Skip to comments.'Chemical Ali' Found Dead in Basra
Posted on 04/07/2003 12:17:00 AM PDT by JohnHuang2Edited on 04/07/2003 12:31:53 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
UPDATED AT 3:30 AM EST:
'Chemical Ali' Found Dead in Basra
.c The Associated Press
BASRA, Iraq (AP) - Ali Hassan al-Majid, dubbed ``Chemical Ali'' by opponents of the Iraqi regime for ordering a poison gas attack that killed thousands of Kurds, has been found dead, a British officer said Monday.
Maj. Andrew Jackson of the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment told The Associated Press that his superiors had confirmed the death of the man who is also President Saddam Hussein's first cousin.
Jackson said the body was found along with that of his bodyguard and the head of Iraqi intelligence services in Basra.
Saddam had entrusted al-Majid with defense of southern Iraq against invading coalition forces.
One of the most brutal members of Saddam's inner circle, al-Majid, in his 50s, led a 1988 campaign against rebellious Kurds in northern Iraq in which whole villages were wiped out. An estimated 100,000 Kurds, mostly civilians, were killed.
He also has been linked to the bloody crackdown on Shiites in southern Iraq following a 1991 uprising following the Gulf War. He served as governor of Kuwait during Iraq's seven-month occupation of the emirate in 1990-1991.
Human rights groups had called for al-Majid's arrest on war crimes charges when he toured Arab capitals last January seeking to rally support against mounting U.S. pressure on Saddam's regime.
``Al-Majid is Saddam Hussein's hatchet man,'' Kenneth Roth, head of Human Rights Watch in New York, said at the time. ``He has been involved in some of Iraq's worst crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity.''
Hazem al-Youssefi, Cairo representative of the opposition Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, described al-Majid as a standout in a regime of criminals.
Al-Majid was a warrant officer and motorcycle messenger in the army before Saddam's Baath party led a coup in 1968. He was promoted to general and served as defense minister from 1991-95, as well as a regional party leader.
In 1988, as the Iran-Iraq war was winding down, he commanded a scorched-earth campaign known as Anfal to wipe out a Kurdish rebellion in northern Iraq. Later, he boasted about the attacks, including the March 16, 1988, poison gas strike on the village of Halabja, where an estimated 5,000 people died.
During April 1991 peace talks in Baghdad, the Kurdish delegation leader, Jalal Talabani, told al-Majid that more than 200,000 Kurds lost their lives in the Anfal campaign. Al-Majid replied that the figure was exaggerated and the dead were not more than 100,000, according to reports published in the Arab press.
After Iraq's 1991 Shiite Muslim uprising was crushed, Iraqi opposition groups released a video they said had been smuggled out of southern Iraq. In the video, which was shown on several Arab TV networks, al-Majdi was seen executing captured rebels with pistol shots to the head and kicking others in the face as they sat on the ground.
He was no less brutal with his own family.
His nephew and Saddam's son-in-law, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel, was in charge for many years of Iraq's clandestine weapons programs before defecting in 1995 to Jordan with his brother, Saddam Kamel, who was married to Saddam's other daughter.
Both brothers were lured back to Iraq in February 1996 and killed on their uncle's orders, together with several other family members.
Syria and Lebanon ignored international calls to arrest al-Majid when he visited in January. He dropped scheduled stops in Jordan and Egypt - both U.S. allies - and Egypt refused to receive him and the Jordanian government denied a visit was ever planned.
Saddam's inner circle was made up of relatives or clansmen like al-Majid, upon whose loyalty he could count.
Not for Chemical Ali
The cuz that wuz
But, but, but...this just in from Baghdad Bob: That's a Hollywood imposter! ;)
Now aka "Charcoal Ali"...
I'm with you dude. We should have warned the sand maggots that all our forces had coated their bullets in pigs blood.
Scare the piss out of the medieval barbarians...
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