MANY of Saddam's
top military henchmen were secretly paid off and
air-lifted to safe havens by US special forces as
Baghdad fell, it was claimed last night.
Republican Guard leader Maher Sufyan ordered his
division to lay down their arms after the US agreed to
take him by Apache helicopter to a secret location
Iraqi troops around
Baghdad had slipped away before the US advance, dumping
huge caches of arms in the streets behind them.
Details of the
CIA's dealings were kept confidential as the Iraqi
capital fell for fear of reprisals against Saddam
loyalists as other negotiations took place.
A military source
at US Central Command in Qatar said yesterday: "The fact
that the coalition was able to make these deals meant we
took Baghdad with surprising ease."