Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party loyalists engage with US over Iraq





The prospect of mediated talks between the two sides has provoked fury in Baghdad, where the new government is dominated by parties that were ruthlessly repressed under Saddam's dictatorship.

Officials said an American military delegation that wrapped up a two-day visit to Damascus yesterday was given details of a Syrian-sponsored negotiation process that would end in the rehabilitation of most or all of the Ba'ath Party Iraqi regional command, which has remained loyal to Saddam's deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri.

Mr Douri has lived in the Syrian capital since the fall of Baghdad in 2003, playing a key role in financing and directing the terrorist campaign against the American occupation and fledgling democracy. Syria is run by its own version of the Ba'ath Party and it has given refuge to millions of Iraqis in the six years since 2003.



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