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Erstwhile rivals Iraq and Syria -- the staunchest Arab opponents of Israel -- are no longer bickering openly. But diplomats say it is unlikely they will ever draw as close as they did in 1979-80, when they attempted to unite their two countries. Reason: Syria's continuing sympathy for, and support, of Iran. An Iranian air raid on Iraq's "H-3" military airfield in April used Syria for refueling.

"The Iraqis are not forgetting this," says one diplomat in Baghdad. "It's one thing for Persians to be fighting Arab Iraqis. It's quite another for Arab Syrians to be helping Persians."m

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