Arab Socialist Movement
|Founded||5 January 1950|
National Progressive Front|
National Democratic Rally
National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change
|Cabinet of Syria||
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The Arab Socialist Movement (Arabic: حركة الاشتراكيين العرب- Harakat Al-Ishtirakiyeen Al-'Arab) also known as Arab Socialist Party, was a political party in Syria that has split into several factions since the 1960s which continue to use the same name.
The original party traced its roots back to the 1930s radical anti-capitalist, pan-Arab group led by Akram al-Hawrani, but was formally established on 5 January 1950. It merged with the Ba'ath Party in 1953, only to withdraw again in 1963. It then split into several factions:
- One, led by Abdul-Ghani Qannout joined the Ba'ath Party-led National Progressive Front government in 1972 and has continued to support the al-Assad family's rule ever since. After Abdul-Ghani Qannout died in 2001, Ahmad al-Ahmad (died 2016) became the new secretary general; under him, the party continued its pro-government course, even during the Syrian Civil War. In course of this conflict, a member of the Arab Socialist Movement's political office, Turki Albu Hamad, formed the "Forces of the Fighters of the Tribes" militia.
- Another splinter group was led by the former officer Abdul-Ghani Ayyash (died 2010), and joined the opposition in form of the National Democratic Rally.
- One faction of Marxists, led by Akram al-Bunni, split off and formed the "National Council of Damascus Declaration for National Democratic Change", which was suppressed by the Assad government.
- Another branch has also gained legal recognition and parliamentary representation, but under the name "National Vow Movement".
- Akram al-Bunni (2013). An Analysis of the Syrian Left Realities (PDF). Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
- Seale, Patrick (1990). Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06976-5.
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