Qusay Hussein

Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (or Qusai, Arabic: قصي صدام حسين‎; c. 1967 – 22 July 2003) was an Iraqi politician and heir. He was the second son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was appointed as his father's heir apparent in 2000. He was also in charge of the military.

Qusay Hussein
قصي صدام حسين
Qusay Hussein.jpg
Member of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
In office
18 May 2001 – 9 April 2003
Director of the Iraqi Special Security Organization
In office
4 July 1992 – 6 January 1997
Preceded byFannar Zibin Al Hasan
Succeeded byNawfal Mahjoom Al-Tikriti
Personal details
Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti

(1966-04-17)17 April 1966[1]
Baghdad, Iraq
Died22 July 2003(2003-07-22) (aged 36)
Mosul, Iraq
Cause of deathGunshot wound
Resting placeAl-Awja, Iraq
Political partyIraqi Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Spouse(s)Sahar Abd al Rashid (m. 1988–2003; his death)
ChildrenMustapha Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti (1989–2003)
Yahya Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti (born 1991)
Yaqub Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti
ParentsSaddam Hussein (father, 1937–2006)
Sajida Talfah (mother, born 1937)
RelativesUday Saddam Hussein (brother, 1964-2003)
Maher Abd al-Rashid (father in law)
Military service
Allegiance Baathist Iraq
Branch/serviceIraqi Republican Guard
Years of service1991–2003
RankHonorable Supervisor of the Republican Guard
Battles/wars2003 Iraq War

Early lifeEdit

Hussein was born in Baghdad around 1966 to Ba'athist revolutionary Saddam Hussein, who was in prison at the time, and his wife and cousin, Sajida Talfah. Some sources have said the birth year was 1967 while others have said 1968. [2][3]As a child, his father would take him and his brother to watch executions. Unlike other members of his family and the government, little is known about Hussein, politically or personally. He married Sahar Maher Abd al-Rashid; the daughter of Maher Abd al-Rashid, a top ranking military official, and had three sons: Mustapha Qusay (born 3 January 1989 – 22 July 2003); Yahya Qusay (born 1991) and Yaqub Qusay (birthyear unknown).


Hussein played a role in crushing the Shiite uprising in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War and is also thought to have masterminded the destruction of the southern marshes of Iraq. The wholesale destruction of these marshes ended a centuries-old way of life that prevailed among the Shiite Marsh Arabs who made the wetlands their home, and ruined the habitat for dozens of species of migratory birds. The Iraqi government stated that the action was intended to produce usable farmland, though a number of outsiders believe the destruction was aimed against the Marsh Arabs as retribution for their participation in the 1991 uprising.

Hussein's older brother Uday was viewed as their father's heir-apparent until he sustained serious injuries in a 1996 assassination attempt. Unlike Uday, who was known for extravagance and erratic, violent behavior, Qusay kept a low profile so details regarding his actions and roles are obscure.

Iraqi dissidents claim that Hussein was responsible for the killing of many political activists. The Sunday Times reported that Hussein ordered the killing of Khalis Mohsen al-Tikriti, an engineer at the military industrialization organization, because he believed Mohsen was planning to leave Iraq. In 1998, Iraqi opposition groups accused Hussein of ordering the execution of thousands of political prisoners after hundreds of inmates were similarly executed to make room for new prisoners in crowded jails.

Hussein's service in the Iraqi Republican Guard began in 2000. It is believed that he became the supervisor of the Guard and the head of internal security forces (possibly the Special Security Organization (SSO)), and had authority over other Iraqi military units.


House of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, Iraq, damaged by American forces, 31 July 2003. Both were killed
U.S. Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division watch as a TOW missile strikes the side of a house of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, Iraq, 22 July 2003

On the afternoon of 22 July 2003, troops of the 101st Airborne 3/327th Infantry HQ and C-Company, aided by U.S. Special Forces, killed Hussein, his 14-year-old son Mustapha, and his older brother Uday, during a raid on a house in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.[4] Acting on a tip from Hussein's cousin, a special forces team attempted to apprehend everyone in the house at the time. After being fired on, the special forces moved back and called for backup. After Task Force 121 members were wounded, the 3/327th Infantry surrounded and fired on the house with a TOW missile, Mark 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher, M2 50 Caliber Machine guns and small arms. After about four hours of battle (the whole operation lasted 6 hours), the soldiers entered the house and found four dead, including the two brothers and their bodyguard. There were reports that Hussein's 14-year-old son Mustapha was the fourth body found. Brigadier general Frank Helmick, the assistant commander of 101st Airborne, commented that all occupants of the house died during the gun battle before U.S. troops were able to enter.[5]

Soldiers, who tried to enter the house three times, encountered resistance with AK-47 and grenades in the first two attempts. Uday, Qusay and guard protected the street and the first floor from the bathroom at the front of the house; Qusay's son took cover from the bedroom in the back and defended themselves. The American forces then bombed the house many times and fired missiles. Three adults were thought to have died due to the TOW missile fired into the front of the house. In the third attempt, the soldiers killed Qusay's only remaining 14-year-old son after he fired.[6]

Brigade commander Col. Joe Anderson said an Arabic announcement was made at 10 am on the day and called on people inside to come out peacefully. The answer he received was bullet bombardment. An experienced team of commandos tried to attack the building, but they had to retreat under fire. Four American soldiers were injured. Anderson then ordered his men to fire with 50-caliber heavy machine guns. Uday and Kusay refused to surrender even after a helicopter fired a rocket and the Strike Brigade threw 40 mm grenades at them. The Colonel decided that more firepower was necessary to take down the brothers, leading to 12 TOW missiles being fired into the building.[7]

After his sons death, Saddam Hussein recorded a tape and said, "Beloved Iraqis, your brothers Uday and Qusay, and Mustafa, the son of Qusay, took a stand of faith, which pleases God, makes a friend happy, and makes an enemy angry. They stood in the arena of jihad in Mosul, after a valiant battle with the enemy that lasted six hours. The armies of aggression mobilised all types of weapons of the ground forces against them and succeeded to harm them only when they used planes against the house where they were. Thus, they adopted a stand with which God has honoured this Hussein family so that the present would be a continuation of the brilliant, genuine, faithful, and honourable past. We thank God for what he has ordained for us when he honoured us with their martyrdom for his sake. We ask Almighty God to satisfy them and all the righteous martyrs after they satisfied him with their faithful Jihadist stand. Had Saddam Hussein had 100 children, other than Uday and Qusay, Saddam Hussein would have sacrificed them on the same path. God honoured us by their martyrdom. If you had killed Uday, Qusay, Mustafa, and another mujahideen man with them, all the youths of our nation and the youths of Iraq are Uday, Qusay, and Mustafa in the fields of jihad."[8]

Later, the American command said that dental records had conclusively identified two of the dead men as Saddam Hussein's sons. They also announced that the informant (possibly the owner of the villa, Nawaf al-Zaidan, in Mosul in which the brothers were killed) would receive the combined $30 million reward previously offered for their apprehension.[9]

On 23 July 2003, the American command stated that it had conclusively identified two of the dead men as Saddam Hussein's sons from dental records. Because many Iraqis were skeptical of news of the deaths, the U.S. Government released photos of the corpses and allowed Iraq's governing council to identify the bodies despite the U.S. objection to the publication of American corpses on Arab television. Afterwards, their bodies were reconstructed by morticians. For example, Qusay's beard was shaved and gashes from the battle were removed.[10] They also announced that the informant, possibly the owner of the house, would receive the combined $30 million reward on the pair.[11] Hussein was the ace of clubs in the coalition forces' most-wanted Iraqi playing cards. His father was the ace of spades and his brother was the ace of hearts.

Hussein's other two sons, Yahya Qusay and Yaqub Qusay, are presumed alive, but their whereabouts are unknown.[12][failed verification]


  1. ^ رغد صدام حسين تستذكر "تحرير الفاو" وأخاها - RT Arabic Archived 2019-10-16 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1436887/The-bloodstained-past-of-Saddams-sons.html
  3. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/07/international/worldspecial/us-officials-believe-husseins-son-qusay-is-still.html
  4. ^ Neil MacFarquhar (23 July 2003). "After the war: Hussein's 2 Sons Dead in Shootout, U.S. Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  5. ^ Sullivan, Kevin; Chandrasekaran, Rajiv (23 July 2003). "Hussein's Two Sons Killed In Firefight With U.S. Troops". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  6. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/jul/24/iraq.jonathansteele
  7. ^ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hussein-home-movies/
  8. ^ "Transcript of 'Saddam tape'" – via www.bbc.com.
  9. ^ "Iraq informant set for $30m reward". CNN. 23 July 2003. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  10. ^ "Media films Saddam sons". BBC News. 25 July 2003. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Iraq informant set for $30m reward". CNN. 23 July 2003. Retrieved 15 December 2008. Uday, 39, and Qusay, 37, had a U.S. government bounty of $15 million each for information leading to their arrest or proof they had been killed. When asked why the informant was in protective custody, the officer involved in the raid said: "People around here know who owned the house."
  12. ^ Ridolfo, Kathleen. "Biography of Qusay Hussein". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 10 August 2003.

External linksEdit