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The November 1963 Iraqi coup d'état took place between November 10–11, 1963, when following internal party divisions, pro-Nasserist Iraqi officers, led a military coup within the Ba'ath Party. The coup was bloodless.

Background[edit | edit source]

After seizing Iraqi state power in February 1963, divisions between pro and anti-Nasser Ba'th leaders, as well as between right and left pan-Arab nationalist Ba'ath leaders led to the first Ba'ath regime in Iraq's collapse in November 1963, while 7,000 Iraqi communists remained imprisoned.

Although the presidency was occupied by Abdul Salam Arif, a non-Ba'athist Arab nationalist and a member of the Homeland Officers' Organization, most of the ministries were divided among Ba'athists. The virtual ruler of the country was the prime minister Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr.

Ali Salih al-Sadi, Secretary General of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, supported a union with Syria, while the more conservative military wing supported Qasim's "Iraq first policy".[1] Factionalism, coupled with the ill-disciplined behaviour of the National Guard, led the military wing to initiate a coup against the party's leadership; al-Sadi was forced into exile in Spain. al-Bakr, in an attempt to save the party, called for a meeting of the National Command of the Ba'ath Party. The meeting exacerbated the Party's problems. Aflaq, who saw himself as the leader of the pan-Arab Ba'athist movement, declared his intent to take control of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party. The "Iraq first" wing was outraged, President Arif lost patience with the Ba'ath, and the Party was ousted from government on 18 November 1963.[2] The 12 Ba'ath members of government were forced to resign, and the National Guard was dissolved, replaced by the Republican Guard.[3]

Coup[edit | edit source]

On November 11, 1963, 15 armed Iraqi Army military officers burst into a Ba'ath Congress meeting, seized the Ba'ath left nationalist faction leaders at gun point and flew them to Madrid. Then, on November 18, 1963, Iraqi president Abdul Salam Arif, his brother, Brigade General Abdul Rahman Arif and their Iraqi Army supporters suppressed the Ba'ath National Guard Militia (which had increased in size from 5,000 to 34,000 between February and August 1963) and bombed the Ba'th National Guard Milita headquarters. As a result, the first Ba'th regime was overthrown and a new, pro-Nasserist regime was established with Abdul Salam Arif as Head of State.

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Coughlin, Con (2005). Saddam: His Rise and Fall. Harper Perennial. p. 44. ISBN 0-06-050543-5. 
  2. Coughlin, Con (2005). Saddam: His Rise and Fall. Harper Perennial. p. 45. ISBN 0-06-050543-5. 
  3. Coughlin, Con (2005). Saddam: His Rise and Fall. Harper Perennial. pp. 45–46. ISBN 0-06-050543-5. 

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