Kassem, Abdul Karim

Kassem, Abdul Karim

(äbdo͝ol` kärēm` kässēm`), 1914–63, Iraqi general and politician. A graduate (1934) of the Iraqi military academy, he attended the army staff college. His outstanding bravery, shown in campaigns against the Kurds and in the Palestinian war of 1948, won him many military decorations. He organized the military coup that in July, 1958, overthrew the Iraqi monarchy and established Kassem as premier of the new republic. An Arab nationalist, he quelled a pro-Communist uprising in 1959. After this, Kassem's power and influence steadily deteriorated. He was overthrown and executed by military and civilian members of the Ba'ath partyBa'ath party
, Arab political party, in Syria and in Iraq. Its main ideological objectives are secularism, socialism, and pan-Arab unionism. Founded in Damascus in 1941 and reformed, with the name Ba'ath, in the early 1950s, it rapidly achieved political power in Syria.
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 in Feb., 1963.

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.

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