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14 July Revolution::Abd al-Karim Qasim

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Qasim (back row, centre) and other leaders of the revolution, including Abdul Salam Arif (back row, second from left) and Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i (back row, fifth from left). Also included is Ba'athist ideologue Michel Aflaq (front row, first from right).

On 14 July 1958, Qasim and his followers used troop movements planned by the government as an opportunity to seize military control of Baghdad and overthrow the monarchy. This resulted in the killing of several members of the royal family and their close associates, including Nuri as-Said.

The coup was discussed and planned by the Free Officers, but was mainly executed by Qasim and Col. Abdul Salam Arif. It was triggered when King Hussein of Jordan, fearing that an anti-Western revolt in Lebanon might spread to Jordan, requested Iraqi assistance. Instead of moving towards Jordan, however, Colonel Arif led a battalion into Baghdad and immediately proclaimed a new republic and the end of the old regime. Put in its historical context, the 14 July Revolution was the culmination of a series of uprisings and coup attempts that began with the 1936 Bakr Sidqi coup and included the 1941 Rashid Ali military movement, the 1948 Wathbah Uprising, and the 1952 and 1956 protests. The July 14 Revolution met virtually no opposition.

Prince Abdul Ilah did not want any resistance to the forces that besieged the Royal Rihab Palace, hoping to gain permission to leave the country. The commander of the Royal Guards battalion on duty, Col. Taha Bamirni, ordered the palace guards to cease fire.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

On July 14, 1958, the royal family including King Faisal II; the Prince 'Abd al-Ilah; Princess Hiyam, Abdullah's wife; Princess Nafisah, Abdullah’s mother, Princess Abadiyah, the king’s aunt, and several servants were attacked as they were leaving the palace. When all of them arrived in the courtyard they were told to turn towards the palace wall, and were all shot down by Captain Abdus Sattar As Sab’, a member of the coup led by Brigadier Abd al-Karim Qasim.<ref name="shorthistory">T. Abdullah, A Short History of Iraq: 636 to the present, Pearson Education, Harlow, UK,(2003)</ref>

King Faisal II and Princess Hiyam were wounded. The King died later before reaching the hospital. Princess Hiyam was not recognized at the hospital and managed to receive treatment. Later she left for Saudi Arabia where her family lived and then moved to Egypt until her death.

In the wake of the successful coup, the new Iraqi Republic was headed by a Revolutionary Council.<ref name="shorthistory"/> At its head was a three-man sovereignty council, composed of members of Iraq’s three main communal/ethnic groups. Muhammad Mahdi Kubbah represented the Shi’a population; Khalid al-Naqshabandi the Kurds; and Najib al Rubay’i the Sunni population.<ref name="Marr 158">{{#invoke:Footnotes | harvard_core }}</ref> This tripartite was to assume the role of the Presidency. A cabinet was created, composed of a broad spectrum of Iraqi political movements: this included two National Democratic Party representatives, one member of al-Istiqlal, one Ba’ath representative and one Marxist.<ref name="shorthistory"/>

After seizing power, Qasim assumed the post of Prime Minister and Defense Minister, while Colonel Arif was selected Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister. They became the highest authority in Iraq with both executive and legislative powers. Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i became chairman of the Sovereignty Council (head of state), but his power was very limited.

On July 26, 1958, the Interim Constitution was adopted, pending a permanent law to be promulgated after a free referendum. According to the document, Iraq was to be a republic and a part of the Arab nation whilst the official state religion was listed as Islam. Powers of legislation were vested in the Council of Ministers, with the approval of the Sovereignty Council, whilst executive function was also vested in the Council of Ministers.<ref name="Marr 158" /> The constitution proclaimed the equality of all Iraqi citizens under the law and granting them freedom without regard to race, nationality, language or religion. The government freed political prisoners and granted amnesty to the Kurds who participated in the 1943 to 1945 Kurdish uprisings. The exiled Kurds returned home and were welcomed by the republican regime.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}


Abd al-Karim Qasim sections
Intro  Early life and career  14 July Revolution  Prime minister  Overthrow  Legacy  References  External links  

14 July Revolution
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