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Saddam: 'New Mongols' face defeat

Saddam spoke to the Iraqi people in a televised address on Friday

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•  Commanders: U.S. | Iraq
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein gave a defiant speech on the 12th anniversary of the Gulf War, warning the United States that his country is ready for war.

Saddam called on his country and the Arab world to "mobilise" and defeat the enemy at the gates of Baghdad.

"We have determined and planned to defeat the aggressors. We have mobilised our abilities, including those of the army, people and leadership," he said in a televised address.

He referred to history to support his assertion that Iraq will not be defeated.

"Baghdad, its people and leadership, is determined to force the Mongols of our age to commit suicide at its gates," Saddam said, referring to the Mongol armies that sacked the Iraqi capital in 1258.

The United States is mobilising about 120,000 troops in preparation for a possible invasion, accusing Saddam of developing weapons of mass destruction.

Calling U.S. troops the "new Mongols," he said they would not be able to conquer a "mobilised and determined" Iraq.

"They will commit suicide on the walls of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities," Saddam said.

Saddam's speech comes as chief U.N. weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei were in Europe briefing French, British and European Union leaders on the progress of inspections in Iraq. (Full story)

Saddam made no reference to the teams of U.N. experts searching for evidence of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

A U.N. team discovered 11 chemical warheads on Thursday. (Full story)

CNN's Rym Brahimi said: "(Saddam) was not just saying (the U.S.) should not attack or try and overthrow the regime but also saying he has no intention of standing down."

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