Syria Scraps "Iraqi Resistance" Conference in Damascus
Syrian authorities cancelled, just hours before it was set to take place, a conference Tuesday in Damascus by groups representing the so-called “Iraqi resistance” – including former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime – opposing the Baghdad government and its US-led international backers.
No reason was given for the scrapping of the event.
Some 500 delegates – including former officers from Saddam’s army, the Council of the Muslim Ulama, the banned former ruling Baath Party, Communists as well as several tribal chiefs – were expected to attend the gathering.
The aim of the conference was to bring together the different, mostly Sunni Muslim groups under a single political programme with delegates issuing a final joint declaration.
Syria is the home of many political exiles who fled Iraq when Saddam was toppled in 2003 following the US-led invasion.
However, not all dissident groups in the Sunni camp were in favour of the conference with former Iraqi deputy-president Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri (pictured), reportedly a leader of the new, underground Baath movement, dismissing delegates as not being representative.