Qusay Hussein Biography

Qusay Hussein, the younger son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, had a significant role in the Iraqi Republican Guard and the internal security forces. He commanded the Special Republican Guard and played a key role in suppressing the Shiite uprising after the Gulf War. Despite being chosen as Saddam’s heir apparent, Qusay’s life was tragically cut short during a raid by American soldiers in 2003, along with his 14-year-old son Mustapha and his older brother Uday Hussein.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Nasiri al-Tikriti
  • Died At Age: 37
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Sahar al-Rashid (m. 1988 – his death. 2003)
    • Father: Saddam Hussein
    • Mother: Sajida Talfah
    • Siblings: Uday Saddam Hussein
    • Children: Mustapha Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti, Yahya Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti, Yaqub Qusay Saddam al-Tikriti
  • Military Leaders
  • Height: 1.8 m
  • Died on: July 22, 2003
  • Place of death: Mosul, Iraq
  • Cause of Death: Killed: ‎Firearm
  • City: Baghdad, Iraq

Childhood & Early Life

Qusay Hussein was born Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti on May 17, 1966, in Baghdad, Iraq, to Saddam Hussein and Sajida Talfah. Saddam Hussein was in prison at the time of his birth. He was raised along with his brother Uday and attended the ‘Al Khararkh Al Namouthajiya School.’ Unlike his brother, Qusay Hussein maintained a low profile at school. After graduating from school, Hussein went to the ‘Baghdad University’ where he studied law.

Rise to Power

In 1986, Qusay Hussein succeeded Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law Saddam Kamel as the head of the ‘Republican Guard.’ He played a crucial role in suppressing the Shiite uprising after the ‘Gulf War’ of 1991. Hussein also rose through ranks within the structures of the ruling ‘Ba’ath Party’ and became the supervisor of the ‘Iraqi Republican Guard.’ He also became the head of internal security forces and oversaw the operations of several military units in Iraq.

Controversies and Opposition

Hussein’s brutality put him at risk of being murdered by opponents of the regime. In 1998, opposition groups in Iraq accused him of ordering the killing of many political prisoners. On August 1, 2001, he was wounded when his motorcade was attacked in Baghdad. In 2000, he started serving in the ‘Iraqi Republican Guard.’ Meanwhile, his brother Uday Hussein lost his status as Saddam’s heir-apparent when he sustained serious injuries in 1996. Qusay Hussein’s popularity within the military made him Saddam’s heir-apparent ahead of his older brother Uday.


When the United States of America invaded Iraq in 2003 and overthrew Iraq’s Ba’athist dictatorship under Saddam Hussein, Qusay Hussein and his brother Uday went into hiding. They, along with their father, became most wanted fugitives by the occupying coalition forces of the United States. In July 2003, the coalition forces received information that the brothers were hiding in a safe house in Mosul. Soldiers from ‘Task Force 121’ and the ‘101st Airborne Division’ surrounded the safe house and engaged in a gun battle with the occupants. After several hours and the use of missiles, the safe house was destroyed, killing Qusay and Uday Hussein.

Family & Personal Life

Qusay Hussein was married to Sahar, the daughter of Maher Al Rashid. The couple had three sons, one of whom was killed during the 2003 raid in Mosul. Qusay Hussein’s younger sons are presumed alive, but their whereabouts are unknown. His father, Saddam Hussein, was captured in 2003 and later sentenced to death. He was hanged in 2006.

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