Saddam's regime prepares for escape from Iraq
Peter Beaumont and Jason Burke
Sunday November 17, 2002
"A senior Iraqi envoy has visited several Arab states to ask for asylum for key members of Saddam Hussein's regime in the event of its overthrow.
According to Western diplomatic sources, the envoy General Ali Hasan al-Majid, known as 'Chemical Ali' to Iraqi Kurds for his role in the attack on Kurds at Halabja in 1988 visited Algeria, Tunisia and Libya in September to sound out governments about asylum for senior Iraqi officials fleeing the collapse of the Ba'ath regime.
Other reports have suggested that members of the regime have recently been in Syria to organise an overland route for Saddam's family to flee in the event of a massive US-led attack. However, all reports suggest Saddam himself would remain behind.
Although it is possible the story is being circulated by Western intelligence agencies to undermine morale within the regime, it seems likely there is much truth in these accounts."