Izzat al-Douri, a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a key aide of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has reportedly been killed in a wide-scale military operation in Iraq, an Iraqi official told Al Arabiya News Channel on Friday
However, a statement from Iraq’s dissolved Baath party, of which Douri was the de-facto leader, denied the report of his demise.
The governer of Iraq’s Salahaddin province Raed al-Jabbouri said that Douri was a “mastermind of Islamic State in Iraq,” and that his killing is a blow to the group.
“The security forces were able to kill the former Vice President and one of al-Baath Party commanders, Izzat al-Douri, during an operation near Aalas oil fields in Tikrit,” said Jabbouri.
DNA tests would further confirm his identity, the governor added.
The 72-year-old Douri had served as the vice chairman of Saddam Hussein’s top governing body, the Revolutionary Command Council. As Saddam’s deputy, he allowed his daughter to marry Saddam’s eldest son and princeling Uday Hussein – a union that later ended in divorce. Then, he became a fugitive after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and was believed to be mastermind of the insurgency against the current Shiite-led government.
Last year in July, shortly after ISIS miliants seized Iraq’s second largest city Mosul in a lightning offensive, Douri released an audio recording urging all Iraqis to join efforts to “liberate” the country and praised the radical militants.
Douri’s notoriety was such that in a deck of cards issued to U.S. army personnel during the 2003 Iraqi invasion, he held the position as the “king of clubs.”.. see more