Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, former right hand man of Saddam Hussein, and current leader of Saddamist rebel organisation the Naqshbandi Order, in 2016.

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (01:05 PM) – According to several Arab news sources, meetings have been held between exiled members of the banned Iraqi Ba’ath Party and officials from the Israeli and Saudi regimes. This is reported by Fars News.

London-based Pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi reported that members of the Sunni Tahalof al-Qowa coalition have been meeting with the Israeli ambassador to Jordan in Amman.

“The meeting had been planned several months ago and it was recently held in Jordan and a number of members of the coalition met with the Israeli envoy and his deputy under tight security measures,” the newspaper stated.

Similarly, the Arab-language news website Sadr al-Khalij claimed that senior Ba’ath party leader Amed Abdolmajid al-Sa’adoun has been participating in a gathering organised in Baghdad by former Saudi ambassador to Iraq, Thamer al-Sabhan. Saudi Arabia is a notable opponent of growing Shia influence in the Middle East, as well as opposing Baghdad’s increasingly friendly relations with neighbouring Iran.

These reports correspond to similar statements by Iraqi lawmaker and leader of the National Tashih Movement Kamel al-Dulaimi, who was quoted by the Iraqi al-Raqed news site in August as saying that “A delegation of the dissolved Baath party is negotiating with the US officials, specially Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, to study the possibility for its return to Iraq’s political process after changing its name.”

“We have access to certain intelligence which proves that the delegation is pursuing Baath party’s return to power in Iraq under a new name,” Dulaimi continued.

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While the Iraqi Ba’ath Party, the Arab supremacist organisation headed by Saddam Hussein until 2003 and not to be confused with the Syrian Ba’ath Party led by Bashar al-Assad, is banned by the Iraqi constitution, some descendant organisations are still legally active in the country’s political scene. Furthermore, some of the most radical supporters of the late dictator who was executed in 2006, still wage a low-level guerilla war against the Baghdad government.

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