Written by Dani Reshef
April 24, 2008
Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, the former trusted depute of Saddam Hussein and no’ 2 in the IRAQI hierarchy, who went missing after the USA invasion to IRAQ in 03/2003, claimed to be captured, on Wednesday 04/23/2008, by IRAQI forces, and to be handed over to the US military.
According to the Dubai based Al-Arabia TV network Izzat Ibrahim was captured near Kirkuk, the main town of Salaheddin province, in North Iraq. DNA tests are being conducted to confirm his identity
Abu Mohammed, described as Izzat Ibrahim’s representative in Syria, told Al-Arabia the report is fabricated. Izzat Ibrahim is free and secure and "leading the resistance and jihad in IRAQ," Abu Mohammad said by telephone.
On 09/05/2004 the IRAQI Army already announced the capture of Izzat Ibrahim, after a ferocious gun battle in Tal Afar, just on the Surian border. On 11/11/2005, Izzat Ibrahim’s death, from leukemia, was declared by pro-Baath’s insurgence. In both cases the news were proven somehow premature.
Since the USA invasion there is a major shift in USA policy in IRAQ. The basically secular Baath’ party, once completely ostracized from taking any part of rebuilding IRAQ, is now, under a special law, re-legitimated in a desperate search for Sunni allies to fight the growing influence of Al Qaeda in IRAQ. Most of the newly formed pro American Awakening Councils militias are based on Sunni Muslim tribes - once supporters of Saddam Hussein.
The decapitation of the secular leadership of IRAQ, mostly identified with the Baath’, created in IRAQ a political leadership vacuum and gave way to a fanatic religious leadership to thrive in IRAQ, whether it is the Shiite Ayatollahs like Moqtada Sadr or Al Qaeda affiliated like Abu Musab al Zarqawi and his successor Abu Ayyub al-Masri .
One of the ways to curb and overcome Al Qaeda in IRAQ is to encourage a secular Sunni leadership, often with former ties to the Baath regime. The possible capture of Izzat Ibrahim, assuming it might be true, is of no relevancy to the current situation in IRAQ. On the contrary, it complicates the delicate situation between USA and the IRAQI Sunni community in Iraq, a necessary ally in the war on terror and rebuilding a stable regime in IRAQ.