Iraq / Politics /
Abdul Karim Qasim
Arabic: ¢abd 'al-karīm qāsim
(1912-1982) Iraqi military leader and politician, prime minister 1958-1963.
Qasim's main problem was little support, both internationally and in Iraq. And some of the choices me made during his presidency reduced what support he had. First he battled with the pan-Arabists, and then the communists, who had helped him against the pan-Arabists.
1914: Born in Baghdad in a lower-middle-class family of a Sunni father and a Shi'i mother.
1948- 49: Fights in the First Palestinian War.
1955: Leader in the formation of the Free Officers group.
1958 July 14: The Free Officers overthrows King Faisal 2, has him killed and the Iraqi republic declared.
— Qasim has himself appointed prime minister and defence minister, soon to become the "Sole Leader".
September: Qasim leads a campaign against one of his closest challengers, Abdul Salam Arif and other pan-Arabists.
Invites the Kurdish nationalist leader, Mustafa Barzani, to return to Iraq. But when the Kurds demand independence, Qasim initiates a campaign against them.
1959 March: Withdraws Iraq from the Baghdad Pact.
Leads a campaign against the communists, who supported him in the fight against the pan-Arabists.
1960: Hosts a conference of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela to form the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
1961: Removes nearly all of the Iraqi Petroleum Company's claim to developing as many as 400,000 km² of possible oil fields.
June: Kuwait becomes independent, Qasim claims that it is a part of Iraq. He gets little support in this claim, and is opposed by the Arab League. Iraq gives in to the pressure, following secret subventions from Kuwait to Iraq.
1963 February 8 Executed along with his allies, following the coup staged by Ba'th Party members.