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The leaders who ruled Iraq are shown below, the period after the invasion is categorised as Iraq under occupation.

Born in May 20, 1885, Mecca
Died in Sept. 8, 1933, Bern

Arab statesman and king of Iraq (1921-33) who was a leader in advancing Arab nationalism during and after World War I.
Faysal was the son of Husayn ibn 'Ali, amir and grand sharif of Mecca who ruled the Hejaz from 1916 to 1924. When World War I provided an opportunity for rebellion for many Arab leaders who had come to resent Ottoman rule, including certain Syrian Arabs who looked to Husayn for leadership because he was not under direct Ottoman rule, Faysal in 1915 travelled to Damascus to reach an understanding with the secret Arab nationalist societies there about the terms under which they would support an Arab revolt led by Husayn. Faysal's ability to meet with diverse groups previously unknown to him and to win their recognition of Husayn as an Arab leader indicated the existence of a nascent Arab nationalism.
When in the following year the Arab revolt was declared, Faysal played an important part in the military campaigns against the Ottomans. An Arab military force occupied Damascus in September 1918, and Faysal was declared king of Syria in accord with his understanding that Arab support for British military ambitions would be rewarded by British support for the creation of an Arab state consisting of most of Syria. When Faysal went to Paris in 1919 to participate in the peace conference, however, he became clearly aware of French determination to establish a sphere of influence in Lebanon and Syria. Realizing that he would have to make concessions, he negotiated the agreement accepting French military occupation of Lebanon and the Syrian coastal regions as far north as Alexandretta (modern Iskenderun, Tur.). In January 1920 he returned to Damascus, where he was unable to calm the violent resentment aroused by the news of French pretensions. Most Arab leaders did not understand the futility of resisting French military power and the consequent pressures under which he had laboured in Paris. When France soon found reason to invade Faysal's kingdom and occupy Damascus (July 1920), Faysal himself was forced into exile, eventually going to London at the invitation of the British government.
Meanwhile, Britain had established a sphere of influence in Iraq. To ease resistance to British rule, Britain decided in March 1921 to sponsor Faysal as king of an Iraqi government with which Britain would conclude a treaty providing for eventual independence. Faysal accepted the plan and was enthusiastically welcomed in Iraq, where he was crowned in August 1921. His ability to command widespread support in Iraq as well as Syria provided a continuing indication of nationalistic feeling among Arabs of the entire Fertile Crescent. Indeed, as a Pan-Arab leader he had no specific political roots in Iraq, deriving his authority by moderating various conflicting elements. He valued British friendship while maintaining his full credentials among fervent Arab nationalists as their leader. From his position of influence, he negotiated with Britain a series of treaties culminating in 1930 with a treaty that enabled Iraq to achieve complete independence and membership in the League of Nations by 1932.


Born in 1912
Died in 1939


The only son of Faisal I, Ghazi was born in Hijaz in 1912 after three sisters. He was left to the care of his grandfather while his father was busy in his campaigns and travels. Thus he grew as shy inexperienced young man which had allot of effect on his short reign. He left Hijaz to Jordan with the rest of the Hashimites in 1924 after their defeat by the Saudis. He came to Baghdad at the same year and was appointed as the crown prince. He was crowned as Ghazi I after the death of his father in December 1933. Under his reign the first coup d'état in Iraq and the Arab world took place in 1936, when General Bakr Sidqi led a coup to bring back the ousted Prime Minister Hikmat Sulayman. His reign was only to last for some five and a half years, ended as it was by his mysterious death. The king drove his car into a lamppost and died instantly on the 3rd of April 1939.


Born in 1935
Died in 1958


The only son of King Ghazi I and Queen Aalya, King Faisal II was about four when his father died. For that reason the regency was assumed by his uncle Abd al Ilah, (from April 1939 - May 1953). He grew very shy and was rarely active in public. Under his reign Iraq took part in the war of Palestine in 1948. Under his time the Hashimite union of Iraq and Jordan was declared. The young King and most of his family including the regent were killed in the revolution that occurred on morning of 14th July 1958, known as the massacre of al-Zuhoor palace. The traumatic experiences of this young king throughout his short life from the death of his father to the violent death in a bloody massacre gained him a special place in the Iraqis' memory.




Born in 1914, Baghdad, Iraq
Died in Feb. 9, 1963, Baghdad


Army officer who overthrew the Iraqi monarchy in 1958 and became head of the newly formed Republic of Iraq. Qasim attended the Iraqi military academy and advanced steadily through the ranks until by 1955 he had become a high-ranking officer. Like many Iraqis, he disliked the socially conservative and pro-Western policies of the monarchy. By 1957 Qasim had assumed leadership of the several opposition groups that had formed in the army. On July 14, 1958, Qasim and his followers used troop movements planned by the government as an opportunity to seize military control of Baghdad and overthrow the monarchy. Qasim became prime minister and assumed direction of a new republic. The major issue facing Qasim was that of Arab unity. The union of Egypt and Syria into the United Arab Republic (U.A.R.) early in 1958 had aroused immense enthusiasm in the Arab world. Despite strong Pan-Arab sentiment in Iraq, Qasim was determined to achieve internal stability before considering any kind of federation with the U.A.R. In turn the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, came to resent Qasim's rule and tried to bring about its downfall. 'Abd as-Salam 'Arif, a close supporter of Qasim but also an ardent Nasserist, toured Iraq, praising Nasser. In March 1959 Pan-Arab opponents of Qasim launched an open rebellion in Mosul. The bulk of the army remained loyal, and the uprising was crushed with little difficulty; Qasim removed some 200 army officers of whose loyalty he could not be certain. Among civilians he was forced to rely for support mostly upon communists, who were eager for a chance to strike at their right-wing opponents, the Pan-Arabs, and now pushed for a larger voice in the determination of government policy. Qasim resisted their demands, and several months later purged communist elements from the police and the army. Qasim's support as prime minister steadily narrowed. By 1960 he had suspended organized political activity and repressed both right- and left-wing civilian and military elements when it seemed that they might compete with his authority. His rule was supported only by the army, but in the spring of 1961 a rebellion broke out among the Kurds--an ethnic group acutely conscious of its cultural differences from the Arabs and to which Qasim had neglected to fulfill a promise for a measure of autonomy within the Iraqi state. This Kurdish revolt undermined even Qasim's military support, as much of the army became tied down in a seemingly endless and fruitless attempt to put down the rebellion. This situation, along with the discontent produced by repeated military purges, drew a number of officers into open resistance to the Qasim regime. 'Abd as-Salam 'Arif led dissident army elements in a coup in February 1963, which overthrew the government and killed Qasim himself.


Born in 1921
Died in 1966

Abdul Salam Arif (1921-1966), born in Baghdad, the 1963 change of power brought in at the helm an old associate of the ex-Prime Minister, and the prime mover behind the military movements that affected the 1958 revolution, Abdul Salam Mohammad Arif
Arif assumed the presidency from 14th February 1963 to end on 15th of April 1966 in a helicopter accident. His helicopter had lifted off from a political rally in Basra just at dusk to return to Baghdad. Two other helicopters in the convoy made it home, but his wasn't found until the next morning, on the banks of the Shatt al-Arab, with all of its occupants killed in the crash. Abdul Salam Arif attended the first Arab summit 1964, and signed the Unity agreement with United Arab Republic on the 21st of May 1964. Prosecuted the Baathist, and Communists.

PRES. Abdul Rahman Arif

Born in 1918


Gen. Abdul Rahman Arif (1918-), succeeded his brother as President on the 16th of April 1966, after the helicopter accident. He was also a military man and took part in both 1958 and 1963 seizures of power. He was ousted by the Ba'thiest coup d'état on 17th July 1968. Allowed to leave Iraq, exiled to Istanbul where he lived until the late eighties when he was allowed by Saddam to return back to live a very quite life in Baghdad.


Born in 1914, Tikrit, Iraq
Died in Oct. 4, 1982, Baghdad


president of Iraq from 1968 to 1979.
Al-Bakr entered the Iraqi Military Academy in 1938 after spending six years as a primary-school teacher. He was a member of the Ba'th Socialist Party and was forced to retire from the Iraqi army for revolutionary activities in 1959. He became prime minister for 10 months following the Ba'th coup of 1963 and replaced President 'Abd ar-Rahman 'Arif in the Ba'th coup of July 17, 1968. Thereafter he governed in concert with the Ba'th leader Saddam Hussein. His truculent foreign policy effectively isolated him from his Muslim neighbours, and his total opposition to any diplomatic solution to the Arab-Israeli dispute brought him into conflict with more moderate Arab heads of state.
Al-Bakr's border claims against Iran made it impossible to bring the Iraqi Kurds under control until an agreement was reached in 1975. His economic policy began with a cautious continuation of the former regime's five-year plan but turned toward industrial expansion as oil revenues increased. After suffering a heart attack in 1976, al-Bakr delegated most administrative matters to Saddam Hussein, who succeeded him on July 16, 1979.


Born in April 28, 1937, president of Iraq from 1979 to  2006


Hussein was born into a peasant family in northern Iraq, and he joined the Ba'th Socialist Party in 1957. In 1959 he participated in an unsuccessful attempt by Ba'thists to assassinate the Iraqi prime minister, 'Abd al-Karim Qasim, and, wounded, escaped to Syria and then Egypt. He attended Cairo Law School (1962-63) and continued his studies at Baghdad Law College after the Ba'thists took power in Iraq in 1963. When the Ba'thists were overthrown that same year, Hussein spent several years in prison in Iraq. He escaped, becoming a leader of the Bath party, and was instrumental in the coup that brought the party back to power in 1968. Hussein effectively held power in Iraq along with the head of state, President Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr, and in 1972 he directed the nationalization of Iraq's oil industry.  President Saddam is martyr of Iraq as he has been assassinated in 30 December 2006 by the occupying forces.


On 13 July 2003, the Iraqi Governing Council was formed. The 25-members were chosen by the U.S. led occupation. Most of those holding council seats were members of Saddam Hussein's opposition in exile. One of the strongest criticisms of the council is that it is a group of outsiders who cannot properly represent the Iraqi people. Despite the serious events in the country, this assembly could not establish active power to put proper solutions and to prevent the accelerated damage to the country. After this council was dissolved, an Iraqi government was formed under American supervision lead by Iyad Alawi. The Iraqi sovereignty was always questionable and in reality Iraq was controlled purely by Americans. Alawi was succeeded by Jafari and later on by Malki who all seem as American puppets. The Iraqi resistance was able to impose its own word on the Americans and force them to consider other possibilities such as large scale escape as that happened from Saigon in Vietnam. Gen. James L. Jones is a top American general said commenting on the war on Iraq, their war in Iraq is a (DEBACLE).



This site was last updated 01/05/07