Qusay Hussein

Qusay Hussein
قصي صدام حسين
Member of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
In office
18 May 2001  9 April 2003
Director of the Iraqi Special Security Organization
In office
Preceded by Fannar Zibin Al Hasan
Succeeded by Nawfal Mahjoom Al-Tikriti
Personal details
Born Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti
(1966-05-17)17 May 1966
Baghdad, Iraq
Died 22 July 2003(2003-07-22) (aged 37)
Mosul, Iraq
Resting place Al-Awja, Iraq
Nationality Iraqi
Political party Iraqi Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Spouse(s) Sahar (m. 1988–2003; his death)
Children Mustapha Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti (1989–2003; deceased)
Yahya Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti (born 1991)
Yaqub Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti
Parents Saddam Hussein (father, 1937–2006; deceased)
Sajida Talfah (mother, born 1937)
Relatives Uday Saddam Hussein (brother; deceased)
Maher Abd al-Rashid (father in law)
Religion Sunni Muslim
Military service
Allegiance Baathist Iraq
Service/branch Iraqi Republican Guard
Years of service 2000–2003
Rank Honorable Supervisor of the Republican Guard
Battles/wars 2003 Iraq War

Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (or Qusai, Arabic: قصي صدام حسين; 17 May 196622 July 2003) was the second son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was appointed as his father's heir apparent in 2000.


Qusay's older brother Uday was viewed as Saddam's heir-apparent until he sustained serious injuries in a 1996 assassination attempt. Unlike Uday, who was known for extravagance and erratic, violent behavior, Qusay Hussein kept a low profile. He was married to Sahar Maher Abd al-Rashid; the daughter of Maher Abd al-Rashid, a top ranking military official, and had three sons;[1] one of the sons, Mustapha Qusay (born 3 January 1989 in Tikrit), was killed alongside his father in an attack by U.S. troops on their house. The other two Yahya Qusay (born 1991) and Yaqub Qusay are presumed alive, but their whereabouts are unknown.[2]

Before the 2003 invasion

Unlike other members of his family and the government, little information is known about Qusay, politically or personally. It is believed that until the 2003 Invasion of Iraq Qusay was the supervisor of the Iraqi Republican Guard and the head of internal security forces (possibly the Special Security Organization (SSO)), and had authority over other Iraqi military units.

Qusay played a role in crushing the Shiite uprising in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War and is also thought to have masterminded the destruction of the southern marshes of Iraq. The wholesale destruction of these marshes ended a centuries-old way of life that prevailed among the Shiite Marsh Arabs who made the wetlands their home, and ruined the habitat for dozens of species of migratory birds. The Iraqi government stated that the action was intended to produce usable farmland, though a number of outsiders believe the destruction was aimed against the Marsh Arabs as retribution for their participation in the 1991 uprising.

Iraqi dissidents claim that Qusay was responsible for the killing of many political activists. The Sunday Times reported that Qusay ordered the killing of Khalis Mohsen al-Tikriti, an engineer at the military industrialization organization, because he believed Mohsen was planning to leave Iraq. In 1998, Iraqi opposition groups accused Qusay of ordering the execution of thousands of political prisoners after hundreds of inmates were similarly executed to make room for new prisoners in crowded jails.


House of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, Iraq destroyed by American forces, 31 July 2003
U.S. Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division watch as a TOW missile strikes the side of a house of Uday and Qusay Hussein in Mosul, Iraq, 22 July 2003

On the afternoon of 22 July 2003, troops of the 101st Airborne 3/327th Infantry HQ and C-Company, aided by U.S. Special Forces killed Qusay, his 14-year-old son Mustapha, and his older brother Uday, during a raid on a home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.[3] Acting on a tip from a cousin, a special forces team attempted to apprehend the inhabitants of the house. After being fired on, the special forces moved back and called for backup. As few as 40 101st Soldiers and 8 Task Force 121 operators were on the scene. After Task Force 121 members were wounded, the 3/327th Infantry surrounded and fired on the house with a TOW missile, Mark 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher, M2 50 Caliber Machine guns and small arms. After about four hours of battle (the whole operation lasted 6 hours), the soldiers entered the house and found four dead, including the two brothers and their bodyguard. There were reports that Qusay's 14-year-old son Mustapha was the fourth body found. Brig. Gen. Frank Helmick, the assistant commander of 101st Airborne, commented that all occupants of the house died during the fierce gun battle before U.S. troops entered.[4]

On 23 July 2003, the American command said that it had conclusively identified two of the dead men as Saddam Hussein's sons from dental records. Because many Iraqis were skeptical of news of the deaths, the U.S. Government released photos of the corpses and allowed Iraq's governing council to identify the bodies despite the U.S. objection to the publication of American corpses on Arab television. They also announced that the informant, possibly the owner of the house, would receive the combined $30 million reward on the pair.[5] Qusay was the ace of clubs in the coalition forces' most-wanted Iraqi playing cards. His father was the ace of spades and his brother was the ace of hearts.


  1. CTV.ca Who were Uday and Qusay Hussein? CTV 22 July 2003
  2. Iraq Crisis Radio Free Europe
  3. Neil MacFarquhar (23 July 2003). "After the war: Hussein's 2 Sons Dead in Shootout, U.S. Says". The New York Times.
  4. Raghavan, Sudarsan; Miller, Greg (22 July 2003). The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A31549-2003Jul22?language=printer. Retrieved 21 August 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. "Iraq informant set for $30m reward". CNN. 23 July 2003. Retrieved 15 December 2008. Uday, 39, and Qusay, 37, had a U.S. government bounty of $15 million each for information leading to their arrest or proof they had been killed. When asked why the informant was in protective custody, the officer involved in the raid said: "People around here know who owned the house."
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