Con Coughlin: Syria in real danger of becoming the next Iraq
The modern-day states of Iraq and Syria once formed the ancient kingdom of Mesopotamia. They share the same tribal culture, heritage and a lengthy border. It is hardly surprising that they still have much in common.
Having both been ruled by Hashemite kings following their creation as independent states in the aftermath of the First World War, they became the only Arab states to adopt the Ba'ath party's revolutionary ideology and were renowned for their hostility to the West.
While, on occasion, this relationship has become somewhat frayed, not least when the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein declared his desire to unite both regimes under his barbaric rule in the 1970s, the ties that exist between Baghdad and Damascus have ensured that such unpleasant memories are soon overcome.