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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 13:02 GMT
Saddam addresses nation - excerpts

Iraqi television has broadcast an address by President Saddam Hussein in which he praised the performance of his armed forces and said victory was not far off.

Saddam said the US-led forces would become bogged down and would not be able to benefit from a short war. The following are excerpts translated by BBC Monitoring.

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate... This war produced the current decisive days in which the mujahidin and the entire people of Iraq are showing extreme courage...

O brothers, you know that our country's policy is to avoid evil, but when evil comes to us using the logic of treachery and destruction, there must be a stand of faith and jihad that honours those who adopt it and pleases God Almighty.

Victory is near, bring the good tidings to the persevering believers.

Here you are today, O zealous Iraqi men, glorious Iraqi women and honourable men of our valiant mujahid armed forces. You are taking a stand that pleases every friend and all believers and frustrates the aggression and all non-believers. It is a stand with which you will achieve victory over your enemies and inflict the heaviest losses on them, God willing.

You will achieve a clear and final victory after you have relied on God Almighty. The aggression and injustice have become clear to the near and far. Those who were misled by the enemies on the international level during and after 1991 have woken up with the public reawakening of humanity and the sons of our nation.

Victory is near, bring the good tidings to the persevering believers. O Iraqis, these are your decisive days. O Iraqis, strike now as you are ordered by your God. Strike over the necks, strike their fingertips, and bring the good tidings to those who persevere.

In these battles, and during these decisive days, the aggressors' attempts did not come through planes and missiles, like they did previously in their air attacks. This time, the enemy has sent forward its ground units. The enemy has therefore come to occupy your land.

It will be bogged down in the quagmire until it is stifled and until it is defeated in panic...

The Americans and the British, in most cases and even in this battle, avoid clashes that place them within range of our weapons. They let their planes fight for them more than personal weapons or weapons that are equivalent to ours...

So, O my dearest, strike it. O heroic mujahidin, strike your enemy with strength and accuracy. O Iraqis, strike them with the strength of the spirit of jihad which you are carrying. Exhaust the enemy to the point where it becomes unable to continue to commit further crimes against you, against your nation and against humanity...

O Arabs, O believers throughout the world, O comrades in right and enemies of evil and falsehood, we relay to you the glad tidings regarding the things that God has bestowed on us in the course of our struggle against foolish people, the enemies of mankind...

Under various names and descriptions, the Iraqi mujahidin are inflicting serious losses on the enemy. The enemy wanted to make the war short in order to extricate itself from its predicament but we hope, God willing, to make it long and heavy for it. It will be bogged down in the quagmire until it is stifled and until it is defeated in panic...

In the 11th Infantry Division, I would like to mention the division's 45th Brigade, which raised the name of Iraq high in Umm Qasr...

O mujahidin fighters on the land of Iraq, the ancient land, the land that witnessed the origin of the early prophets, I would like to mention at the outset the 11th Infantry Division and all its brave mujahidin...

In the 11th Infantry Division, I would like to mention the division's 45th Brigade, which raised the name of Iraq high in Umm Qasr and which raised high the banner of jihad in that epic, along with the naval forces that joined them...

Greeting to all those who demonstrated solidarity with our people in this honourable showdown. Cursed be the villains and invaders, their assistants and those who advised them to commit evil or involved them in it because of their evil intentions. God is great. God is great.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Saddam promises Iraqi victory
24 Mar 03 |  Middle East
Analysis: Saddam on television
24 Mar 03 |  Middle East



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