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Hussein al-Tikriti, Saddam (Iraq)

Reference work entry

Introduction

Saddam Hussein became president of the Republic, chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) and secretary-general of the regional (Iraqi) command of the ruling Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba’ath) Party after the resignation of Gen. Ahmad Al Bakr in July 1979. He took over the additional post of prime minister in May 1994. Despite the military reversals of the 1980–88 war with Iran and the 1990–91 Gulf War against an international coalition—both of which undermined his ambitions for Iraqi regional dominance—Hussein retained power as the pivotal figure in a highly centralized and authoritarian regime and was the focus of a pervasive personality cult. In 2002 his rule again became the focus of US foreign policy, with President George W. Bush advocating ‘regime change’. US-led forces launched an attack on Iraq in March 2003 and by April 2003 Saddam Hussein had been removed from power. In Dec. 2003 he was captured by US special forces near to his home town of Tikrit....

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