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Saddam Hussein's Status Uncertain After US Attacks Building He Was Believed to Be In - 2003-04-08

A top Pentagon official says the end of Saddam Hussein's regime is getting closer, but the Iraqi leader's fate remains uncertain following an overnight bombing.

Major General Stanley McChrystal of the Pentagon's Joint Staff says the air strike on what defense officials call a Baghdad leadership target was "very, very effective."

But other than the visual evidence of what happened to the structure that was hit, General McChrystal says it is not known whether Saddam Hussein or his sons were there and killed.

"What we have for battle damage assessment right now is essentially a hole in the ground, a site of destruction, where we wanted it to be, where we believe high value targets were, where intelligence led us to believe that," the general told reporters. "We do not have hard battle damage assessment on exactly what individual or individuals were on site."

A American B-1 bomber dropped four 800-kilogram precision-guided munitions on the target in a Baghdad residential neighborhood. Members of the four-man aircrew involved in the strike say they were told "this could be the big one" - an indication of the mission's high priority.