Dissident Iraq General: U.S. Can Easily Oust Saddam

(Reuters) - Maj. Gen. Najib al-Salhi, who headed a Republican Guards division before defecting in 1995, said he expected the Iraqi army to fold immediately if the United States attacked. "Morale is at a disastrous level and the troops are sick of continuous war. Saddam will find himself surrounded by a few hundred soldiers," Salhi said in London, adding that the Iraqi army was a shadow of its strength before the 1991 Gulf War and had received no significant supplies since. The Iraqi army was divided along sectarian lines. Sunni Muslims from Takrit, Saddam's birthplace in central Iraq, comprised the Special Republican Guard entrusted with the president's personal protection. "The Shi'ites are mostly relegated to the infantry," said Salhi. "They will be the first ones to leave their posts and either join the advancing forces or go home."

2002-07-18 00:00:00

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