Iran is betting mainly on its Shi'ite allies in Baghdad and the south and on its Kurdish friends in the semi-autonomous north, while Syria is backing the secular groups in the various parts of the country notably including both the banned Ba'th Party
and former Ba'thists who have formed a new coalition called the Iraqi National Movement (INM).
In an interview with the US government-sponsored Arabic TV network al-Hurra, Khaddam said the opposition bent on taking over in Damascus included important members of the 'Alawite minority as well as others who used to be key figures in the Ba'th Party
before Bashar took over.
While he is acknowledged to have been one of the Ba'th Party
's founders and one of its major thinkers, there is very little scholarship, especially in the West, on his thought or its relationship with Ba'thist ideology.
In a video statement denouncing what he called the "brutal" regime of Bashar al-Assad, broadcast by pan-Arab TV networks on March 8, 2012, Hussamuddin said he had defected to the opposition and renounced all his posts as deputy petroleum minister and member of the Ba'th party
He never mentioned changing Article 8 of the Syrian constitution which states: The leading party in the society and the state is the Socialist Arab Ba'th Party
It was a blow to al-Iraqiya after it had won a manual recount of 2.5m votes in Baghdad and saw several winning candidates re-instated after a government agency disqualified them for links to the outlawed Ba'th Party
23 talks in Baghdad with VP Biden, telling the latter Syria was trying to get Iraq's banned Ba'th Party
to tip the balance in the March polls for a new Council of Representatives (CoR) - the parliament to elect the next PM.
2 warned of a conspiracy for the banned Ba'th Party
to return to power through "vehicles under different names".
The constitutional review, along with the petroleum law and a rollback of the purge of former Ba'th Party
members from public life, is part of a "national reconciliation" package the US hopes will reduce tensions between the Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs.
How is it that a state with relatively progressive and enlightened legislation gave birth to the current authoritarian regime of the Socialist Arab Ba'th Party
Huge crowds on March 20 had set fire to the Der'a HQ of the ruling Ba'th Party
and set ablaze the main courts and two phone company branches.
(What to do with Ba'th Party
officials had been a key cause of concern for post-war Iraq.