Iraqi MPs approve payouts for Saddam’s US victims

Baghdad, April 30: Iraqi MPs okayed a USD 400-million (270 million euro) compensation deal today for Americans who say they were mistreated by executed dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime during the 1990-1991 Gulf War.

A total of 226 lawmakers were in the Council of Representatives’ main chamber, with a majority approving the agreement, which was originally signed between Baghdad and Washington in September.

MPs loyal to radical anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr walked out of parliament when the issue was put to a vote, however.

Iraq’s August 2, 1990 assault on neighbouring Kuwait was rapidly met with a concerted international military response that pushed Saddam’s forces out of the emirate.

Hussein’s reign was later ended by a US-led coalition in 2003.

Several US citizens were held by Saddam’s regime during the war over Kuwait and used as human shields to deter coalition attacks, with some claiming they were mistreated and tortured by Saddam’s forces.