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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Saddam's Daughters in Jordan

Aired July 31, 2003 - 13:07   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to take you back to Iraq. I'm being told we have breaking news. Who is with us on the phone? Can you tell me? Jane Arraf on the phone. Jane, what's the breaking news out of Iraq?
JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: The news is that Saddam Hussein's daughters are in Jordan. Now, these are two of the five children of Saddam Hussein. Two of the three remaining children. Their brothers, Uday and Qusay, of course, killed by American forces in a shootout just recently.

They have arrived in Jordan and are under Jordanian government protection. Now a Jordanian source close to the sisters confirms this.

These are Rana and Raghad who were the two daughters believed to be in their 30s. And they've arrived with their children. All in all, they have nine children. This is not the first time they have been in Jordan. This is a very tangled saga of a very dysfunctional family.

Now they came here in 1995 with their husbands, two brothers, Hussein and Saddam Kamel. They defected from Iraq, revealed weapons secrets, and were lured back there with the promise they would be forgiven. They weren't forgiven. They went back with their wives, these two sister, and were killed in a similar shootout to the one that killed Uday and Qusay.

So Saddam's two daughters in Jordan under Jordanian government protection.

PHILLIPS: Jane, what do you know about these two daughters and the relationship they have, or had with their father, Saddam Hussein? And do authorities believe that now that they are in Jordan they may talk about the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein?

ARRAF: They're not likely to know the recent whereabouts of Saddam. They've been a bit estranged from their father ever since their husbands were killed, essentially at his command.

Now, despite that, it was a relatively close family. They were thought to be close to their mother, Sajida. And Sajida may actually know the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein, some people believe. Sajida's own whereabouts are unknown. It was thought that she went to Syria at some point and then was back in Iraq again, and is believed to be sheltered by an Iraqi tribe. Now these two women would certainly be able to talk about the character of their father, to talk about some of the events in his life. But probably were not really privy to deep, dark secrets, such as weapons of mass destruction or anything like that.

They were, at the end of the day typical women in a family in which they weren't given a whole lot of power. Certainly, they obviously had the access to their father. But as I say, they have been estranged at some point and for some time after they went back to Iraq and their husbands were killed at essentially Saddam's request.

PHILLIPS: Jane Arraf out of Jordan, thank you so much.

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