A report, by former senior CIA official Graham Fuller, said the US should consider ‘urging Iraq to take the war to Syria’, noting that Saddam was ‘fighting for his life’ in the Iran-Iraq war.
Through the closure of the pipeline, Mr Fuller said Syria had a ‘hammerlock’ on US interests in both Lebanon and in the Persian Gulf.
With that being the case, he said the US should consider ‘sharply escalating the pressures against Assad’ from three border states hostile to Syria – Iraq, Israel and Turkey.
Faced with ‘three belligerent fronts’, Assad would probably be forced to abandon his closure of the pipeline, the report claimed.
It noted that Iraq might not ‘readily wish’ another campaign but said Syria was already fighting a one-front war in Lebanon and could ‘ill-afford to broaden’ its conflict.
It also said Syria was struggling to keep control over a population that detested the Assad government.
It went on to say Iraq had enough military airpower to devote up to one half of its air force against Syria.
By demanding the reopening of the pipeline, Iraq would have the support of ‘virtually every Arab state, except Libya’, the report said.
The report added that if the US wanted to ‘rein in Syria’ it needed to do so by showing ‘real muscle’ and highlighted the need to strike a ‘sharp blow’ to Syria’s prestige.
Elsewhere, the report stated that Israel should ‘welcome the chance to humble Assad’ by raising tensions among Syria’s Lebanon front without actually going to war. It said Assad was now Israel’s greatest problem, not Iraq.
Lastly, it said that Turkey, angered by Syrian support to Armenian terrorism, to Iraqi Kurds and to Turkish terrorists operating out of northern Syria, had often considered launching unilateral military operations against terrorist camps in northern Syria.
It said the use of all three states was essential to enacting change and forcing Assad to back down.
Bringing in Iraq, it said, was the most challenging aspect of the plan.
To do so could only be done by a ‘reorientation of US policy towards Iraq’ and might include ‘more active US participation in supplying high-tech items’ to Iraq’s modernization efforts.
It concluded by saying that the US might need to give more support to Iraq in the war against Iran.
The Iraq-Iran war started on September 22, 1980 and did not end for eight years.
Saddam had invaded because of a territorial dispute over the Shatt al-Arab, the waterway which formed the boundary between the two countries.
But they viewed Saddam as a brutal tyrant and he underestimated their devotion to their new leader.
The war finally ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire which was accepted by both sides resulted in the 223,000 victims and 600,000 injured during the war.
Overall, during the Iran-Iraq war, there exist 14 documented cases of the Iraqis resorting to chemical weapons against the Iranian army, with each instance killing no less than 1000 troops. Some Iranian soldiers who lived through these attacks are still suffering from the consequences to this very day.
Now, more than a decade after the fall of Saddam’s regime, the figureheads of his Baath party have joined hands with ISIS. Not only did they join the ranks of ISIS, but Baathists were in fact instrumental in the survival of the group.