Saddam's home hit: Iraqi minister

IRAQI Information Minister Mohammed Sa'eed al-Sahhaf today acknowledged that one of Saddam Hussein's homes was hit last night by US air strikes, but he said no one was hurt.

IRAQI Information Minister Mohammed Sa'eed al-Sahhaf today acknowledged that one of Saddam Hussein's homes was hit last night by US air strikes, but he said no one was hurt.

"They rocketed the residence of his household," he said. "But thank God they are all safe.''

Al-Sahhaf said the Iraqis had destroyed two helicopters in fighting that began with a bombardment of the capital Baghdad early on Thursday.

And in the Iraqi regime's first response to yesterday's ground invasion, he rejected reports that US and British forces had taken the strategic port of Umm Qasr.

Referring to the scenes of Iraqi soldiers surrendering, Al-Sahhaf said: "Those are not Iraqi soldiers at all. Where did they bring them from?''

A British military spokesman in Kuwait said operations in that area were being carried out by the US 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, under the command of the Royal Marines.

Most Read

He could not immediately confirm reports that the US Stars and Stripes was now flying over the port.

Al-Sahhaf denied that television pictures from CNN of US tanks storming north across the desert were filmed in Iraq.

He also claimed that men seen surrendering to Allied troops in separate footage were not Iraqi soldiers.

"They are superpower of villains,'' he said of the US. "They are superpower of Al Capone. We will not allow them to get out of this quagmire which we trapped them in. They will see their end there.''

Standing beside Al-Sahhaf at the Baghdad press conference was Iraqi Interior Minister Mahmoud Diab al-Ahmed, carrying a Kalashnikov and wearing a flak jacket with a knife in the pocket.

He also had a pistol on his hip and was carrying Kalashnikov magazines.

"Some of you might may be wondering why do I have a Kalashnikov in my hand and am wearing a flak jacket. Because we have all in Iraq pledged never to relinquish our weapons until the day of victory.''

He said his 12-year-old son was also armed and ready to fight the enemy.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter