‘Abd ul-Salam Mohammed ‘Arif Aljumaily (Arabic: عبد
السلام محمد عارف الجميلي`Abd as-Salām `Ārif
Al-jumaili) (21 March 1921 – 13 April 1966) was President of Iraq
from 1963 until his death in 1966. He played a leading role in the 14
July Revolution, in which the
Hashemite monarchy was overthrown on
July 14, 1958.
1 1958 coup and conflict with Qasim
2 President of Iraq
1958 coup and conflict with Qasim
Abdel Karim Qasim
Abdel Karim Qasim and other Iraqi military officers, Arif
was a member of the clandestine organisation, the Free Officers of
Iraq. Like Qasim, Arif served with distinction in the otherwise
unsuccessful 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, where he captured Jenin in
what is now the West Bank part of Palestine. During the summer of
1958, Prime Minister Nuri as-Sa'id ordered Iraqi troops under Arif to
aid Jordan, as part of an agreement of the Arab Federation. Instead,
however, he led his army units into
Baghdad and on July 14 launched a
coup against the Hashemite monarchy. Qasim formed a government under
the newly proclaimed republic and Arif, his chief aide, was appointed
deputy prime minister, interior minister, and deputy
commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Almost immediately however, tensions rose between the pan-Arabist Arif
and Iraqi nationalist Qasim who also had the support of the Iraqi
Communist Party. The former supported a union with the United Arab
Republic (UAR)—composed of
Egypt and Syria—under president Gamal
Abdel Nasser, but the latter opposed merging with the UAR. As a
result, the two leaders engaged in a power struggle, ending in Qasim
prevailing and the removal of Arif from his positions on September 12.
He was appointed the low-ranking post of ambassador to Bonn. Arif
refused to take up the post and upon returning to
Baghdad on November
4, he was promptly arrested for plotting against the state. He was
sentenced to death along with
Rashid Ali al-Gaylani
Rashid Ali al-Gaylani in February
1959. Qasim had him released in November 1961.
President of Iraq
Arab leaders at the 1964 Arab League summit in Alexandria. From left
to right: Hussein of Jordan, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Arif, Habib Bourguiba
and Hassan II of Morocco
Qasim was overthrown on February 8, 1963, by a coalition of
Ba'athists, army units, and other pan-Arabist groups. Arif had
previously been selected as the leader of the Iraqi Revolutionary
Command Council and after the coup he was elected president of Iraq
due to his popularity. Qasim pleaded with Arif to be exiled instead
of executed and reminded Arif that he had commuted his death sentence
two years before. Nonetheless, Arif demanded that Qasim swear to the
Qur'an that it was he, Arif, who had been the real leader of the 1958
coup. Qasim refused and was consequently executed.
Although he was chosen as president, more power was held by the
Ba'athist prime minister, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr. Following a
Ba'athist-led coup in
Syria in March 1963, Arif entered his country
into reunification talks with
Egypt (which had split from
the UAR in 1961). After a fallout with Nasser in July, the Ba'athist
Iraq removed all non-Ba'athist members from the cabinet,
despite Arif's support for Nasser. On November 18, Arif, with the
support of disaffected elements in the military, took advantage of a
split between the Ba'ath—which weakened the party—and ousted their
members from the government. Arif formed a new cabinet, retaining a
few Ba'athists, but mostly made up of
Nasserist army officers and
technocrats. He maintained his presidency and appointed himself
chief-of-staff. A month later he handed the latter post to his brother
General Abdul Rahman Arif, and the premiership to his confidant
Lieutenant-General Tahir Yahya. In the fall of 1964, the Ba'ath
attempted to depose Arif, but failed when their plot was unveiled.
Arif had the conspirators, including Saddam Hussein, arrested.
On May 26, 1964, Arif established the Joint Presidency Council with
Egypt. On July 14, the anniversary of the revolution, he declared the
establishment of the Arab Socialist Union (ASU) of Iraq, commending it
as the "threshold of the building of the unity of the Arab nation
under Arab socialism." It was nearly identical in structure the ASU of
Egypt and like in Egypt, many of the Arab nationalist parties were
dissolved and absorbed by the ASU. Also, all banks and over thirty
major Iraqi businesses were nationalized. Arif undertook these
measures in an effort to bring
Iraq closer with
Egypt to help foster
unity and on December 20, plans for union were announced. Despite
this, in July 1965, the
Nasserist ministers resigned from the Iraqi
cabinet. President Arif played a major role in
and developing its infrastructure.
On April 13, 1966, Arif was killed in the crash of
Iraqi Air Force
Iraqi Air Force de
Havilland DH.104 Dove 1, RF392, in southern Iraq, and was replaced as
president by his brother Abdul Rahman. Reports at the time said
Arif had died in a helicopter accident. The cause was believed to be
sabotage by Ba'athist elements in the Iraqi military. Abdul Rahman
al-Bazzaz became acting president for three days, and a power struggle
for the presidency occurred. In the first meeting of the Defense
Council and cabinet to elect a president, Al-Bazzaz needed a
two-thirds majority to win the presidency. Al-Bazzaz was unsuccessful,
Abdul Rahman Arif
Abdul Rahman Arif was elected president. He was viewed by army
officers as weaker and easier to manipulate than his brother.
On December 13, 2004, Arif's daughter, Sana Abdul Salam, and her
husband, Wamith Abdul Razzak Said Alkadiry, were shot dead in their
Baghdad by unknown assailants. Rafal Alkadiry, their
22-year-old son, was kidnapped, and later killed.
^ Al-Marashi, I.; Salama, S. (2008). Iraq's Armed Forces: An
Analytical History. Routledge. p. 74. ISBN 9780415400787.
^ a b Ismael, Ismael, and Abu Jaber, 1991, pp.158-159.
^ a b c Ismael, Ismael, and Abu Jaber, 1991, p.163.
^ Ajami, 2006, pp. 185-186.
^ a b Ismael, Ismael, and Abu Jaber, 1991, pp. 164-165.
^ Reich, 1990, p. 241.
^ a b Ismael, Ismael, and Abu Jaber, 1991, p. 166.
^ Tripp, Charles. A History of Iraq, p. 177.
^ Ranter, Harro. "incident,". aviation-safety.net.
^ "Abdel-Rahman Aref, 91, Former Iraqi President, Is Dead" The New
York Times. August 25, 2007.
^ Tripp, Charles (2010). A History of Iraq. Cambridge University
Press. ISBN 978-0-5215-2900-6.
^ Iraqi voter registration site attacked CNN. 2004-12-18.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abd as-Salam Arif.
Ajami, Fouad (2006), The foreigner's gift: the Americans, the Arabs,
and the Iraqis in Iraq, University Press of Florida,
Ismael, Tareq Y.; Ismael, Jacqueline S.; Abu Jaber, Kamal (1991),
Politics and government in the Middle East and North Africa, Simon and
Schuster, ISBN 0-8130-1043-8
Reich, Bernard (1990), Political leaders of the contemporary Middle
East and North Africa: a biographical dictionary, Greenwood Publishing
Group, ISBN 0-313-26213-6
Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i
President of Iraq
February 8, 1963 – April 13, 1966
Abd ar-Rahman al-Bazzaz
Abdul Salam Arif†
Abdul Rahman Arif†
Coalition Provisional Authority
Coalition Provisional Authority (2003–2004)
Iraq (since 2004)
* interim † military
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