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BLOOD MONEY; Tyrant puts up rewards for Iraqis who kill allied troops.

Byline: ANNA SMITH

SADDAM Hussein yesterday put a price on the head of allied troops.

The tyrant offered Pounds 9000 to any Iraqi who kills an allied servicemen and Pounds 35,000 for shooting down an enemy plane.

Saddam's decree came as the allies moved in on all fronts.

Yesterday, the Iraqi News Agency announced that any Iraqi who kills an enemy servicemen will be rewarded with Pounds 9000 - doubled if the prisoner is taken alive.

The Baghdad regime offered Pounds 35,000 for anyone shooting down an allied plane or Pounds 17,750 for a helicopter.

They will get Pounds 17,750 if the pilot is caught or another Pounds 9000 if he is killed.

Saddam is even offering Pounds 3500 for intercepting a missile.

Allied airmen and troops face a nightmare of torture and punishment if they are captured.

Two RAF pilots went through hell at the hands of the Iraqis after their jet was shot down in the last Gulf War in 1991.

Flight Lieutenant John Peters and navigator John Nicol were left bloodied and bruised by Saddam's evil henchmen.

Peters's captors staged his mock execution and threatened to rape and starve him.

A photo of his battered face was released to the west by Baghdad and it became one of the most enduring images of the war.

Any allies taken alive by Saddam's soldiers must fear a similar fate.

Few Iraqis will believe there is any chance of reaping the rewards against the allies' superior weaponry.

But one RAF Harrier came close to being shot down in the early hours of yesterday.

The jump jet - flown by US Air Force exchange pilot Captain Red Walker - was targeted by a surface- to-air missile battery. Capt Walker said: "I was still inside Kuwait and suddenly I saw this huge firework and I thought, `Holy s***'.

"I thought, `That is coming for me'. I could see the rocket engine it was so close. I veered down and right and dodged it. I feel really lucky tonight."

The first two Harrier pilots to drop laser-guided bombs on enemy targets in southern Iraq spoke early yesterday of their contribution to the war.

Stepping from his cockpit in Kuwait, Squadron Leader David Bradshaw said: "I have a sense of disbelief that I have been training so long to have done what I did tonight.

"There was no hesitation when I pressed the button. Of course you think but the training kicks in and the time for reflection will come later."

Squadron Leader Jim Provost, who also dropped two Paveway guided bombs, said: "It was not at all enjoyable. It was hard work. It is a relief to be back on the ground."

Harrier pilots successfully tracked down and destroyed one of Saddam's missile launcher arsenals.

Flight Lieutenant Mike Rutland, 27, disabled the mobile Scud launcher with a Maverick air-to-ground missile.

Then Wing Commander Andy Suddards, 41, followed up and destroyed it with a laser- guided bomb.

Suddards, a father-of-two from Yorkshire, said: "We knew the Scud lorries were hiding somewhere and this morning we had reports of a long rectangular vehicle and whereabouts it was so we took it out."

Rutland, of Norwich, added: "It was confirmed as a probable surface-to-surface missile and I demobilised it with a Maverick missile."

Suddards added: "It may have been successfully demobilised but not completely destroyed so I dropped a laser guided bomb on it.

"I am a Christian but I am here to serve my country and in military conflict you may get casualties.

"War is not a nice thing but we are pushing his ability to fire missiles back, so our actions today may save lives of our own forces."

As the Iraqi leader grows more desperate by the hour, he is once again prepared to sacrifice his own people.

Saddam has been boasting that Iraqis are queuing up to volunteer for suicide missions.

He claims it is not just pilots, but Iraqi soldiers who are prepared to strap bombs to themselves and face the enemy.

But it has emerged that this, too, is part of his lies.

Soldiers have been ordered on suicide missions, with the threat of death and torture to their families if they refuse to go.

SICK LIST

SADDAM is offering a reward for any Iraqi who shoots down a British or US aircraft, or kills or captures a pilot or soldier. The list of rewards include:

Any Iraqi who kills an Allied serviceman will receive 25 million dinars (about Pounds 9000).

100 million dinars (Pounds 35,500) for shooting down an enemy fighter plane.

50 million dinars (Pounds 17,750) for shooting down a helicopter.

10 million dinars (Pounds 3500) for intercepting a missile.

An Iraqi who shoots down an enemy fighter jet or helicopter is to get 50 million dinars (Pounds 17,750) if the pilot is captured.

And 25 million dinars (Pounds 9000) if the pilot is killed.

The same reward applies for capturing enemy soldiers on the ground.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 22, 2003
Words:832
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