URGENT Saddam Calls For Arab Attack on Western Forces
Aug. 10, 1990
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) _ Iraqi President Saddam Hussein today urged Arabs everywhere to attack Western forces in Persian Gulf region, overthrow the Saudi royal family and take back the Moslem holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
''Your brothers in Iraq are determined on jihad (holy war), without hesitation and without any slowing down,'' Saddam said in a statement read by a spokesman on Baghdad radio and Kuwait television.
Saddam has been under intense economic and military presssure in the wake of his Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait. Thousands of U.S. troops are in Saudi Arabia as part of a multinational force to defend the oil-rich, strategic kingdom.
The Iraqi president denounced all Arab aid to the Western powers, whose intervention came at Saudi Arabia's request.
''The American forces came and Saudi Arabia opened its doors to it under the false pretext that the Iraqi army will move toward them,'' the spokesman said. ''It means there are plans for aggressive intentions.''
''So they are not only defying the Arab and Islamic nations ... but are challenging God the day they put Mecca and the tomb of Mohammed under the grip of the foreigner.''
Saddam called on Egyptians to bar Western military fleets being sent to the region from using the Suez Canal.
''Don't let the enemy pass through the soil of Egypt to use your waters, sons of the Straits of Hormuz. Stop the fleets from moving, sons in Ras al- Khaimah and Sharjah,'' he said, referring to emirates in the southern gulf.
The ''soil of Egypt'' was a clear reference to the Suez canal, and possibly to Egyptian air bases that might be used by American forces.
He urged Arabs everywhere to attack the Western forces.
''Burn the soil under their feet 3/8 Burn the soil under the feet of the aggressors and invaders who want harm for your families in Iraq 3/8'' Saddam's statement said.
He signaled for the first time that Iraq's intentions are wider than the annexation of Kuwait, calling for the seizing of Islam's holiest shrines, which lie within Saudi Arabia.
''Hit their interests wherever they are and rescue holy Mecca and rescue the grave of the prophet (Mohammed, at Medina),'' he said.
Up until now, Saddam has said he did not intend to invade Saudi Arabia.
''We shall be victorious, God willing, and evil and corruption will be trampled wherever it is and the sun will rise on the Arabs and the Moslems and God will happy after we purify our souls and land from the foreigners.''
The Iraqi president denounced the leaders of the oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf that are friendly with the West.
''Make it clear to your rulers, the emirs of oil, as they serve the foreigner; tell the traitors there is no place for them on Arab soil after they humiliated Arab honor and dignity,'' he said.
On the holy shrines at the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina, Saddam said:
''Arabs, Moslems, believers in God wherever you are. This is your day to jump up and defend Mecca, hostage of the Americans.''