The Ba’ath were an Arab nationalist, socialist political group who originally pursued the ideological goal of unifying the Arab world from North Africa to West Asia under the banner of a pan-Arab superstate. They formed paramilitary units known as as the National Guard, recruiting 30,000 armed men.
This new National Guard hunted and killed an estimated 3,000 Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) members allied to Abdul Karim Qasim as the Ba’athists consolidated their power. Although holding junior positions in the Ba’ath Party at the time, Saddam Hussein and Nadhim Kazzar (who later becomes the head of Amn, Iraq’s Internal State Security Service) reputedly executed or tortured to death hundreds of ICP members at the notorious Qasr al-Nihayya (‘Palace of the End’) in Baghdad.
The Ba’ath were an Arab nationalist, socialist political group who pursued the ideological goal of unifying the Arab world from North Africa to West Asia under the banner of a pan-Arab superstate
Abdul Salam Mohammed Arif, who was Abdul Karim Qasim’s co-conspirator in the 1958 Iraqi Revolution, was installed as President of Iraq with Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr his Prime Minister.
In the aftermath of the coup, Mullah Mustafa Barzani attempted to negotiate a peace agreement with President Abdul Salam Mohammed Arif, but the talks foundered and on 10 June the Iraqi government announced the resumption of military operations against the Kurds.
A curfew was imposed on Kurdish towns and cities, and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) members were assassinated.