BAGHDAD, Iraq – The top U.S. commander in Iraq said Wednesday that the head of the Special Republican Guard, Barzan Abd al-Ghafur Sulayman Majid al-Tikriti (search), had been captured.
Sanchez said Sulayman, No. 11 in the deck of the 55 most wanted Iraqi regime members, was detained Wednesday.
Responding to questions about the killings Tuesday by U.S. soldiers of Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay, Sanchez said dental records, X-rays and four former senior regime figures had helped establish the identity of the men killed in the Mosul (search) shootout.
He added that the coalition would provide proof "in due time" to the Iraqi people that Uday and Qusay, second only to their father in power in the ousted regime, were dead.
The U.S. commander defended the decision to kill the suspects hiding in the Mosul mansion, saying they had repeatedly fired on troops trying to enter the fortified second floor of the palatial villa.
"Our mission was find, kill or capture," he said. "We had an enemy that was barricaded and we had to take measures to neutralize the target."
He said that 10 TOW anti-tank missiles (search) fired from Humvees had silenced most of the resistance, apparently killing three of the four suspects. The battle ended at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, when troops stormed up the stairs to the second floor and shot the remaining suspect.
Sanchez said U.S. forces would continue to search for other fugitive members of the former regime, including its leader.
"The ultimate objective is Saddam Hussein. We maintain the focus on all the high-value targets and we will not fail," he said. "The Saddam Hussein regime will never come back into power. We will ensure the freedom of the Iraqi people."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.