Izzat Ibrahim al-Dour, former dputy of Saddam Hussein. Reuters Photo.
TIKRIT, Salahaddin Province - Former Saddam Hussein deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the man pictured as the King of Clubs in the infamous US deck of cards of most-wanted Iraqis, has been reportedly been killed by Iraqi forces, a provincial official has told Rudaw.
Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, an ex-general in the Iraqi Army and the successor to Saddam Hussein as leader of the Baath Party, was killed in a military operation in Alam town near the liberated city of Tikrit, said Jassim Jabara, head of the Salahaddin province security committee.
The death was confirmed by Salahaddin Governor Raed al-Jabouri. Officials added that the body has been sent to Baghdad for DNA testing.
Douri, believed to be 72 years old, assisted in the 1968 coup that brought Saddam Hussein to power. He was the most senior Baathist leader to evade capture by US forces, which put a $10 million bounty on his head.
He is thought to have escaped the purge of Saddam loyalists to Syria, living as one of the world’s most wanted fugitives for many years. Rumors of his death surfaced, but he re-emerged in 2013 with a group Baathist loyalists called the Naqshabandi Army.
Douri is believed to have been heavily involved in the long-running Sunni insurgency against the Shia-led government of Iraq.
His ties to Islamic State are unclear. There were reports the Naqshabandi Army took part in the jihadists blitzkrieg across western Iraq last year and that Douri had provided the group military advice.
Last year, however, the outlawed Baath Party, headed by Douri since the death of Saddam, denounced the extremist group and threatened war.