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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

22 July 2003

Bush Welcomes News of Deaths of Saddam Hussein's Sons

White House offers no guarantees to North Korea, condemns Liberia violence

Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay were confirmed to be two of the four people killed in a July 22 military battle in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, according to Coalition Ground Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez in Baghdad.

"Four persons were killed during that operation and were removed from the building, and we have since confirmed that Uday and Qusay Hussein are among the dead," Sanchez said.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said July 22 in a late afternoon impromptu briefing that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called the president and told him that Uday and Qusay had been positively identified.

"The president welcomes this as positive news," McClellan said. "He was pleased to hear the news."

"Over the period of many years, these two individuals were responsible for countless atrocities committed against the Iraqi people, and they can no longer cast a shadow of hate on Iraq," said a White House statement released by the Office of the Press Secretary. "U.S. military forces and our intelligence community, working with an Iraqi citizen, deserve credit for today's successful action."

Sanchez said the deaths of Qusay and Uday proves to the Iraqi people that at least two members of Saddam Hussein's regime will not be coming back into power.

"And we remain totally committed to the Hussein regime never returning to power and tormenting the Iraqi people," Sanchez said.

"Ridding Iraq of people that remain loyal to the former regime, people that are foreign terrorists who are trying to disrupt our efforts to help the Iraqi people have a better future, those remain priorities in our military efforts and part of our efforts to secure and stabilize Iraq," McClellan said at the midday briefing.

"The former regime in Iraq is gone," McClellan said. "They are out of power. And we continue to make significant progress in moving towards a free and democratic Iraq."


Liberia experienced an escalation in violence July 21 as rebels pushed to oust Liberian President Charles Taylor. News reports say Liberian Defense Minister Daniel Chea said July 21's death toll was over 600. McClellan denounced the violence July 22.

"The United States strongly condemns the latest round of violence and we strongly condemn the escalation that has taken place," McClellan said. "We continue to call on all parties to immediately cease any military activity and focus on the peace talks (taking place in Accra, Ghana's capital)."

McClellan said no decision has been made on whether to send U.S. troops into Liberia to restore peace. He said the United States is "actively engaged" in ongoing discussions on this "complicated situation." He said the United States assessment team continues to do its work and monitor events closely.

"We want to do what we can to help," McClellan said. "We want to focus on the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) so that they can make sure a cease-fire takes hold. So we're continuing to work with the U.N.; we're continuing to work with ECOWAS; and we continue to monitor events closely."


McClellan denied July 22 that the Bush administration is considering granting North Korea formal guarantees it will not come under U.S. attack as part of a verifiable dismantlement of its nuclear facilities, as some news agencies are reporting. Asked if the news report is inaccurate and the Bush administration is not considering giving North Korea an assurance that the United States will not attack, McClellan said, "Right; nothing has changed in our position. That is not something that has happened."

"The president has been very clear that while we seek a diplomatic solution, we never take options off the table," McClellan said.

"We continue to seek a peaceful, diplomatic solution, working with our friends and allies, particularly those countries in the neighborhood -- China, South Korea, Japan," McClellan said. "They have all been involved in this, and it's important that they continue to be involved in this. North Korea needs to understand that it can realize the benefits of the international community and it can realize help from the international community if it ends its pursuit of nuclear weapons and its nuclear weapons program, and do so in an irreversible way, once and for all."

McClellan said, "There are some discussions going on with China that involve discussion of possibly trilateral talks that would immediately be followed by talks with Japan and South Korea."

"We have made it very clear that we will not give in to blackmail," McClellan said. "We will not grant inducements for the North to live up to its obligations."

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

This page printed from: http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2003&m=July&x=20030722185249atarukp0.7103388&t=usinfo/wf-latest.html

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