Stunning news from Iraq
Syria has turned over 30 Ba'athists to Iraq, including Sadaam's half-brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan.
Iraqi officials said Sunday that Syrian authorities had captured Saddam Hussein's half-brother and 29 other officials of the deposed dictator's Baath Party in Syria and handed them over to Iraq in an apparent goodwill gesture.Could this be the end of the "insurgency"? What does it say about Assad's state of mind? The Syrians are Ba'athists too. Turning over to the Iraqis the Ba'athists that they have been harboring for two years is an indication that Syria thinks the "insurgency" is doomed and they need to cut their losses. They may also harbor the hope that this action will lessen the pressure on the regime and keep coalition troops out of their country. (Hat tip to Athena.)
The arrests dealt a blow to an insurgency that some Iraqi officials claim Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan was helping organize and fund from Syria. The U.S. military said two American soldiers were killed Sunday in an ambush in the capital.
Al-Hassan, a former Saddam adviser, was captured in Hasakah in northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border, two senior Iraqi officials told The Associated Press by telephone on condition of anonymity. Hasakah is about 30 miles from Iraq.
They added that al-Hassan was captured and handed over to Iraqi authorities along with 29 other members of Saddam's collapsed Baath Party, whose Syrian branch has been in power in Damascus since 1963.
UPDATE: Hammorabi reports it with the headline "Big criminal captured".