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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Where's my beer?
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This marks the second person executed that had high hopes of being someone big in Iraq.
Reports: CIA candidate to lead Iraq assassinated
Nizar Khazraji, a prominent Iraqi general who defected to the West, was assassinated Monday on his way to attend a U.S.-called meeting of opposition groups in the southern city of Nassiriya.
Khazraji was sometimes mentioned as a possible successor to Saddam Hussein. In February last year, London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat quoted opposition sources in Syria as saying the US had chosen Khazraji to run Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam.
The CIA was reported to have helped him escape to Kuwait from house arrest in Denmark, where prosecutors were investigating his alleged role in gas attacks on the Iraqi Kurds.
A former Iraqi military chief-of-staff, who turned against Saddam in 1996, he has publicly declared that he was prepared to lead a rebel army into Iraq. "All real Iraqis want to overthrow this regime and I am one of them," he declared from his home in Denmark.
General Khazraji first came to prominence during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and by the end of that decade had been made head of the country's armed forces. He claimed to have warned Saddam during the Gulf War that the invasion of Kuwait had been a mistake.
He subsequently fell from favour and in 1995 fled to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, travelling on from there to Jordan. In 1998, he applied for political asylum in Denmark and since the late 1990s he has lived there.
In late 2001, Danish police launched an investigation into allegations that General Khazraji had been involved in the poison gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabjah in March 1988.
The general has rejected these allegations, dismissing them as black propaganda spread by Baghdad in order to discredit him. (Albawaba.com)