US special forces massing for large-scale action: Three more soldiers die

by DEBKAfile

24 July 2003

Three US soldiers killed early Thursday in grenade-shooting attack in northern Iraq after two US troop deaths Wednesday

Pentagon will release photos of Saddam’s sons after killed by US troops to convince Iraqis they are truly dead, after Bush said it is important for Iraqi people to know the regime is gone and won't be coming back. One of four former regime officials who identified them was Tariq Aziz who surrendered in April

DEBKAfile reports exclusively: US special forces massing for large-scale action at Saddam’s village of Oujah on Tikrit outskirts - core of deposed ruler’s support base in Sunni Muslim belt.

Oujah is also home village of Marwan Zeidan owner of Mosul villa where Saddam’s sons killed who was arrested by Americans Tuesday. US military action may stem from information obtained from Zeidan.

Rumsfeld approves Iraqi troop rotation plan. First to be relieved in September will be 3rd Infantry, to be replaced by elements of the 82nd Airborne, and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, to be replaced by international division commanded by Polish force. Next to go home is 2nd Brigade of 82nd Airborne in January

US forces capture key Saddam regime official, commander of Special Republican Guards – his own praetorian guard – Barzan Abd al-Ghatur Sulayman Majid al-Tikriti, No. 11 on wanted list. Circumstances of capture not released.

Al Arabiya TV Wednesday airs new tape purporting to be from Saddam Hussein. Recorded two days before his sons’ deaths, deposed ruler calls on Iraq’s special forces and presidential guards to step up attacks on coalition troops. He warns: The war is not over yet.

DEBKAfile World Exclusive: Uday and Qusay Hussein were discovered in the Mosul villa estate by Kurdish neighbors, Talabani’s followers. Talabani then tipped off the Americans.

The Hussein brothers dropped in unexpectedly at the Mosul estate of their father’s third cousin, Marwan Zeidan, after a hitch interrupted their journey to or from Syria, 35 miles away. Talabani helped set up the US Special Forces raid. First his intelligence agents surrounded the Zeidan estate in readiness for the US Special Forces helicopter landing Tuesday.