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Abdul Karim Qassem


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(b. 1914, d. 9 Feb. 1963).

Iraqi ruler 1958–63 Born in Baghdad as the son of a carpenter, he joined the Iraqi army and rose to the rank of brigadier. Strongly nationalist and anti‐British, Qasem led the Iraqi Revolution of 14 July 1958. He named himself Prime Minister of the new Republic of Iraq, and was, in fact, its dictator. His rule was erratic, and increasingly reliant on the loyalty of the army. This disintegrated when he lost his claim for the incorporation of Kuwait because of British intervention in 1961. A rebellion in Kurdistan in 1961 tied down many of his loyal military units, and in 1963 a dissident army group, supporting his more extreme Ba'ath rivals, seized power. He was shot in the coup.

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