The row between Iraq and Syria is escalating. Iraq has been deploying extra troops along its border with Syria, and Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, is ratcheting up his rethoric against Damascus. 
 
On Saturday, the Iraqi prime minister said he blamed Iraq's friends and neighbouring countries for militant attacks inside Iraq.
 
Although he did not specify Syria - relations between the two countries have been breaking down since last month's deadly bomb attacks in Baghdad.
 
In various speeches and interviews since then the Iraqi prime minister claimed Syria was harbouring extremists - allowing them to train on its soil. He also said that 90 per cent of foreign terrorists infiltrated Iraq through its Syrian border.

But as the political crisis deepens, Syria has been suggesting the Iraqi prime minister is using the attacks and allegations against Syria for his own political ends.

Other than fighting so-called terrorism, what are the reasons behind Iraq's verbal assault on Damascus? Is it linked to the ongoing political rivalries inside Iraq?

Inside Story presenter Sohail Rahman is joined by Reem Haddad, the spokesperson for the Syrian ministry of information, Makki Nazzal, an independent Iraqi analyst based in Jordan, and Diaa Rashwan, a political analyst at the al-Ahram centre for political and strategic studies.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, September 6, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera