Nearly two decades ago an elite team took park in a secret mission to capture Saddam Hussein.
Now, in an interview, one of the special operations veterans has exposed new details about the mission.
Former Iraqi president and dictator Hussein had been hiding underground when the team pulled him from a hole in 2003.
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Retired Army Master General Sergeant Kevin Holland claimed that his Delta Force team told Hussein ‘President Bush sends his regards’ as they captured him.
He made the admission while discussing the mission in the podcast ‘Danger Close’.
According to the New York Post, Holland said that the team received ‘human intel’ which allowed them to uncover the hole in the ground near a small town in Iraq.
Attempts had been made to hide the entrance by blocking it with styrofoam and covering it with leaves and sand.
There was a small pipe sticking out of the ground which allowed oxygen to flow through.
Holland told how after locating the ditch, he and his squadron discovered that the inside had been lined with bricks.
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They threw a grenade into it, and shortly after they claimed to hear a voice speaking Arabic.
“Then hands come out of the hole and a big bushy head of hair and then we grab him and jerk him out — and it [was] like ‘well, that’s him,'” Holland said.
Holland says one of his team said ‘holy cow, it’s him’ as they pulled Hussein from the ground.
“He just said he was the president of Iraq and he’s ready to negotiate,” Holland said. “He said that in English.
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“We’re like ‘that time’s passed, brother.
“You could feel he was just an evil guy. He had this presence about him that was very unnerving,”
Hussein’s presidency was marred by numerous human rights abuse accusations, including an estimated 250,000 murders.
After his capture, he was transferred to the custody of the Iraqi interim government. He was tried and convicted by an Iraqi court and was sentenced to death by hanging and executed on December 30, 2006.
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