March 1949 Syrian coup d'état
|March 1949 Syrian coup d'état|
|Part of the Cold War|
Syrian Armed Forces coup plotters Supported by:
|Commanders and leaders|
President of Syria
Army chief of staff
The March 1949 Syrian coup d'état was a bloodless coup d'état that took place on March 29 and was the first military coup in the history of Syria. It was led by the Army chief of staff at the time, Husni al-Za'im. Syria's president, Shukri al-Quwatli, was briefly imprisoned, but then released into exile in Egypt. al-Za'im also imprisoned many political leaders, such as Munir al-Ajlani, whom he accused of conspiring to overthrow the republic.
The coup was carried out with the discreet backing of the American government and especially the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), possibly assisted by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, although al-Za'im himself is not known to have been a member. According to Joseph Massad, a professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University, the coup was sponsored by the CIA, a conclusion in agreement with other historians such as Prof. Douglas Little, and declassified records. The coup is also described by author Irene Gendzier, who states that "CIA agents Miles Copeland and Stephen Meade . . . were directly involved in the coup." An overarching US policy objective in Syria at the time was allowing the construction of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, which the democratically elected government of Syria had blocked. The "Tapline" project was immediately ratified following the coup.
- The struggle for Syria The Syrian people are being sacrificed at the altar of US imperialism, says author.,
- 1949-1958, Syria: Early Experiments in Cover Action, Douglas Little, Professor, Department of History, Clark University
- Gendzier, Irene L. (1997). Notes from the Minefield: United States Intervention in Lebanon and the Middle East, 1945–1958. Columbia University Press. p. 98.
- Sami Moubayed Keeping an eye on Syria: March 29, 1949 March 29, 2009
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