| Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti. (Reuters)
As Sayliya Camp, April 17 (Reuters): US-led forces searching for members of Saddam Hussein’s government captured the ousted Iraqi leader’s half-brother and former head of Iraqi intelligence in Baghdad today.
“Early this morning, the coalition’s special operations forces, supported by US Marines, captured Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al- Tikriti,” US Army Brigadier General Vincent Brooks told a news conference at the war headquarters in Qatar.
He said Barzan was captured alone based on a tip from Iraqis.
“Barzan is...an adviser to the former regime leader with extensive knowledge of the regime’s inner working. There were no friendly or enemy casualties. The capture demonstrates the coalition’s commitment to relentlessly pursuing the scattered members of a fractured regime,” Brooks said.
Barzan was No. 52 and the Five of Clubs in a US pack of cards distributed to the American troops featuring the 55 most-wanted Iraqis. Saddam and his two sons, Qusay and Uday, are at the top of the list.
American officials say they do not know if they are dead or alive after two airstrikes aimed at killing Saddam, but they said the success of the war does not depend on finding them.
“If we don’t find every one of them, but we can account that the regime is not in place, then we have succeeded and we believe we have succeeded,” Brooks said.
Now that the military campaign in Iraq has ended, however, locating the country’s former leadership stands as a major piece of unfinished business.
The officials have said they suspect some of the people on the wanted list have crossed into Syria but they do not have concrete evidence.