|Commander of the Fedayeen Saddam|
|Born||18 June 1964|
|Died||22 July 2003 (aged 39)|
|Cause of death||Ballistic trauma|
|Height||1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)|
|Parents||Saddam Hussein (deceased)|
|Relatives||Qusay Hussein (brother, deceased)
Raghad Hussein (sister)
Rana Hussein (sister)
Hala Hussein (sister)Adnan Khairallah (Maternal uncle, deceased)
|Years of service||1988-2003|
|Battles/wars||2003 Iraq War|
Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (Arabic: ? ) (18 June 1964 - 22 July 2003) was the eldest child of Saddam Hussein by his first wife, Sajida Talfah, and the brother of Qusay Hussein. Uday was seen, for several years, as the likely successor to his father, but lost the place as heir apparent to Qusay due to injuries he sustained in an assassination attempt, his increasingly erratic behavior, and his troubled relationship with the family.
His reputed actions include multiple allegations of rape, murder and torture, including torture of Iraqi Olympic athletes and the national football team. He was several times imprisoned, exiled and received a nominal death sentence by his father's regime.
Although his status as Saddam's elder son made him Saddam's prospective successor, Uday fell out of favour with his father. In October 1988, at a party in honour of Suzanne Mubarak, wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Uday murdered his father's personal valet and food taster, Kamel Hana Gegeo, possibly at the request of his mother. Before an assemblage of horrified guests, an intoxicated Uday bludgeoned Gegeo and repeatedly stabbed him with an electric carving knife. Gegeo had recently introduced Saddam to a younger woman, Samira Shahbandar, who later became Saddam's second wife. Uday considered his father's relationship with Shahbandar an insult to his mother. He also may have feared losing succession to Gegeo, whose loyalty to Saddam Hussein was unquestioned.
As punishment for the murder, Saddam briefly imprisoned his son and sentenced him to death; however, Uday probably served only three months in a prison in a private area. In response to personal intervention from King Hussein of Jordan, Saddam released Uday, banishing him to Switzerland as the assistant to the Iraqi ambassador there. He was expelled by the Swiss government in 1990 after he was repeatedly arrested for fighting. According to Jalopnik website, Uday's vast car collections were burned by his father, Saddam, after the Kamel Hana Gegeo incident.
Saddam later appointed Uday chairman of the Iraqi Olympic Committee and the Iraq Football Association. In the former role, he tortured athletes who failed to win. Furthermore, he founded his own sports club called Al-Rasheed and signed all the best players from the country to play for the club as they went on to dominate Iraqi football until their dissolving in 1990. He also became the editor of the Babel newspaper, the general secretary of the Iraqi Union of Students and the head of the Fedayeen Saddam. Uday seemed proud of his reputation and called himself Abu Sarhan, an Arabic term for "wolf".
Uday sustained permanent injuries during an assassination attempt in December 1996. Struck by between 7 and 13 bullets while driving in Mansour (Bagdad), Uday was initially believed to be paralyzed. Evacuated to Ibn Sina Hospital, he eventually recovered but with a noticeable limp. Despite repeated operations, two bullets remained lodged in his spine and could not be removed due to their location near the spinal cord. In the wake of Uday's subsequent disabilities, Saddam gave Qusay increasing responsibility and authority, designating him as his heir apparent in 2000.
Uday opened accounts with Yahoo! and MSN Messenger, which created controversy as this allegedly violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iraq. Uday also amassed a large video collection, found in his palace in 2003, much of which featured himself in both public and private situations.
Uday, the most headstrong among the Hussein children was also perceivedly the most flamboyant. Erratic by nature, he displayed utter ruthlessness towards adversaries and those perceived as threats to his power. He grew up idolizing his father, Saddam Hussein, although their relationship later became strained due to his father's many mistresses. Uday maintained a close cordial relationship with his mother, Sajida Talfah. The otherwise apathetic Uday, at his uncle's Adnan Khairallah's funeral in 1989, showed a rare moment of tenderness.
Neglect and lack of bonding with Saddam in childhood, over-exposure to the regime's brutalities, and Sajida's over-nurturing molded his character. After being handicapped by the assassination attempt on him in 1996, he maintained distance from Qusay who was rising in ranks and thought to be Saddam's next legitimate successor. Along with many other crimes, he along with Qusay in 1996, were said to be involved in the killings of their brothers-in-laws, Hussein Kamel al-Majid and Saddam Kamel al-Majid who themselves were powerful members of the elite regime. The two men, who had defected to Jordan along with their wives and children, were murdered after their return to Iraq.
In a sign of loyalty to Saddam, the vice president of the Revolutionary Command Council Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri consented to marry his daughter to Uday. However, al-Douri's influence with Hussein was so substantial that he was able to levy a condition: that the union would not be consummated. Because of Uday's violent and erratic behavior, al-Douri quickly petitioned that his daughter be permitted to divorce Uday. Uday reportedly had no children from his marriage.
Other allegations include:
On 22 July 2003, JSOC Task Force 20, aided by troops of the United States Army 101st Airborne Division, surrounded Uday, Qusay, and Qusay's 14-year-old son Mustapha during a raid on a home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Uday had been the Ace of Hearts on the most-wanted Iraqi playing cards (Qusay was the Ace of Clubs). Acting on a tip from an unidentified Iraqi, soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division provided security while the Task Force 20 operators tried to capture the inhabitants of the house. As many as 200 American troops, later aided by OH-58 Kiowa helicopters and an A-10 "Warthog", surrounded and fired upon the house, thus killing Uday, Qusay, and Qusay's son. After approximately four hours of battle, soldiers entered the house and found four bodies, including the Hussein brothers' bodyguard.
Later, the American command said that dental records had conclusively identified two of the dead men as Saddam Hussein's sons. They also announced that the informant (possibly the owner of the villa in Mosul in which the brothers were killed) would receive the combined $30 million reward previously offered for their apprehension.
The U.S. Administration released graphic pictures of the Hussein brothers' bodies. Afterwards, their bodies were reconstructed by morticians to assure the public that they were deceased. For example, Uday's beard was trimmed and an 8-inch metal bar in his leg from the 1996 assassination attempt was removed. When criticized, the U.S. military's response was to point out that these men were no ordinary combatants, and to express hope that confirmation of the deaths would bring closure to the Iraqi people. Uday was buried in a cemetery near Tikrit alongside Qusay and Mustapha Hussein.