A new document translated by Joseph Shahda indicates that the Saddam Hussein regime agreed to allow the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to stage suicide operations within Iraq in the opening days of the American invasion. Document CMPC-2003-015588 is a handwritten memo from the Foreign Ministry’s Arabic Department recounting the meeting between PFLP officials and representatives of the Iraqi government. It also makes a reference to a neighboring country as having given permission for the PFLP to make these arrangements:
The Embassy of Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria. Interest Section of the Republic of Iraq
Secret and Confidential and Immediate
Foreign Ministry/ The Arabic Department
This mornining of 25/3/2003, Mr. Khlaed Ahmad Gibril and Dr. Talal Naji the Deputy of the General Secretary of the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (General Headquarters) visited our mission and met our Ambassador the chairman of the mission and the delegation indicated it solidarity and support to Iraq.
Mr. Khaled Ahmad Gibril and Dr. Talal Naji said that there is coordination going on with the organizations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian organizations to escalate the suicide operations in the inside and that is timed with the resistance of the Iraqi people.
Mr. Khaled Ahmad Gibril and Dr. Talal Naji informed us that the Front decided to send forces to Iraq to fight to the side of the Iraqi people and in the locations chosen by the Iraqi leadership, and preferably to be in cities. And the groups that will be sent are elite units and have experience in cities warfare and that thess forces will be made of 500 fighters and it will arrive Iraq in groups and as follow:
1. The first unit: It will be composed of 100 fighters and will arrive in three days with its complete machines and equipments, and each platoon from these platoons is made of an air defense anti-aircraft group and equipped with 23 mm Strella machine guns.
2. The second unit: it will be made of anti-tank with SPG-9 launchers and a military engineering group to plant improvised bombs that are remotely guided and car bombs and it include Suicide Martyrs groups and each platoon of these platoons has these weapons.
3. The third Unit: The fire support unit and made of multi rocket launchers 107 and include Suicide Martyrdom elements and fighting elements and also has a guiding unit.
The Front ask that these forces enter from the North of Abou Kamal area, and these forces do not need anything since it has enough weapons and ammunitions and it only need fuel.
The delegation said that they go the initial approval by the Syrian side to send these forces to Iraq.
It is noteworthy that the delegation expressed its amazement of the administration of the battle from all its political, media, military, and economic sides, and they are optimistic of the certainty of victory God willing.
Please let us know quickly and give us directions, with regards
Mohamad Rifaa’t Ali Al AA’NI
The Chairman of the Mission
Now the handwritten notes from Taha Yassin Ramadan Saddam Chief Deputy
To the Respected Mr. Foreign Minister
Yes we approve their coming with all appreciation to this position. And let the ambassador inform us about the time of arrival of each unit and the area of entry so we can send the vehicles to transport them.
Taha Yassin Ramadan
The mention of Syria seems significant. Syria has run Hamas for years, and Islamic Jihad at least in part. The PFLP gets support from Damascus, and they speak about using all three groups in Iraq to fight off the American invasion. It implies strongly that Syria partnered with Saddam Hussein at some level, which again begs the question about Saddam’s missing weapons. Did Damascus partner with Saddam on those as well as on martyrdom operations and insurgent fighting?
In any case, it shows that the previous thinking on the entry of foreign insurgents was not entirely correct. Saddam didn’t keep terrorists out of Iraq; in this case, he has a good enough relationship with the PFLP and through them Hamas and Islamic Jihad to call on them for action on his behalf. Supposedly these groups only have Palestinian interests in mind, but here they seem anxious to help rescue a secular Iraqi dictator. Saddam had plenty of connections to terrorists in the region, and it hardly surprises that he would rely on them in his hour of need. (h/t: Squiggler)