Iraq as a Republic (from 1958)

After the bloody coup d’état of July 14, 1958 (the assassination of King Feisal II and other members of the royal family, Abd al-Ilahs and on July 15, Nuri as-Saids), a group of military men (“Free Officers”) called the republic the end. Prime Minister General A. K. Kassem initiated a land reform that was supposed to close the gap between the large landowners and the large number of fellahs. He increasingly pursued a dictatorial course and tried to play off the various domestic political forces against each other. At times he relied on the communists. In terms of foreign policy, he detached Iraq from its connection with Jordan and turned away from the pro-Western course of the monarchy (1958/59 exit from the Baghdad Pact). The emphasis on an independent Iraqi policy in the Arab region brought Kassem into conflict with pan-Arab forces at home and abroad. a. with the Egyptian President G. Abd el-Nasser. The demand for the annexation of Kuwait increased the isolation of Iraq among the states of the Arab League. The Iraqi government has been confronted with a Kurdish uprising since 1961.

In February 1963 pan-Arab-Nassist forces around General Abd al-Salam Aref and members of the pan-Arab socialist Ba’ath party overthrew Kassem (shot on February 9). Aref became president, after his death (1966) his brother Abd ar-Rahman Aref. During this period Iraq collaborated with Egypt and Syria; However, plans for unification failed because of growing conflicting interests between Egypt and Syria. In 1966 the government granted the Kurds a statute of autonomy. In June 1967 Iraq took part in the Six Day War on the Jordanian side.

Seizure of power by the Ba’ath Party (1968) and the Saddam Hussain regime (from 1979)

In the aftermath of the Arab defeat in the Six Day War, the Ba’ath Party, which had been ousted from government by President Aref in November 1963, took power in a military coup in July 1968. With mass arrests and public executions (1969), President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr (* 1914, † 1982) enforced his rule and that of his party. With the nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company (1972), the country’s economy expanded. After al-Bakr’s resignation (1979), Saddam Husain took over his offices in state (chairman of the Revolutionary Council and president) and party (general secretary of the Ba’ath party).

In terms of foreign policy, according to Philosophynearby, Iraq broke off cooperation with Syria and Egypt under the Baath regime and leaned closely to the USSR (conclusion of an Iraqi-Soviet friendship treaty in 1972). In the spring of 1973 Iraqi troops temporarily invaded Kuwait. In the Middle East conflict, Iraq continued its emphatically anti-Israeli line, especially since the conclusion of the Egyptian-Israeli framework agreement at Camp David (1978).

The 1st and 2nd Gulf War

The 1st and 2nd Gulf War: After the overthrow in Iran in 1979, a profound contrast developed between the fundamentalist Islamic rulers there and the socialist-laicist forces in Iraq. In September, Saddam Husain terminated the border treaty concluded with Iran in 1975 in the Shatt al-Arab area and triggered the first Gulf War (1980-88) with the invasion of the Iranian province of Khusistan (September 1980) by Iraqi troops 000 lives. In 1988 there was a ceasefire with Iran.

During the war, Saddam Husain had strengthened the Iraqi army (at that time one of the largest in the Arab region with around 1 million men) and modernized its military-technical equipment with direct weapon aid from the USSR as well as France and China; But other states had also participated in arms deliveries – especially in a political and ideological position against Iran (including the USA). At the end of the 1st Gulf War, Iraqi troops also used chemical weapons in a major offensive against the Kurds in the north of the country (on March 16, 1988 around 5,000 deaths in Halabja from poison gas).

In 1989/90 S. Husain tried Steps up to ensure Iraq political and military leadership in the Middle East. Following Iraqi-Kuwaiti disputes in July 1990 over mutual oil production policies and mutual border violations in oil production, Iraqi troops occupied Kuwait on August 2, 1990 (the ruling family fled abroad). Citing (controversial) historical claims, Iraq, which has only a narrow access to the Persian Gulf, annexed Kuwait on August 8, 1990 and declared it to be »19. Province”. Neither international sanctions (economic embargo, sea blockade) nor the ultimate resolution of the UN Security Council of November 1990 achieved the Iraqi withdrawal; Between August and December 1990, thousands of foreigners were detained by the Iraqi government and some were deported to strategically important locations as “human shields” (release only after massive international pressure and several diplomatic missions). Unreservedly sought only by the PLO, partially also supported by Jordan and Libya Saddam Husaincalling for an end to the Kuwait crisis within the framework of a comprehensive solution to all conflicts in the Middle East and for overcoming Iraq’s far-reaching foreign policy isolation. His strict refusal to bow to the UN Security Council’s demand for its troops to be withdrawn by January 15, 1991 triggered the Second Gulf War on January 17, in which the US-led allied forces in Iraq suffered a severe defeat (cessation of fighting on February 28, 1991). Iraq, which suffered considerable war damage (in particular the destruction caused by the Allied air offensive), had to undertake to comply with all UN resolutions (including evacuation of Kuwait and recognition of its independence, liability to pay compensation to the states damaged by the Gulf War,

At the beginning of March 1991 the Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq and the Kurds in northern Iraq revolted; however, both uprisings were v. a. Saddam Hussain’s units of the “Republican Guard” bloodily crushed him. Hundreds of thousands fled to Iran and Turkey; the misery of the refugees caused the USA, v. a. To set up protective camps for the Kurds, especially since President G. Bush had urged Saddam Hussain’s opponents in Iraq to actively resist the dictator during the Gulf War. The persecuted Shiites withdrew to the southern Iraqi marshland in the Shatt al-Arab.

Iraq as a Republic