BEIRUT — Iraqi opposition groups said Friday that they had joined forces to topple President Saddam Hussein and save Iraq from war.
"The various factions of the Iraqi opposition unanimously agreed on several basic principles and a unified political program for joint action . . . to completely eradicate the nightmare of dictatorship, hegemony and terrorism," said a statement read at a news conference in Beirut.
The newly formed Iraqi National Joint Action Committee is composed of pro-Iranian Muslim fundamentalists, Syrian-backed Muslim groups, Communists, socialists, dissident members of Iraq's Baath party, Arab nationalists and Kurds.
The committee denounced the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, calling for pressure on Hussein to avoid war in the Persian Gulf by withdrawing from the emirate it occupied Aug. 2.
A London spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic Party, a member of the coalition, said the committee was formed to remind the world that "there is an Iraqi opposition that speaks for the people."