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Harris Whitbeck: Tikrit raids occur regularly

Whitbeck: The military is
Whitbeck: The military is "convinced the noose is tightening around Saddam Hussein's neck."

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TIKRIT, Iraq (CNN) -- After U.S. troops conducted raids Sunday at three farm houses in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's ancestral home, military sources said the former Iraqi leader may have been at one of the locations just hours ago. CNN correspondent Harris Whitbeck is in Tikrit and spoke to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer during CNN's "Late Edition."

WHITBECK: We are at one of the palaces that belong to Saddam Hussein's family here close to Tikrit, where several raids have been staged from just a few hours ago.

Soldiers were looking for Saddam Hussein's new security chief. They say they missed him by just two hours, but that they were acting on intelligence that this gentleman became, they believe, Saddam Hussein's new security chief after his former security chief was captured. [The former chief] was No. 4 on the most-wanted list, and that occurred last June.

They acted on a tip that he and some of his companions were in one of three farms in the Tikrit area just a few kilometers from where we are.

They say they are convinced that the noose is tightening around Saddam Hussein's neck.

They say that they feel they have control of this area, and U.S. senior U.S. military officials told CNN they believe Saddam Hussein changes locations every two to four hours. They believe it is only a matter of time before they catch him.

Again, raids are being staged out of this location quite often. Several have already been staged in the last several hours. Expect for raids to be staged over the next several hours.


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