Iraqi National Congress

   Following the first Gulf War in 1991, INC was formally created in October 1992 as an Iraqi opposition organization to the regime of Saddam Hussein. Financed in part by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the INC attempted to represent all the elements of Iraqi society. As such, both the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)—as well as Kurdish Islamists—officially played prominent roles in the INC. Massoud Barzani joined Mohammad Bahr al-Ulum, a senior Shiite religious scholar, and Major General Hassan Mustafa Naquib, a Sunni Arab and former Iraqi army officer, on a three-man presidential council. Ahmad Chalabi, a Shiite banker and Ph.D. in mathematics, was chosen as the president of the executive council and thus ran the INC on a daily basis. The INC's official goal was to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein and institute federalism and democracy in Iraq.
   In 1995, the INC attempted (with CIA encouragement) an offensive against Baghdad. The attempt failed when the CIA withdrew its support. In September 1996, at the invitation of the KDP, Saddam Hussein's forces briefly intervened in the KDP-PUK struggle and took the opportunity to roll up the INC operatives in northern Iraq and execute some 96 of them. Despite continuing half-hearted U.S. support, the INC has never fully recovered from this blow. Internal divisions also have reduced the effectiveness of the INC. Nevertheless, the United States sought to breathe new life into the INC after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks that eventually led the United States to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. However, the INC proved a very weak and inconsequential player in postwar Iraq.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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