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Last Updated:  Saturday, 5 April, 2003, 00:55 GMT 01:55 UK
'We will triumph' says Saddam
Iraqi Information Minister, Muhammad Sa'id al-Sahhaf
Saddam's message was read out on TV by Iraq's Information Minister
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has issued a call to the Iraqi people to defend their homeland.

The message was read out by Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Sa'id al-Sahhaf on Iraqi TV on Friday. The following are key excerpts from the speech.

Great people, righteous men of our valiant Armed forces, greetings: In such conditions, the aim of addressing you every now and then is not to awaken your resolve, zeal and faith in these days of great steadfastness of our people and valiant armed forces...

I address you from time to time to exercise my moral and constitutional responsibility and perform the duty God asked His Prophet to perform; namely, exhorting fighters to fight.

[Koranic verse:] Apostle: Rouse the believers to the fight. If there are 20 amongst you, be patient and persevering, they will vanquish 200. If a 100 they will vanquish 1,000 of the unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding.

Saddam's first appearance on TV after conflict began
We will triumph over our criminal invader enemies - God will grant us righteous victory on all combat fronts

I tell you, after we relied on Almighty God, and after Almighty God granted us faith and the courage of the believers, we will be victorious, God willing. We will triumph over our criminal invader enemies.

God will grant us righteous victory on all combat fronts after we triumphed over ourselves by faith and the love each one of us has for the other, for our nation, and humanity.

As we told you brothers and sons before the decisive days began, the enemy will resort to manoeuvring, landing operations, or movements here and there wherever it finds a land free of the defences of our heroic army.

The enemy will wait for our army units to attack it with large numbers and to chase it wherever it moves to harm these units with its aircraft and long-range missiles...

It has done all this, exactly as we expected.

Based on this expectation, we have organized our defences. This includes defending Baghdad from appropriate depths.

However, when the enemy faces valiant resistance, it retreats to change its direction and move its units to a new area on board planes...

It might also change its direction to go to a new spot of land in dear Iraq. The enemy has now come to approach the boundaries of Baghdad in the same way.

Defending Baghdad's borders from outside the city is the task of the Republican Guard and the forces and divisions of our valiant army.

You know how your army and Republican Guard act when they have an appropriate opportunity to fight their enemy.

Saddam's second TV appearance since war broke out
Brothers: Fight them, and strike them day and night - turn the land of the Muslims into fire that will scorch the feet and faces of the invaders, wherever they may pass

If the enemy, may it be disappointed, wants to storm dear Baghdad, as it says, then it will face faithful men who will sacrifice themselves for the sake of God and the homeland.

Let every family in Baghdad be reassured. This is also a call to every Iraqi family in our dear homeland...

God willing, we are determined to defeat them (the invaders) and destroy them on the walls of our capital as much as we are determined to crush their miserable armies and defeat them on every spot of the land of Islam - the land of glorious Iraq.

Brothers: Fight them, and strike them day and night. Turn the land of the Muslims into fire that will scorch the feet and faces of the invaders, wherever they may pass.

With the help of God, their bellies will be roasted in the fire of hell forever. Our martyrs will go to Paradise. ...

Long live Iraq, our glorious Arab nation, and Palestine. ... God is great and shame on the criminal infidels.

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.

The BBC's Roland Buerk
"Coalition commanders had expected the Iraqi leader to appear in person"

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