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Ahmad Hassan Bakr
Arabic: 'ahmad hassan 'al-bakr

Ahmad Hassan Bakr

Ahmad Hassan Bakr.

(1912- 82) Iraqi officer and politician, president (1968- 79), prime minister (1963- 64).
Even if Bakr was the one elevating the next president, Saddam Hussein, to power, the latter would soon become the real leader of the two.

1912: Born in Tikrit as a member of the al-Tikriti clan.
1938: Enrols in the army.
1956: Secretly joins the Ba'th Party, while serving in the army with the rank of colonel.
1958 July: Member of the Free Officers Organization that staged the republican coup.
— Is sacked from his army position, for his support of Abdul Salam Arif, the opponent of prime minister Qasim.
1963 February: Bakr is central in the coup against Qasim, and becomes prime minister.
November: Bakr's government is dismissed by president Arif, but he continues as deputy premier until early 1964.
1965: Bakr is elected secretary-general of the Ba'th regional command, which would soon lead to divisions of the party.
1968 July 17: Bakr and his followers overthrow president Abdul Rahman Arif. Bakr becomes the new president of Iraq. He soon comes to cooperate closely with his second cousin, Saddam Hussein, in widening his power base in the officer corps.
1970: Reaches an agreement with the rebellious Kurdish leaders in the north.
1979 June: Bakr sends a secret message to president Assad of Syria in the attempt to start unity negotiations between their two countries. Saddam Hussein reacts strongly to this, and forces Bakr to resign, officially for health reasons.
— Bakr is put under house arrest in ignominy.
1982 October 4: Dies under mysterious circumstances.

By Tore Kjeilen