Tuesday, January 26, 1999 Published at 15:52 GMT
Saddam Hussein's speech
The text of President Saddam Hussein's message to the people of Basra on 26 January as read out by an announcer on Iraqi TV
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.
O great people in the steadfast and mujahid Basra Governorate.
O families hit by the missiles and bombs of the criminal aggression: Peace be upon you. Peace be on Basra for its history, its glorious present, and as a splendid symbol of steadfastness and victory against the infidel tyrant and his followers in vice and evil.
O brave men and women, sweet children, and young men and women, who aspire for a great future and who are strongly holding on to a present which you willingly accepted with fortitude, patience, and continuous resistance of what was imposed on you.
Serving Islam and Arabism
The firm stand of jihad is the destiny of the people undertaking it and the harm inflicted and continues to be inflicted on you in the glorious al-Qadisiyah [war with Iran] and the immortal Mother of Battles, along with their meanings and your stands as well as the stands of your great Iraqi people, only befit your historical city and its positions in serving Islam and Arabism.
When the faithful Arabs in the city of Basra first established it, they did not only want it to be a port overlooking the Gulf from an impregnable location, but also chose the location for a people capable of playing this role in the service of the great principles.
The people of Basra remained faithful to these principles throughout all events and circumstances. Its people fought bravely to defend it, thus setting a good example of these principles to be emulated in facing all the evil attacks both in the past and present.
A problem for the invaders
Therefore, the honourable stand which is adopted by the people of Basra, as well as by all Iraqis in their cities, neighbourhoods, and villages, has become a problem for occupiers, coveters, and invaders.
Therefore, they give vent to their failure by acting against the distinguished, remarkable, and lofty ones. What was inflicted on your prosperous city, thanks to the determination and morale of its people and your people - the zealous men and women of Iraq - befitted the great meanings of al-Qadisiyah and the Mother of Battles.
Bloodshed will not be in vain
O kinfolk and beloved ones: Be patient. Victory will be achieved through patience.
As for those people with a dead conscience and who bear the Arab nationality, the nation said and will say its opinion on their mean act, as well as the act of their masters.
They, however, will hear no other voice except that of the devil after having deafened their ears and closed their minds to the voice of justice, the voice of God the merciful, the voice of righteousness, and glory.
Had you called a living person, your call would have obtained response, but what you are calling is a dead person. Your blood will not be shed in vain. Your blood will light torches, grow aromatic plants, and water the tree of freedom, resistance, and victory.
God is great. Heaven is the abode of our righteous martyrs
God is great. Glory to the people of Basra and to great Iraq.
Long live our glorious nation.
Curses upon the lowly ones.