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Saddam claims victory in Gulf War
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has declared a "victory over enemies" of the Arab world during the 1991 Gulf War in an address to his country to mark the 10th anniversary of the conflict.
In a taped televised address, Saddam referred to the 33 countries which had taken part in the U.S.-led operation to oust Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
"Iraq has triumphed over the enemies of the (Arab) nation and over its enemies," he said.
Pro-Iraqi demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday evening burning U.S. and British flags and protesting about 10 years of United Nations'-backed economic and military sanctions.
Saddam added: "It will triumph in all the remaining rounds with the help of God because it has achieved its triumph inside its soul, its conscience, its heart and its mind."
Saying "much dear blood of the dears ones was shed," Saddam said Iraq had "faced hate with love" and "cowardice with courage."
He said: "On a day like this day 10 years ago, evil and all those who made Satan their protector lined up in one place, facing those who represented the will to defend right against falsehood and who had God as their protector.
"The people love their people and civilisation and glorious history. They love their nation and its great principles surpassed by none before."
He said the country was "unyielding to exploitation."
Saddam made no mention of Kuwait or Arab countries who took part in the war against Iraq.
"How can I give names (of Arab coalition members) and count? How can I say and open the wounds?"
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said on Tuesday that his country is stronger than ever, and that it was not defeated in the Gulf War.
"We believe in what we said 10 years ago: We are victorious," said Aziz in a televised speech. "Victory can be achieved through the strategic results of any confrontation, and we are confident that we gained victory in that struggle, which lasted 10 years and is still going on."
The U.S.-led air assault that launched the Gulf War began one day after the expiration of a U.N. deadline for Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait.
Aziz defended his country's occupation of Kuwait. "They were traitors against the country that helped them for eight years to achieve security in the Gulf and which has resulted in them keeping their thrones," said Aziz.
"They stabbed Iraq in the back in a way that only the Zionists would do."
After the war, the international community imposed tough sanctions on Iraq.
Some 400 protesters took part in a march through the Iraqi capital on Tuesday night against the restrictions.
Britain is promising to show flexibility toward Iraq if it restarts talks on whether to allow inspections for weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has repeatedly refused to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into the country.
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