Abdul Karim Kassem
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Kassem, Abdul Karim
Born 1914 in Baghdad; died there Feb. 9, 1963. Iraqi statesman.
Kassem, the son of a petit bourgeois, received a military education. He became a brigadier general in 1955. He led the military coup d’etat that inaugurated the Iraqi Revolution of 1958. From 1958 to 1963, Kassem was the prime minister, minister of defense, and commander in chief of Iraq. Initially, his government carried out several progressive reforms. However, in late 1959, Kassem began to suppress the forces of democracy. During the coup d’etat of 1963, he was executed.