Today in Middle Eastern history: the 1966 Syrian coup

Syria’s road from French colony (er, I mean “mandate”) to the mess it is today was littered with coups d’état: three in 1949, one each in 1951, 1954, 1961, 1963, and 1966, and finally the 1970 Corrective Movement that brought Hafez al-Assad to power. I’m probably missing a couple somewhere along the way. Through it all, Syria transitioned from parliamentary republic to military dictatorship, to leftist military dictatorship, to union with Egypt, to disunion with Egypt, to Baathist military dictatorship, to Syrian Baathist military dictatorship, and at last to the Assad family’s fiefdom.

Especially terms of regional significance, the 1966 coup is probably a bit more important than the others, because it was the 1966 coup that splintered the once pan-Arab Baath Party into its two regional branches, in Syria and Iraq. If you ever wondered (and of course you did), back in the days when Saddam Hussein was still with us, why Syria and Iraq were both governed by “The Baath Party” but never got along with one another, it’s because of the coup we’re talking about today.

This is just a placeholder. If you’d like to read the rest please check out my new home, Foreign Exchanges!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.