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SYRIAN DOUBLE FACE

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On his way to participate in the Iranian controversial coronation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Syrian President Bashar Assad met, on 08/17/2009,inBaghdad with the Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki. They discussed bilateral issues and primarily the security issue of sealing the Iraqi Syrian common border from terror dripping from Syria into Iraq.In a joint statement Bashar Assad promised full cooperation with Iraq over that issue (see – Bad-Day).

At the very same time a terror network of former Iraqi Baathists, loyal to Saddam Hussein, plotted from Damascus the horrendous terror attack, committed on 08/18/2009 in Baghdad, which killed almost 100 people and wounded over 500 (see – Baghdad 08.19.09). The attack was designated to undermine the Iraqi regime headed by the Shiaa majority of Iraq.

According to the confession of former Iraqi police chief Wissam Ali Kadhem Ibrahim (pic), 57, who is suspected of coordinating and orchestrating the attack, and was screened in a news conference in Baghdad on Sunday 08/23/2009 evening.

Wissam Ibrahim was a chief of police in Diyala province in Iraq until 1995 under Saddam’s rule. He worked as a lawyer until 2002 but then became a leading Baathist official in the restive province Northeast of Baghdad. Wissam Ibrahim said he had fled to Syria in July 2006 but returned to Iraq the next year (2007) to revive the Baath Party in Muqdadiyah, 60 miles (90 kilometres) North of the capital.

Wissam Ali Kadhem Ibrahim said he had orchestrated the bombing together with a leader of a branch of the now outlawed Baath party who was living in Syria. “I received a call a month ago from my boss in the (Baath) party Sattam Farhan in Syria to do an operation to destabilize the regime”, Wissam Ibrahim described. The truck bombs were prepared in Khalis, 80 kilometers (50 miles) Northeast of Baghdad, and that he had called a contact in the nearby town of Muqdadiyah to ensure its safe passage to the capital.

According to Wissam Ibrahim interrogation large sum of money was paid to bribe dozens of police officers in Baghdad to ensure the safe passage of the car bombs to their designated targets.

Baghdad security spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi, who showed the video to the media, had previously announced the arrest of a group of Baathists he alleged were responsible for Wednesday’s bombings, which devastated the foreign and finance ministries. His office said on Sunday, shortly after the taped confession was aired, that every police officer manning checkpoints on the day of the blasts between Baghdad and Diyala province, where Wissam Ibrahim said the attack was put together, had been arrested.

The double attack showed that: 

A. The relations between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq are the major threat to the reconstruction of Iraq – much more then the Al Qaeda affiliated insurgency.

B. Syria is still a major exporter of terror to its neighbors in the Middle East.
C. The main gape in any security measure in Iraq is the integrity of its security forces and their loyalty to the Iraqi regime, something money or training cannot buy.
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