CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar April 11 —
The U.S. military has issued a most-wanted list of 55 former
leaders in Saddam Hussein's regime to be pursued, captured or
The list, in the form of a "deck of cards" with pictures of the
wanted figures, was distributed to the thousands of U.S. troops in
the field to help them find the senior members of the government. It
also was being put on posters and handbills for the Iraqi public,
Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks said.
Brooks did not identify figures on the list, except to suggest
they included Saddam and his minister of information, Mohammed Saeed
al-Sahhaf, who boasted of battlefield successes right up to the time
he disappeared Tuesday.
"There are jokers in this deck, there is no doubt about that,"
He said the whereabouts of some of the most-wanted figures were
unknown, while others might well be dead.
"The population will probably confirm that for us," he said.
"The key list has 55 individuals who may be pursued, killed or
captured, and the list does not exclude leaders who may have already
been killed or captured," Brooks said.
The U.S. forces have twice bombed sites where they believe Saddam
may have been staying, and his fate is still unknown. One key figure
who British and U.S. officials believe is dead is Ali Hassan
al-Majid, a former Iraqi defense chief known as "Chemical Ali" for
his role in the 1988 chemical weapons attacks on Iraqi Kurds.
Brooks also said that U.S. forces found and destroyed five small
airplanes covered by camouflage netting along Highway 1 near the
northern city of Tikrit, Saddam's birthplace.
The planes, he said, could have been used for escape or to
distribute weapons of mass destruction.
Brooks was asked about U.S. efforts to control looting in Baghdad
and other cities, and said that U.S. troops would act to control the
situation but would not be used as a police force.
"At no time do we really see becoming a police force," he said,
adding that at some point there would be a replacement force for the
Saddam government police.
"We have to be patient with that. We are not exercising the same
kind of grip over the population that the regime had," he said.
|U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Vincent
Brooks points to take a question during a news briefing at the
Central Command Centre in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, April 8, 2003.
Brooks updated the media on the latest progress being made
during the war on Iraq. (AP Photo/Richard
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