US killed Uday, Qusay to cover up past dealings
* Troops could have captured Saddam’s sons alive, says Syrian official
BEIRUT: A Syrian official said the US could have captured Saddam Hussein’s sons alive and hinted that killing the pair in a US military raid in Iraq may have been to cover up past American political dealings with the defunct regime. Uday and Qusay Hussein were reportedly killed on July 22 in a gun battle in northern Iraq by a US force hunting down leaders of the former regime.
Syria has been a vocal critic of the US war in Iraq. Relations between Washington and Damascus have been strained in recent months over American accusations that Syria supported the ousted Iraqi regime and sheltered some members during and after the war — charges that Syria denied.
“Of course Saddam Hussein and his children bear the responsibility of turning this country (Iraq) into this rubble,” Syrian Foreign Ministry official Buthaina Shaaban said last night. But the spokeswoman, speaking from Damascus added: “it was very possible of the US to capture Uday and Qusay instead of killing them. But maybe — and this is very possible — that there are files that they (Americans) don’t want to be uncovered.” —AP