Tariq Aziz, top Saddam aide, dies in hospital

Tariq Aziz, top minister for Saddam Hussein, dies after heart attack at 79

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Tariq Aziz, a spokesman for Iraq’s former leader Saddam Hussein, died at the age of 79 on Friday of a heart attack, Iraqi officials said.

“Tariq Aziz died in Hussein teaching hospital in the city of Nassiriya, where he was brought when his health condition worsened,” Adel Abdulhussein al Dakhili, the Deputy Governor of Dhi Qar province, told AFP.

He was sentenced to death in 2010 for his role in mass killings of Shiites during his term but the sentence was not executed.

Aziz, a close adviser to former Iraqi leader, served as deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

He was the chief envoy to Hussein’s regime to the wider world for more than two decades.

He was a prominent figure during the Gulf War in 1991, when US forces drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

He surrendered to the US forces in 2003 after the fall of Baghdad.

A Christian, he was born in the village of Tal Keif near Mosul in northern Iraq.

Aziz was born Michael Yuhanna in 1936 and later changed his name.

TRTWorld and agencies