The defection of Hussein Kamel, son-in-law of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, was one of the prominent events that received wide coverage from the Arab and international press for months that spanned between 1995 and 1996 in the midst of the international siege imposed on the country at the time, as he was his security arm, the Minister of Military Industry and the supervisor of the Guard Forces. The Republican, which was considered the elite forces in the Iraqi army.
The incident of his death while returning to Iraq after the issuance of an amnesty for him was a prominent paradox in the march of Saddam Hussein’s rule, with many reasons that marred these events between personal and clan interferences and accusations of treason and attempts to overthrow the regime in Baghdad.
His biography and upbringing
Hussein Kamel Hassan Al-Majid was born on June 18, 1954 in the village of Tal Al-Dahab in Tikrit in Salah Al-Din Governorate (north of Baghdad), and belongs to the same clan as Saddam Hussein, as Hussein Kamel’s father is Saddam Hussein’s cousin from the Al-Majid family.
Hussein did not complete his studies, as he left it in 1966 and was in the final stage of primary school, then in 1974 the cousin of his father Saddam Hussein (who was vice president of the republic at the time) appointed him in his guard, and in 1979 he completed a course for reserve officers and graduated with the rank of First Lieutenant, according to writer and historian Wasim Al-Ani, who confirms to Al-Jazeera Net that since Saddam Hussein agreed to marry his daughter Raghad in 1983, promotions and military ranks flooded him.
Hussein’s marriage to Raghad Saddam Hussein was not an easy matter, as his daughter Harir mentions in her book “The Granddaughter of the Late Iraqi President” that her father’s sermon to her mother Raghad was marred by a lot of disagreement within the ruling family and the clan, as it was Watban and Barzan – who were Saddam’s brothers from his mother – They want to propose to her to their two sons, but Hussein – who was the head of the Special Security Service and official of the Republican Guard at the time – preceded them and won the approval of her father, the late Iraqi president.
Harir added that because of her father’s marriage to her mother, the relationship between the two families of Ibrahim al-Hassan, father of Saddam’s brothers from his mother, and the family of Kamel al-Hassan, the father of Hussein Kamel, has worsened. As a result, Barzan al-Tikriti (Saddam’s half-brother) resigned from the position of head of the intelligence apparatus he used to occupy, and it became tense. Following that, Saddam’s relationship with Barzan for many years to come.
Hussein Kamel was one of the few that Saddam Hussein trusted in the country’s security joints, as because of his kinship and proximity to the president, his strength and power, he included in many sensitive security positions until he assumed the position of Minister of Military Industrialization between 1987 and 1995, in addition to his supervision of the Republican Guard.
The editor of “Views” newspaper, Mustafa Kamel, says that Hussein Kamel was not the first founder of the Republican Guard, as this force was established in the 1960s, but he supervised it after the mid-1980s, and during his reign it was strengthened, expanded, and raised its combat and armament levels. This was reflected in the course of the war with Iran (1980-1988) in its final years.
And he goes with this proposal, the historian Wassim Al-Ani, who believes that since the marriage of Hussein Kamel Bargad, Saddam’s confidence in him has increased and he assigned him to supervise the Republican Guard forces, as the number of the Guard’s brigades increased and the weapons he possessed developed until he became the largest and most powerful force within the Iraqi army during his reign.
Al-Ani – who is the author of the book “History of Military Coups in Iraq” – continues that with the passage of time Saddam’s confidence in Hussein Kamel increased, and he was given the rank of Lieutenant General to become the first official in charge of the Iraqi nuclear program in the early 1990s.
As for Iraqi military industrialization, Mustafa Kamel – who was the editor-in-chief of the official newspaper of the Republic (before the American invasion of the country in 2003) – indicates that Saddam’s son-in-law played a major role in the development of military industrialization due to the vast powers that were in his hands, in addition to the capabilities. The formidable that he placed in his hands.
His escape to Jordan
Hussein Kamel’s escape to Jordan was a big surprise for the Iraqi regime and Saddam Hussein’s clan, according to the security expert Majid al-Qaisi, who attributed the reasons for his escape and his brothers to Jordan to the great differences between him and Uday, the son of President Saddam Hussein.
The historian al-Ani confirms this proposition by saying that on August 9, 1995, Hussein Kamel, his brothers, their wives, and their children left for Jordan and was then Minister of Military Industry because of family disputes between him and Uday and Qusay, Saddam’s two sons on the one hand, and the rest of the family on the other hand, as well as because of his plans to overthrow Saddam and take over. To judge in any way.
Realizing his inability to turn against Saddam from the inside and Uday’s stand against his ambitions, Hussein Kamel decided to leave Iraq in search of Western support, which, according to Al-Ani, did not succeed in him, except that during his stay in Jordan he disclosed all sensitive secrets related to Iraqi weapons programs.
Returning to Hussein Kamel’s daughter Harir, she confirms in her book that her father’s disagreement with both of her maternal uncles, Uday, Qusay, and some family members, fearing her father for his life pushed him to leave for Jordan.
As for the editor-in-chief of “Nazareth” newspaper, he believes that Hussein’s complete exit from Iraq was apparently related to a family dispute with some of Saddam Hussein’s relatives, but the matter was exploited largely politically and by external parties, pointing out that what is evidenced by Hussein holding the entire press conference The famous Raghadan Palace in the Jordanian capital Amman, only 3 days after his arrival in this country.
Mustafa Kamel continues that Hussein Kamel was planning what he did in advance, citing his statements and announcing his split from the government 3 days after his arrival in Amman, which caused the UN inspection of Iraqi weapons to be resumed to zero point due to his disclosure of Iraq’s secrets and its weapons systems, at a time when all At the time, indications confirm that a major breakthrough will occur in the issue of the comprehensive blockade that was imposed on Iraq (1990-2003).
His return and his death
After many attempts in which Hussein Kamel failed to obtain Western support to change the regime or help him in a coup against him, and after Iraq offered to officially pardon him in exchange for his return, he decided to return on February 20, 1996.
Returning to Al-Qaisi, he indicates in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net that if Hussein Kamel had received Western or American support, he would not have returned to Iraq, but the Western authorities discovered that he was not a difficult figure in Iraq and was not liked, and therefore he did not receive the support he was aspiring to.
Harir stated in her book that Izz al-Din al-Majid (Saddam’s cousin) – who had gone with Hussein Kamel to Jordan – warned her father against returning and told him that he would be killed if he returned, but he did not listen to these warnings and insisted on returning to Iraq, confirming that her father was almost certain Than he will be killed.
Returning to journalist Mustafa Kamel, he believes that the official pardon for Hussein Kamel may have been real and not a trap, but the matter went out from the authority of the state to the authority of the clan that wanted to punish its son, and that what Hussein Kamel caused in terms of tremendous harm to Iraq cannot and cannot be pardoned. .
Regarding his death or his death, he continues that Hussein Kamel did not read the situation well, and did not understand the explicit signals that he received from his relatives in Baghdad, especially since his wife Raghad told him that the matter will not be smooth and will not end as he envisions, and that there is a punishment awaiting him.
As for Harir, she remembers that her father was killed 3 days after his return to Baghdad, specifically on February 23, 1996, in a battle that took place between Hussein Kamel and his brothers and his father on the one hand, and between the group of security forces that surrounded the house that he lived in in the Al-Saidiya area of Baghdad on the one hand. Another, as the battle began at 3 am and lasted 12 consecutive hours, during which Hussein Kamel’s brothers, his father, and all the children and women who were with him were killed, and Hussein Kamel was the last to be killed after the attackers resisted for hours and ran out of ammunition.
This account is confirmed by the historian Al-Ani, who said that those who killed Hussein Kamel and participated in the long battle against him were his clan, as Ali Hassan al-Majid (Saddam Hussein’s uncle and Hussein Kamel’s uncle) was at the head of the force, noting that the battle witnessed the use of dozens of RPGs (RBG) has various types of weapons.
In conclusion of his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Qaisi believes that the killing of Hussein Kamel by his clan caused a great rift within Saddam Hussein’s clan and the disintegration of its loyalties, which led to the continuation of the family’s volatile situation until the US invasion of the country and the overthrow of the regime in 2003.