Former Saddam Baathist spies to join Iraq security force

Former Saddam Baathist spies to join Iraq security force
With the campaign against the Islamic State group at a critical stage, officials are turning to old enemies for intelligence on jihadi forces.
2 min read
29 October, 2014
Iraq needs more intelligence agents to fight IS [Getty]
With an excess of ground troops and a shortage of intelligence officers, the Iraqi military could soon recall former agents of the Saddam regime back to their posts, it has emerged.

The expansive and brutal intelligence apparatus of the Baathist administration was dismantled following the US-led invasion in 2003, but sources in the Iraqi government have told al-Araby al-Jadeed that Vice-President Ayad Allawi is attempting to convince the prime minister that these former officers are crucial in the fight against the Islamic State group (IS, formely known as ISIS) - and that no exceptions should be made regarding which officers are reinstated.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is understood to have visited Jordan recently, where he reportedly met Iraqi tribal leaders and former army officers who are opposed to the current Iraqi government.

"Abadi tried to find the right way to deal with opponents to his government during the trip to Jordan," said our source.


The outcome of the meeting, our source maintained, is that former intelligence agents of the Baathist regime are likely to come back to the national fold, as long as they were not implicated in past crimes against other Iraqis.

The Iraqi government is under Western pressure to involve all segments of Iraqi society in the bid to restore peace in the country.

Before the Jordan trip, 150 Iraqi opposition figures - including members of the Salafi movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Political Council for the Iraqi Resistance, the Association of Muslim Scholars and tribal sheikhs - took part in a conference where they rejected the break up of the country into autonomous regions or states.     

This article in an edited translation from our Arabic edition.