Birthday: May 17, 1966
Died At Age: 37
Sun Sign: Taurus
Also Known As: Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti
Born in: Baghdad
Famous as: Son of Saddam Hussein
Height: 1.80 m
Spouse/Ex-: Sahar al-Rashid (m. 1988 – his death. 2003)
father: Saddam Hussein
mother: Sajida Talfah
siblings: Uday Saddam Hussein
children: Mustapha Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti, Yahya Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti, Yaqub Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti
Died on: July 22, 2003
place of death: Mosul
City: Baghdad, Iraq
Who was Qusay Hussein?
Qusay Hussein was the younger son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He started serving in the ‘Iraqi Republican Guard’ in 2000 and went on to supervise the internal security forces. He also commanded the ‘Special Republican Guard’ (Golden Division), a 15,000 member force recruited to protect Saddam Hussein and his extended family. Qusay Hussein oversaw the suppression of the Shiite uprising after the 1991 ‘Gulf War.’ In 1998, he was accused of ordering the killing of several political prisoners. Hussein was chosen as Saddam's heir apparent in 2000. However, he was killed on July 22, 2003, during a raid by American soldiers in Mosul. Qusay Hussein’s 14-year-old son, Mustapha, and his older brother Uday Hussein were also killed during the raid.
Childhood & Early Life
Qusay Hussein was born Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti on May 17, 1966, in Baghdad, Iraq, to Saddam Hussein and Sajida Talfah. Saddam Hussein was in prison at the time of his birth.
He was raised along with his brother Uday with whom he attended the ‘Al Khararkh Al Namouthajiya School.’ Unlike his brother, Qusay Hussein maintained a low profile at school. The brothers received special treatment at school and often broke the school rules. After graduating from school, Hussein went to the ‘Baghdad University’ where he studied law.
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In 1986, Qusay Hussein succeeded Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Saddam Kamel as the head of the ‘Republican Guard.’ During the mid-1980s, he grew closer to General Abd Hamid Hamud and Naji al-Sabri which increased his chances of succeeding his father. In 1988, forces controlled by Hussein killed more than 2,000 political prisoners who were jailed for anti-government views.
He played a crucial role in suppressing the Shiite uprising after the ‘Gulf War’ of 1991. Subsequently, the southern marshes of Iraq were destroyed, ending an age-old way of life of the Shiite Marsh Arabs who had made the southern marshes their home. Though not officially confirmed, it was widely believed that Hussein had masterminded the destruction of the marshes.
After suppressing the Shiite uprising, Hussein rose through ranks within the structures of the ruling ‘Ba'ath Party.’ In 1995, he suppressed the revolt of the al-Dulaym tribe and then played a vital role in suppressing another Shiite uprising in 1997.
Hussein started presiding over the Iraqi military forces in the late 1990s. In 1998, opposition groups in Iraq accused him of ordering the killing of many political prisoners. Hussein’s brutality put him under the risk of being murdered by opponents of the regime. On August 1, 2001, he was wounded when his motorcade was attacked in Baghdad. The attackers were killed by his security forces when their car was destroyed with a rocket-propelled grenade.
In 2000, he started serving in the ‘Iraqi Republican Guard.’ Eventually, he became the supervisor of the ‘Iraqi Republican Guard.’ He also became the head of internal security forces and oversaw the operations of several military units in Iraq.
Uday Hussein lost his status as Saddam's heir-apparent when he sustained serious injuries in 1996. Meanwhile, Qusay Hussein’s popularity within the military made him Saddam’s heir-apparent ahead of his older brother Uday. In 2001, he was elected as a deputy commander of the Ba'ath Party's military bureau.
When the United States of America invaded Iraq in 2003 and overthrew Iraq's Ba'athist dictatorship under Saddam Hussein, Qusay Hussein and his brother Uday went into hiding. They, along with their father, became most wanted fugitives by the occupying coalition forces of the United States. The coalition forces announced a bounty of $30 million who helped capture Qusay and his brother.
In July 2003, a cousin of Uday and Qusay informed the coalition troops that the brothers were hiding in a safe house in Mosul. Subsequently, a team from ‘US Special Forces’ was sent to Mosul to apprehend the brothers. On July 22, 2003, soldiers from ‘Task Force 121’ and 40 men from the ‘101st Airborne Division’ reached Mosul and surrounded the safe house.
When the soldiers entered the house, the occupants of the house opened fire at them. In the ensuing gun battle, four soldiers were wounded which forced the team to call for backup. The backup team arrived with missiles and destroyed a large portion of the building. Six hours into the operation, the American soldiers fired ten ‘TOW missiles’ at the house. The resulting explosion reduced much of the building to rubble, killing Qusay and his brother Uday in the process.
On July 23, 2003, the coalition forces announced that it had identified two of the dead men as Qusay and Uday from dental records. The US government then released photos of the dead bodies as many Iraqis were skeptical of the news.
Family & Personal Life
Qusay Hussein was married to Sahar, the daughter of Maher Al Rashid. The couple had three sons, namely Mustapha Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti, Yaqub Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti, and Yahya Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti.
His oldest son, Mustapha, was killed during the 2003 raid in Mosul. Although he was not killed during the initial explosion that killed Qusay and Uday, he was shot dead by the soldiers when he opened fire at them from the building's second floor where he was taking cover in a bedroom. Qusay Hussein’s younger sons are presumed alive. However, their whereabouts are unknown.
Qusay Hussein’s father, Saddam Hussein, was captured on December 13, 2003, near a farmhouse in ad-Dawr. He was then taken to a US base near Tikrit from where he was shifted to Baghdad. On November 5, 2006, he was found guilty of various crimes and sentenced to death. He was hanged to death on December 30, 2006, at an Iraqi army base in Kadhimiya.