Salah Jadid

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Salah Jadid
صلاح جديد
Assistant Regional Secretary
of the Syrian Regional Branch
In office
1 August 1965 – 13 November 1970
Regional SecretaryAmin al-Hafiz
Nureddin al-Atassi
Preceded byMuhammad az-Zubi
Succeeded byJaber Bajbouj
Chief of Staff of the Syrian Army
In office
11 November 1963 – 1966
Preceded byZiad al-Hariri
Succeeded byAhmed Suidani
Member of the Regional Command
of the Syrian Regional Branch
In office
March 1966 – 13 November 1970
In office
1 February 1964 – 19 December 1965
Personal details
Born1926 (1926)
Dweir Baabda, Alawite State, French Syria
Died19 August 1993(1993-08-19) (aged 66–67)
Mezzeh prison, Damascus, Syria
Political partyBa'ath Party (Syrian) Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (1947–1966)
Military service
Years of service1946–1970
Rank Major General

Salah Jadid (1926 – 19 August 1993, Arabic: صلاح جديد, romanizedṢalāḥ Jadīd) was a Syrian general, a leader of the left-wing of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party in Syria, and the country's de facto leader from 1966 until 1970, when he was ousted by Hafez al-Assad's Corrective Movement.

Early life and career[edit]

Jadid was born in 1926 in the village of Dweir Baabda, near the coastal city of Jableh,[1] to an Alawite family of the Haddadin tribe.[2] However, there is another report stating his birth year as 1924.[3] He studied at the Homs Military Academy, and entered the Syrian Army in 1946.[4] Jadid was originally a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), but later became a member of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, led by Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar, in the 1950s through an associate of Akram al-Hawrani.[1] Even so, Jadid remained close to the SSNP; his brother, Ghassan, was one of its most prominent members in Syria. He changed allegiance again in the 1950s, when he became a member of the Arab Nationalist Movement, a party supporting Gamal Abdel Nasser's ideological beliefs. Jadid supported Syria's ascension into the United Arab Republic (UAR), a union republic consisting of Egypt and Syria.[5]

During the UAR-era, Jadid was stationed in Cairo, Egypt. Jadid established the Military Committee alongside other Ba'athists in 1959. The chief aim of the Military Committee was to protect the UAR's existence. In the beginning there were only four members of the Military Committee, the others were Hafez al-Assad, Abd al-Karim al-Jundi and Muhammad Umran.[5] The Military Committee also tried to save the Syrian Ba'ath movement from annihilation. Committee members were among those who blamed Aflaq for the Ba'ath Party's failing during the UAR years.[6] The party's Third National Congress in 1959 supported Aflaq's decision to dissolve the party, but a 1960 National Congress, in which Jadid was a delegate representing the then-unknown Military Committee, reversed the decision and called for the Ba'ath Party's reestablishment. The Congress also decided to improve relations with Nasser by democratising the UAR from within. A faction within the party, led by al-Hawrani, called for Syria's secession.[7] The Military Committee did not succeed in its aims, and in September 1961 the UAR was dissolved. Nazim al-Kudsi, who led the first post-UAR government, persecuted Jadid and the others for their Nasserite loyalties, and all of them were forced to retire from the Syrian Army.[5]

In 1963 Jadid was promoted from Lieutenant colonel to Major general and named Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Syria.[8]

Downfall and death[edit]

In 1970, when conflict erupted between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian army, Jadid sent Syrian-controlled Palestinian troops of the nominally PLO-run Palestine Liberation Army, based in Syria, into Jordan to aid the PLO. This decision was not supported by Assad's more moderate Ba'ath faction, and the troops withdrew.

The action helped trigger a simmering conflict between Jadid's and Assad's factions within the Ba'ath Party and army. The Syrian Communist Party aligned itself with Jadid, drawing him the support of Soviet ambassador, Nuritdin Mukhitdinov. Angered by this, Assad decided to scare the Soviets by sending Mustafa Tlass to Beijing to procure arms and wave Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.[9] In November 1970, Jadid tried to fire Assad and his supporter Mustafa Tlass. Assad responded by launching an intra-party coup dubbed the Corrective Movement. Jadid was arrested on 13 November 1970, and remained in the Mezzeh prison in Damascus until dying from a heart attack on 19 August 1993.[10]


  1. ^ a b Seale 1990, p. 63.
  2. ^ Tucker & Roberts 2008, p. 535.
  3. ^ Bulloch, John (23 August 1993). "Obituary: Salah Jadid". The Independent. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  4. ^ Moubayed 2006, pp. 259–260.
  5. ^ a b c Moubayed 2006, p. 260.
  6. ^ Seale 1990, pp. 61–62.
  7. ^ Seale 1990, p. 66.
  8. ^ "Salah Jadid, 63, Leader of Syria Deposed and Imprisoned by Assad (Published 1993)". The New York Times. Associated Press. 24 August 1993. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  9. ^ Robert Owen Freedman (1991). Moscow and the Middle East: Soviet policy since the invasion of Afghanistan. CUP Archive. p. 40. ISBN 0-521-35976-7. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Salah Jadid, 63, Leader of Syria Deposed and Imprisoned by Assad". The New York Times. 24 August 1993. Retrieved 7 April 2013.