It is increasingly likely that Saddam Hussein is alive, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday.
The inability to prove that the deposed Iraqi president and his sons are dead or in custody could mean "a long, hot summer" for U.S. troops in Iraq, said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
Roberts, who recently returned from a trip to Iraq, put the odds that Hussein is alive at "about 70-30, according to the intelligence sources we have." He added: "I think we pretty well changed our mind from a 50-50 on whether he was or not."
The senator said Iraqis are hearing from Hussein's loyalists that the former president is alive, and that is contributing to the unrest in Iraq.
"If we can prove that Saddam Hussein is killed or captured, plus his two sons, we're miles ahead in this," Roberts said on CNN's Late Edition.
Also . . .
JOURNALIST DIES: An Australian NBC News sound engineer, Jeremy Little, died Sunday at a military hospital in Germany from complications after surgery for wounds he suffered June 29 in a grenade attack in Fallujah, NBC News said. Little, 27, was wounded when insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the military vehicle in which he was riding. He was the 12th journalist killed by violence since the war on Iraq began March 20. The 11th was a British freelance cameraman killed Saturday outside Iraq's Natural History Museum in Baghdad.
OPERATION ENDS: The military announced the end of a seven-day sweep dubbed Sidewinder, in which 30 Iraqis were killed and 282 detained, while 28 U.S. soldiers were wounded. The military said it confiscated ammunition stocks and hundreds of weapons.