Ba'ath Party officials are not fighting alongside Daesh in Iraq, the country's former Vice President under Saddam Hussein, Izzat Al-Douri, told Acharaa Al-Magharebi.
In a statement to the Tunisian paper, Al-Douri said:
Saying that the members of Daesh are officers from the Iraqi army is unacceptable because it is intended as an insult primarily to the Ba'ath Party and then the great Iraqi Army and the national regime.
"Besides, everyone knows that when the Iraqi National Army was under the leadership of the national regime, there was no terrorism, neither Daesh and Al-Qaeda nor the Safavid terrorist militias."
He went on to stress:
We will not accept, and we strongly reject, those who say that the Iraqi National Army is the army of the martyr Saddam Hussein. Our army is known to the Iraqis, to the Arab nation, and to its children, as the army of Iraq and the ummah [nation]. This is clear from its actions, starting from the first day of its establishment until the day of the decision by the criminal Bremer, the representative of the invaders, to dissolve it.
Regarding Syria, Al-Douri said: "The stirring up of sectarianism in Syria started the day that Hafez Al-Assad renounced the doctrine of Arabism and its ideology, principles and objectives of unity, freedom and socialism."
He said that, after fighting against Iraq alongside Iran, the Syrian regime had exterminated the "great Syrian National Army by killing its patriotic and national officers and putting them in prison."
And in the end, the Syrian regime handed over Syria's land and people to the Persians. The real rulers today in Syria are Qasem Soleimani and Hassan Nasrallah, and Putin and Russia recently joined them, while Bashar al-Assad remains in his position without any power.
Al-Douri stressed that if it were not for the presence of Iran, al-Assad and his faction would have been defeated within months of the start of the revolution. He said that he believes and is confident "that victory will come to the Arab Syrian people and its national, Arabist and Islamic resistance because history is evidence for that. Victory will always come to those nations that fight for their freedom, liberation and independence."
In another context, Al-Douri commented on the Tunisian situation, saying that "things would either go back to what they were at the time of Ben Ali or get worse." He put this down to "the failure of the Islamic political project, although Tunisian Islamists are more open minded than others."