Baghdad – Saddam Hussein’s right-hand man Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, a long-time fugitive, has died, the executed Iraqi dictator’s daughter and his Baath party said Monday.
After Saddam’s capture following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, the wiry, red-haired general remained the “King of Clubs” in Washington’s deck of cards of wanted regime figures with a $10-million bounty on his head.
“I offer condolences… to all Iraqis and all his (Duri’s) admirers in the Arab world and around the world,” tweeted Raghad Saddam Hussein, along with a picture of Duri and her father, who was convicted and hanged in 2006.
The Baath party, which ruled Iraq until Saddam’s overthrow, issued a statement announcing the death of 78-year-old Duri, but it also gave no details on where or the cause.
Known as the “Iceman” for his humble origins selling blocks of ice, he has previously been reported dead or captured only to resurface in audio or video messages.
In 2016, an unauthenticated recording showed Duri praising Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State jihadist group.
Disaffected ex-Baathists reportedly played a key role in insurgencies after the invasion.
Duri rose to become the number two in the all-powerful Revolutionary Command Council of Saddam’s regime.