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Saddam letter urges Arab support for insurgency

The authenticity of the letter, which did not bear any handwritten signature, could not be verified.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 02:27 IST

Saddam Hussein urged Arab leaders to support Iraqi insurgents, warning that an "American-Israeli conspiracy" aims to split Iraq into pieces, according to a letter the former Iraqi leader purportedly wrote that appeared on Sunday on the Internet. The message warned Arab leaders that their countries could be next in what it called a grand US scheme to divide Arab nations and control the region's oil wealth.

It was posted just ahead of the Arab League summit in Khartoum, Sudan, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The authenticity of the letter, which did not bear any handwritten signature, could not be verified. It was posted on a pro-Baathist website that has previously carried messages in Saddam's name.

A former member of Saddam's defense team said the item was written in the deposed leader's style. "The tone of the letter, the language used and the substance ... all point to the letter being Saddam's," Khasawneh said.

Saddam has spoken out in support of the insurgency during court appearances at his six-month-old trial for killings of Shiites in the 1980s. In a March 15 court appearance session, he urged Iraqis to unite to fight American troops and praised the "resistance." The letter purportedly from Saddam advised Arab leaders to support the insurgency, calling it "the bulwark to stave off waves of US, Zionist and Iranian conspiracies."

It said the resistance had "impeded the establishment of a global dictatorship led by the United States."

The letter did not refer to the al-Qaida terror network, said to be behind some of the violence in Iraq, though most of the insurgents are believed to be Iraqis- whether sympathizers with Saddam, Islamic militants or Sunni Arab nationalists. The letter insisted the "resistance has succeeded in thwarting all plans to cause civil war because it represents all sectors of Iraqi society."

"The historic solution to save the Arab nation is to support the armed Iraqi resistance materially and politically," it said. Arab states do not need to make public their support for the insurgency but can back it secretly, the letter said, perhaps taking into account the fact that several of the Arab League's 22 members are close allies of the United States.

The letter said that the turmoil in Iraq "is not an accident or the result of mistakes made by the US administration ... These are interconnected steps whose final goal is to split Iraq into three states"- Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish.

After dividing Iraq, the United States would carve up Saudi Arabia, Syria and Sudan, then establish a Palestinian homeland in Jordan and western Iraq, it said.

Those moves would allow the United States to control oil in the Arab world and Israel to take over the West Bank, emptied of its Palestinian population, the letter said.

First Published: Mar 27, 2006 02:27 IST