Saddam quit Iraq
03/04/2003 23:02 - (SA)
Jerusalem - DEBKAfile's - known for its accurate intelligence reports - has tracked down the top Iraqi leadership's bolt-hole.
It is a large 1 600-room luxury resort with 600m of private sandy beach in the Mediterranean coastal town of Latakiya called Cote d'Azur De Cham Resort, prepaid and chartered in toto by Baghdad.
The group may include Saddam Hussein or his sons, but this is not confirmed.
Top Iraqi officials are reported to have been hiding there since March 23, four days after the US-led coalition invaded Iraq. They are guarded by a Syrian commando unit armed with anti-air missiles while Syrian naval missile boats secure the port.
DEBKA military sources also report: The Iraqi troops sent to reinforce Baghdad's international airport are members of the Iraqi 26th Brigade's special commando unit, whose sole task is to defend the lives of Saddam Hussein and close family.
These commandos take orders from no one but the Iraqi ruler and his sons, who are unlikely to have stripped themselves of this protection if they were still present in the capital.
This outward movement from Baghdad is further indication of drastic changes in the Iraqi government's top level.
Saddam left 'days ago'
The little hard information reaching DEBKA's most reliable intelligence sources is that Saddam and his sons departed Baghdad some days ago.
They do not know where he went, or in what state of health, whether he travelled abroad for medical treatment or the family headed for a safe berth prepared in advance, or even if they arrived safely at their destination.
But it is safe to say that Saddam and the senior members of his family are no longer at the helm of government.
Iraq is undoubtedly in the process of regime change, the main objective of the Iraqi War.
Anything beyond that is hazy, DEBKA says.
Other members of the Saddam regime may have seized power after the ruler himself departed.
The new ruling caste may be divided between a faction negotiating terms of surrender with the Americans and a second, which is determined to fight on.
entire article can be seen at: http://www.news24.com/News24/World/I...342899,00.html
So the question remains still, where is he really?