didn't reveal anything in court. Judge Raid Juhi, who investigated Hussein's crimes as Iraqi President, said officials repeatedly asked him if he had ever been beaten; he answered, "No." every time, Juhi said, adding that if any defendant had complained of beatings and torture, doctors would have investigated.

POW status

A Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 spokesman said he was given the Prisoner of War
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 status as he was the leader of the "old regime's military forces."

The spokesman, Major Michael Shavers, said Saddam, captured by US troops in December, was entitled to all the rights under the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

. The International Committee of the Red Cross had asked to visit the former Iraqi leader as soon as possible. The US spokesman did not give further details about Saddam Hussein's conditions of detention.

POW status for Saddam Hussein meant that the former Iraqi leader would be eligible to stand trial for war crimes.

Prisoners' rights under the Geneva Convention include:
  • Protection against violence, intimidation, insults and public curiosity,

  • Protection against pressure of any kind during interrogation,

  • Provision of valid identity documents,

  • Food rations and drinking water sufficient to keep prisoner in good health,

  • Adequate clothing and washing facilities, and

  • Adequate medical treatment.

There was controversy over TV pictures which showed Saddam Hussein undergoing a medical examination after his capture - footage regarded by some as a failure to protect him from public curiosity. A leading Vatican clergyman described the scenes as Saddam being "treated like a cow," and some sections of the Arab world were deeply offended by them. The US maintains that the pictures were shown to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that they no longer had anything to fear.

A senior British official said Saddam - who was being held at an undisclosed location and interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA) - was still refusing to co-operate with his captors, but the former president's capture last month was yielding results "far greater than we expected," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

The US-led coalition had used documents found with the ex-leader to mount operations against Saddam loyalists, the official said.

See also

  • Trial of Saddam Hussein
    Trial of Saddam Hussein
    thumb|300 px| Saddam Hussein sits before an Iraqi judge at a courthouse in Baghdad, 1 July 2004.The Trial of Saddam Hussein was the trial of the deposed President of Iraq Saddam Hussein by the Iraqi Interim Government for crimes against humanity during his time in office.The Coalition Provisional...

  • Execution of Saddam Hussein
    Execution of Saddam Hussein
    The execution of Saddam Hussein took place on December 30, 2006 . Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging, after being found guilty and convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi'ite in the town of Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an...

  • Special Activities Division
    Special Activities Division
    The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

  • High-value target
  • Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–present
  • Saddam Hussein
    Saddam Hussein
    Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

  • Tikrit
    Tikrit is a town in Iraq, located 140 km northwest of Baghdad on the Tigris river . The town, with an estimated population in 2002 of about 260,000 is the administrative center of the Salah ad Din Governorate.-Ancient times:...

  • Manhunt (military)
    Manhunt (military)
    Manhunting is the deliberate identification, capturing, or killing of senior or otherwise important enemy combatants, classified as high-value targets, usually by special operations forces and intelligence organizations...

External links

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