Iraq's Former Information Minister Says Saddam Mishandled War

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Iraq's former information minister said Wednesday that ousted President Saddam Hussein (search ) made tactical errors in his fight against U.S.-led forces.

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (search ), who drew international attention during the war for making obviously absurd claims of Iraqi military victories, criticized Saddam's decision to divide Iraq into four military zones five days before the war.

"It [the decision] was a direct mistake of the president and the leadership," al-Sahhaf said on Abu Dhabi Television. That "led to fatal mistakes."

He complained that the zones were placed under the control of civilians, including Saddam's younger son Qusay (search ), and his trusted aides, Ali Hassan al-Majid and Izzat Ibrahim. He said the military experts were relegated to secondary positions.

Al-Sahhaf, who is expected to appear in four more episodes of the program "Al-Sahhaf's War," also denied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

"Chemical weapons and missiles were destroyed in the 1991 war," he said.

During the interview, the station aired what it called exclusive footage, acquired inside Iraq, of Saddam meeting with top officials just days before the war.

In one segment, Saddam is seen calling Arab leaders "agents" for suggesting he go into exile as a way to avert the war. Saudi Arabia and several Gulf states had supported the idea.

"Nobody dared to speak to Saddam about the idea of going into exile," Al-Sahhaf said, saying it was never considered by the president.

Al-Sahhaf disappeared April 9, the day Baghdad fell, and reportedly hid in a relative's home. He was not included in the list of 55 most wanted Iraqi officials and left Baghdad for the United Arab Emirates on July 10.