Iraq’s Saddam Husayn prepares to liquidate opponents in his government who oppose having Saddam’s son Qusay succeed the dictator in ruling Iraq, revealed here Thursday 30 August an Iraqi opposition group.

The group, named Islamic Unity Movement of Iraq, told Kuwait news agency (Kuna) that sources close to the Iraqi government said Saddam is preparing a list of political leaders, ministers and other government officials who are known to be against installing Saddam’s son Qusay as his father’s successor in power. These opponents will be removed from their positions, said the Iraqi opposition group. Saddam has lately been grooming Qusay for his future role as the new dictator of Iraq by appointing him in different high-ranking government posts, the group said, adding that indications are that Saddam’s elder son, Uday, suffering a physical disability from an assassination attempt on his life, has fallen into disfavour as a possible successor to his father.

Perhaps a sign that the liquidation process has begun was the sentencing of Prime Minister Tariq Aziz’s son, Ziyad, accused of irregular financial dealings, to 22 years in prison, said the group. This move against Tariq Aziz’s interests may have come because Aziz spoke negatively of Qusay’s inadequacy as a fit successor in power to Saddam, the opposition group surmised.