Amal Islamic Organisation: Website: www.amalislami.org
Assyrian Democratic Movement: Website: www.zowaa.com; www.zowaa.org
Congress: An umbrella group based in
California. It includes the Bet-Nahrain
Democratic Party, and Assyrian American Leadership
Council and others. Signed
a confederation agreement with the Free Officers' Movement
on 15 June 2002. Website: www.anca.us
Assyrian Patriotic Party (APP): Website: www.atranaya.org
BetNahrain Democratic Party: An Assyrian organisation
belonging to the Assyrian National
Congress. It seeks an Autonomous
state for Assyrians in Bet-Nahrain (Iraq). Website: www.bndp.net
Chaldean Federation of America: Website: www.chaldeanfederation.com
Monarchy Movement: Favours a constitutional
monarchy within a democratic political system. Affiliated to
the INC. Based in London, its
leader is Sharif
Ali bin al-Hussein. Website: www.iraqcmm.org
Tendency: An American-backed rival to
the INC. Secretary-general is Adnan
spokesman is Ghasan al-Atiyah.
Faili Kurds: Website: http://home.bip.net/faili.kurd
Free Iraqi Council
An offshoot of the Iraqi National Accord which claims to have been
involved in several failed coup attempts (including one which was
allegedly sabotaged by the CIA). Based in London and led by Sa'ad
Led by Brigadier-General
Najib al-Salihi. Its name is deliberately
reminiscent of the
officers' movement behind the Nasser revolution in Egypt. Signed
a confederation agreement with the Assyrian National Congress on 15 June
Four: Not an organisation as such,
but a group consisting of the PUK, KDP,
and SCIRI which began meeting
informally, outside the framework of the INC, in 2001.
Communist Party (ICP): Established in 1934,
it is well organised and is thought to have support inside Iraq.
Based in Iraqi Kurdistan and London. Leader is Aziz Muhammad.
Secretary of Central Committee is Hamid Majid Mousa.
Iraqi Democratic Union: Website:
National Accord (al-Wifaq/INA): Made up mainly of defectors
from the Iraqi armed forces and intelligence services.
Created by Saudi intelligence in 1990, it was reorganised in
1996 by the CIA, which saw it as the ideal vehicle for
fomenting a coup. Infiltrated by Saddam Hussein's agents,
its networks inside Iraq were smashed in 1996. It is also
said to have links to British intelligence. Based in Jordan
by Ayad Alawi.
See the INA's charter.
Iraqi National Coalition:
Seeks to replace Saddam
Hussein with a democratic, pluralist and federal system of
government. See statement
of principles. Its military arm is the Military
Alliance. Website: www.eatlaf.com.
(INC): An umbrella organisation, nominally embracing all major opposition
groups - though it is plagued by internal divisions and many view it as a vehicle for the ambitions of
its leader, Dr Ahmad Chalabi. Founded in 1992,
it is based in
London. One attempt by the INC to remove Saddam Hussein (with CIA support) failed in 1995.
In 1996, Saddam’s troops and their Kurdish allies attacked INC bases in
northern Iraq, killing 200 supporters and forcing thousands to flee. The
Liberation Act in the US institutionalised the INC as
the main vehicle for American duning of political change in Iraq. See: INC
(the INC's weekly newspaper). Further notes on the INC: Medea.
Forces: An alliance of opposition groups
whose formation was reported by al-Zaman newspaper on 25
June 2002. Its aim is to overthrow Saddam Hussein without
foreign interventions. It reportedly includes: the Iraqi Communist Party, the
Islamic Dawa party, the Arab
Socialist Ba'ath Party ( Iraq Command), the
Group of Mujahedin Ulema in Iraq, the Islamic Action Party, the Iraqi
Democratic Grouping, the Kurdistan Communist Party, the Socialist Party in
Iraq, the Turkomen Democratic Party, the Arab Socialist Movement, the
Islamic Union for Iraq's Turkomen, and the Assyrian Ethnic Organisation,
plus unnamed independent political and military figures.
Iraqi National Front: Websites: www.iraqinf.com;
Iraqi National Movement: Formed through a merger of two other groups,
it claims to include
prominent Sunni and Shia Arabs with a particular emphasis
on the central provinces. Leaders include Mudhar Shawkat and
Hatem Mukhlis. Said to receive several hundred thousand
dollars from the US State Department every three months
(Washington Post, 13 May 2002).
Iraqi National Party: Website: www.al-watany.com
Front: Website: www.turkmencephesi.org
Dawa Party (IDP): An old Shi'a Islamist
organisation.Its official website is www.daawaparty.com.
A rival website, www.islamicdawaparty.org,
belongs to a small breakaway group.
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP):
One of the two main Kurdish
parties, dating back to 1946, with a military presence in
northern Iraq. In 1996 it collaborated with the Iraqi army in an attempt to destroy its Kurdish rival, the PUK,
but the two groups are at present cohabiting. Its leader is Mas'ud
Barzani. See main
KDP website, also sites for KDP in Iran,
Further notes on the KDP: Medea.
Kurdistan Islamic Union: Website: http://kurdiu.org/
Kurdistan Toiler's Party: Website: www.ktp.nu
(MAINC): Established in March 1999 as
the military wing of the Iraqi
National Coalition. Led by Tawfiq al-Yasiri, it seeks to work with officers
in exile as well as noncommissioned officers and soldiers in
Iraq. Its general outlook is that the military should stay
out of Iraqi politics after Saddam Hussein has been
removed. In July 2002 it held a three-day meeting in London
reports) which resulted in the election of an unnamed 15-man
committee and agreement on a Military
Covenant of Honour.
Movement of Sacred National Defence: Website: www.altahaddi.net
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK):
The other main Kurdish
party, which broke away from the KDP in 1975. The two rivals
fought a war in
1996, when the KDP invited in Iraqi forces in an attempt to
eliminate the PUK. The PUK and KDP are currently cohabiting,
though whether they will continue to do so remains to be
seen. Like the KDP, the PUK is established on the ground in
northern Iraq and claims some 4,000 men under arms. Its
leader is Jalal Talabani. See
main PUK website,
also PUK sites in: Australia,
Russia. Further notes on
the PUK: Medea.
Socialist Party of Kurdistan: Website: http://members.aol.com/kurdis6065/Psk.html
Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI): The main vehicle for Shi'a
opposition to Saddam Hussein, with cells operating secretly
in southern Iraq. Receives funding from Iran - which makes
the US wary of it. Led by Mohammed Baqr Hakim.
Also known as the Supreme
Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI). See website;
Turkmen People Party: See founding
statement. Website: www.angelfire.com/tn/halk
Worker Communist Party of Iraq:
Iraqi opposition personalities
Dr Ayad: Leader of the INA. Supported
by the CIA.
Mas'ud: Leader of the KDP. Born
on 16 August, 1946, in Mahabad (Iran), where his father, the
late General Mustafa Barzani, was military chief of a
self-declared Kurdish republic. When the republic fell, his
father fled to the Soviet Union, while Mas’ud and the rest of
his family returned to Iraq, and eventually to their home
village, Barzan. In 1961 Mustafa Barzani and the KDP launched an
armed struggle against the Iraqi government, which Mas’ud
joined at the age of 16. In 1970 Mas’ud was in a delegation
which signed an autonomy agreement with Baghdad, but this later
collapsed and the armed struggle resumed. In 1979, following the
death of his father, Mas’ud became president of the KDP - a
post which he has held ever since. He is married with eight
children and is the author of a book, "Barzani and the
Kurdish Liberation Movement", published in Arabic and in
three volumes. See KDP
presidential website, also the life of Mustafa
CHALABI Dr Ahmad: Leader of the
Shi'a Muslim, born 1944/1945. Has not lived in Iraq since
1956, apart from a period organising resistance in the
Kurdish north in the mid-1990s. Studied mathematics at Chicago
University and MIT. His main political support comes from
the US Congress, the Pentagon and parts of the CIA. He is
opposed by the State Department and other parts of the CIA.
He was chairman of the Petra Bank in Jordan which collapsed,
ruining many of its depositors, and was eventually convicted
(in his absence) of fraud by a Jordanian court. He maintains
he is innocent and says the accusations were trumped up by
the Iraqi government. The US State Department has also
raised questions about the INC's accounting practices. In
1995 he organised an uprising in northern Iraq, which was
called off by the CIA that a critical moment. A highly
controversial figure, he is certainly charismatic and
determined, though many also regard him as domineering. Profiles: The
Guardian (22 February, 2002); Washington
Post (21 April, 1999).
HAKIM Mohammed Baqr al-: Leader of SCIRI.
Unlikely to become president of Iraq after Saddam because of
American wariness about his links with Iran, but a powerful
figure who is difficult to ignore. See his website
Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim
HUSSEIN Sharif Ali bin al-: Leader of the CMM
and heir to the Iraqi throne. Born in Baghdad in 1956, he is a cousin of the late King
Faisal II, who was deposed and assassinated in 1958. Educated in Lebanon and Britain (MA in
economics). Wealthy, immaculately dressed, and generally
pleasant but his regal manner puts some people off. He
promises to "remain above factional disputes and political manoeuvering" if he becomes king. See website.
JA’AFARI Dr Ibrahim al-:
Represents the Islamic
JABR Sa'ad: Leader of the FIC.
A Shi'a Muslim and son
of a former Iraqi prime minister. Left Iraq in 1968. Now has
American citizenship but lives in London.
KHAZRAJI General Nizar al-: Born 1937/1938, he is the
highest-ranking military defector from Iraq. He served as
Saddam's chief of staff from 1980 until 1991, leading
the army through the Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait
in 1990 (though he now says he did not really agree with
that). He fled to the west in 1996 and was granted political asylum in Denmark.
Although the main
Kurdish parties appear to support him, but a
smaller Kurdish group has sought to have him prosecuted for war
crimes. This relates to his alleged role in the use of chemical
weapons against the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988.
Khazraji says the allegations have been invented by Iraqi
intelligence services. There are claims
that he was reluctant to leave Iraq, but that the CIA induced
him to do so with promises of a major political role. In a newspaper
interview he appeared eager to take over from Saddam,
as an honour and "a sacred duty". This may have
damaged his leadership prospects because some in the Iraqi opposition
now suspect his motives. He believes the Iraqi military
will rise up against Saddam if they are supported by a lot of
carefully targeted American firepower.
PACHACHI Adnan: A former Iraqi foreign minister
and ambassador to the UN who is now secretary general of the opposition
DCT. Potentially a key player in
post-Saddam Iraq, but has
said he wants only a facilitating role. A Sunni Muslim.
Born 1951/1952. A Sunni Muslim
who appears to have
support among the Shi'a (he comes from a large tribe - the Beni
Salih - which embraces Sunni and Shia Muslims and some
Turkmen). Has run an group called the Free Officers Movement
since 1996, claims he can raise 30,000 fighters. Favours a
three-pronged infantry assault on Baghdad from Kurdish Iraq,
Kuwait and, if possible, Jordan, without the use of US ground
troops. He has avoided giving the impression of
power-hungriness, and at conferences in the US has argued that
the military should not be directly engaged in politics. He
emerged as front-runner in an internet poll conducted by Iraq.net
to find who Iraqis would most like to lead a transitional
government. The poll was abandoned after a few days, allegedly
because of suspicious voting activity, but possibly because it
showed little popular support for other prominent figures.
SAMARA'I Maj. Gen. Wafiq
al-: Former head of an Iraqi military
intelligence unit, he left Iraq in the mid-1990s and now lives
in London. He is sceptical about using exiles to start a revolt,
preferring a "quick covert operation," run by the CIA,
to eliminate Saddam.
SHAMARI General Fawzi al-:
Born 1945/1946. Commanded nine
divisions in the Iran-Iraq war and admits to firing chemical
weapons against the Iranians. He defected in 1986 and now runs
a restaurant in Virginia, USA. Favours a guerrilla war to
Jalal: President of the PUK
since it was established in 1975.
Born in Kelkan in 1933, he became active in the Kurdish
opposition during his teens and eventually joined the central committee
of the KDP. Worked for a time as a journalist and after
the 1958 revolution commanded an Iraqi army tank unit.
Joined the Kurdish rebellion which began 1961. In 1975 he split with the
KDP and founded the PUK. Talabani
is critical of exiled anti-Saddam groups, and distinguishes between the
"opposition of the trenches and the opposition of the hotels". Interviews: Middle
East Quarterly (Winter 2002); Frontline.