Where Did the Regime Go?

(Washington Post)- Dana Priest and Walter Pincus Secret CIA and military teams in Iraq and surveillance devices set up to monitor Saddam Hussein's inner circle Wednesday reported that nearly the entire Iraqi leadership had vanished. U.S. military commanders said they suspected some leaders had headed to Hussein's hometown of Tikrit and that others had fled to Syria. Dogged fighting by Iraqi forces at Qaim, near the Syrian border, has led some to suspect Iraqi troops there may be protecting important Iraqi leaders, although it was not clear whom. The most likely explanation for the sudden dropoff in detectable communications and activity among such a large number of key people, according to intelligence analysts, is that an order to disappear was given in Hussein's name, and that he is still alive. U.S. intelligence officials said allied forces continued to stop and turn around busloads of non-Iraqi fighters attempting to come into Iraq from Syria.

2003-04-10 00:00:00

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