Samarrai (center left) during the Iran Iraq War.
|National Security Adviser|
|Director of General Military Intelligence|
July 1, 1947 |
Al-Samarrai served in Iraqi Intelligence during the Iran-Iraq war, and was appointed head of Military Intelligence Agency in 1990.
He defected in December 1994 and drove up to Kirkuk, then walked for 30 hours to cross the frontier into the Northern Kurdish enclave. At first he allied himself with Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress. They fomented a mini war in March 1995 between Kurdish groups and the Iraqi Army that went wrong when the insurgents failed to secure American military air support. Al-Samarrai moved to Syria and eventually made his way to London in 1998, where he headed an opposition group called the Higher Council for National Salvation whuch is based in Denmark.
Following his defection, Qusay Hussein told senior Iraqi officials, including Ra'ad al-Hamdani, that al-Samarrai had been an undercover agent for Jalal Talabani and Iran since 1982. Former Maj. Gen. Mizher Rashid al-Tarfa al-Ubaydi of Iraqi Intelligence claimed that al-Samarrai fled because he believed he was about to be arrested.
Post Invasion of Iraq
In 2003, he returned to his hometown Samarra, Iraq and remained there until he was appointed as the national security advisor to President Jalal Talabani in 2005 and moved to the Green Zone in Baghdad.
On March 6, 2008, the Iraqi presidency website publicized a judicial decision to lift off all restrictions imposed on General Wafiq al-Samarrai, including a freeze on his assets, after Supreme Criminal Court Judge Adnan Al Badri reportedly announced that a probe found no evidence to implicating al-Samarrai in 1991 Iraqi Army attacks on Kurdish and Shia civilians.
However, Samarrai left for London and announced that he will not return to Iraq in the future.
- Woods, Kevin M. (2009). Saddam's War: An Iraqi Military Perspective of the Iran-Iraq War. Washington, D.C.: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defence University. p. 72. ISSN 1071-7552.
- Woods, Kevin M. (2011) . Saddam's Generals: Perspectives of the Iran-Iraq War. 4850 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia: Institute for Defense Analyses. p. 101.
- "وفيق السامرائي" (in Arabic). Al Jazeera.