Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti (Arabic: قصي صدام حسين) (or Qusai) (May 17, 1966 – July 22, 2003) was the second son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was appointed as his father's heir apparent in 2000.
Qusay's older brother Uday Hussein was viewed as Saddam's heir until he sustained serious injuries in a 1998 assassination attempt. Unlike Uday, who was known for extravagance, Qusay Hussein kept a low profile. He was married to the daughter of a top ranking military official and had three sons; One of the sons, Mustapha Hussein (born January 3, 1989 in Tikrit), was killed alongside his father in the shootout with U.S. troops. The other two are presumed alive, but their whereabouts are unknown. 
Before the 2003 Invasion
Unlike other members of his family and the government, little information is known about Qusay, politically or personally. It is believed that until the 2003 Invasion of Iraq Qusay was the supervisor of the Iraqi Republican Guard and the head of internal security forces (possibly the Special Security Organization (SSO), and had authority over other Iraqi military units.
Qusay Hussein played a vital leading role in crushing the Shiite uprising in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War and is also thought to have masterminded the destruction of the southern marshes of Iraq. The wholesale destruction of these marshes ended a centuries-old way of life that prevailed among the Shiite Marsh Arabs who made the wetlands their home, and ruined the habitat for dozens of species of migratory birds. The Iraqi government stated that the action was intended to produce usable farmland, though a number of outsiders believe the destruction was aimed against the Marsh Arabs as retribution for their participation in the 1991 uprising.
Iraqi dissidents claim that Qusay Hussein was responsible for the killing of many political activists. The Sunday Times reported that Qusay ordered the killing of Khalis Mohsen al-Tikriti, an engineer at the military industrialization organization, because he believed Mohsen was planning to leave Iraq. In 1998, Iraqi opposition groups accused Qusay of ordering the execution of thousands of political prisoners after hundreds of inmates were summarily executed to make room for new prisoners in crowded jails.
In response to an imminent U.S. invasion, in March 2003 Saddam gave Qusay the order to defend the Baghdad-Tikrit area, one of four military zones of Iraq. On March 17, 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush gave Qusay 48 hours to leave the country, along with his father Saddam and brother Uday, or face war.
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