NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES
April 5- U.S. officials tell NBC News they believe an overnight airstrike has killed the man known as "Chemical Ali," a cousin of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and commander of Iraq's southern front. Meanwhile, leaders of the ruling Baath Party in Iraq's second city Basra fear public reprisals and were seeking to negotiate a surrender to British military forces besieging the city, a pan-Arab newspaper reported.
MILITARY SOURCES told NBC News that bomb damage assessments and other intelligence indicate that the strike killed Ali Hassan al-Majeed and others, although his death has yet to be formally confirmed on the ground.
"The strike was part of an ongoing effort to end Saddam Hussein's regime. Ali is a member of the Iraqi president's inner circle," U.S. Central Command said in a statement announcing the attack on the home of Majeed.
Majeed earned his nickname for overseeing the use of poison gas against Kurdish villagers in 1988.
The statement said two aircraft had struck Majeed's home in Basra with laser-guided munitions early on Saturday.
British troops have been surrounding Basra since soon after the U.S.-led war on Iraq began on March 20, but Saddam loyalists continue to hold out there.
U.S. Marines have been hunting Majeed across southern Iraq. On Monday, they launched a dawn raid on the town of Shatra after receiving intelligence he was there with other senior Baath party officials who were coordinating paramilitary forces.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Gene Renuart told a news conference at war headquarters in Qatar that Majeed is believed to have been in the hospital in the southern town of Nasiriyah from which U.S. Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch was rescued by special operations forces this week.
"We think that he was there, he had used that area, but on the evening of the attack he was not located in that hospital," Renuart said.
Apr 7, '03
From MSNBC....April 7, 2003
MAJ. ANDREW JACKSON of the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment told The Associated Press that his superiors had confirmed the death of the man who was President Saddam Hussein's first cousin and one of the most brutal members of his inner circle.
Al-Majid apparently was killed on Saturday when two coalition aircraft used laser-guided munitions to attack his house in Basra. 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.
Apr 7, '03
Report: U.S. Finds Missiles with Chemical Weapons
Mon April 7, 2003 10:25 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. forces near Baghdad found a weapons cache of around 20 medium-range missiles equipped with potent chemical weapons, the U.S. news station National Public Radio reported on Monday.
NPR, which attributed the report to a top official with the 1st Marine Division, said the rockets, BM-21 missiles, were equipped with sarin and mustard gas and were "ready to fire." It quoted the source as saying new U.S. intelligence data showed the chemicals were "not just trace elements."
It said the cache was discovered by Marines with the 101st Airborne Division, which was following up behind the Army after it seized Baghdad's international airport.
U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar had no immediate comment.
The United States and Britain launched the war against Iraq to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq denies having such weapons.
Apr 7, '03
I hope the body they found was truly chemical ali. He has done some horrific deeds in his life. I doubt there are many that would mourn his death.
Apr 8, '03
May they ALL rot in hell when this thing is over.
Apr 8, '03
originally posted by smilingblueyes
may they all rot in hell when this thing is over.
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