Kassem, Abdul Karim (äbdŏlˈ kärēmˈ kässēmˈ) [key], 1914–63, Iraqi general and politician. A graduate (1934) of the Iraqi military academy, he attended the army staff college. His outstanding bravery, shown in campaigns against the Kurds and in the Palestinian war of 1948, won him many military decorations. He organized the military coup that in July, 1958, overthrew the Iraqi monarchy and established Kassem as premier of the new republic. An Arab nationalist, he quelled a pro-Communist uprising in 1959. After this, Kassem's power and influence steadily deteriorated. He was overthrown and executed by military and civilian members of the Ba'ath party in Feb., 1963.
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