Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, the Republican chairman of the Senate intelligence panel, told “Fox News Sunday” he expected an intensive search now under way in Iraq to be fruitful.
“I will not be surprised at any military action that would lead to the possibility that we have now finally killed Saddam Hussein,” Roberts said.
He said neither he nor the vice chairman of the panel, Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, had been informed of Saddam’s fate. “I don’t think the Pentagon has confirmed it. But with this very aggressive effort that we have been mounting, I would not be surprised,” Roberts said.
Rockefeller added: “Pat and I both hope that we’ve scored but we don’t know that.”
The lawmakers spoke amid conflicting reports on the fate of Saddam, including from a captured top aide who said Saddam and his sons, Uday and Qusay, were alive after fleeing to Syria following the fall of Baghdad and later returning to Iraq.
Britain’s Observer newspaper reported that American specialists were carrying out DNA tests on human remains believed to be Saddam’s and one of his sons’.
The remains were retrieved from a convoy struck last week by U.S. forces following information that he and members of his family were traveling in the Western Desert near Syria, the Observer said. The report could not immediately be confirmed in Washington.