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Watch: How Muhammad Ali saved 15 American hostages held by Saddam Hussein

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Washington: A video of Muhammad Ali is getting viral on social media when former heavyweight boxing champion traveled to Iraq to brought 15 Americans being held hostage by President Saddam Hussein.

The world’s most well known athlete and a civil rights pioneer’s trip to Iraq with a mission to rescue 15 Americans was criticised and ridiculed by the media. In fact the then US President H.W.Bush, vehemently opposed.

Saddam Hussein held 15 American hostages from a local General Motors branch as “human shields” in the run-up to the Gulf War. These captives were placed at startegic bomb locations.

Despite being ridden with Parkinson’s and his frequent inability to speak clearly, Ali traveled to Baghdad in 1990 to meet President Saddam Hussein.

For a week, he waited and with his sardonic and smooth-talking, “The Greatest” managed to persuade Hussein to release hostages after four months in captivity and successfully returned to the U.S. with the 15 free Americans.

Six weeks later, the ‘Operation Desert Storm’ begin. The bombarded in Iraq gives a harsh reminder to the hostages.

 Muhammad Ali (center) and the 15 Americans that were rescued in Baghdad, Iraq. Photo: AP
Muhammad Ali (center) and the 15 Americans that were rescued in Baghdad, Iraq. Photo: AP

 

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