Today in Middle Eastern history: the 8 March Revolution (1963)

As with Iraq’s 1963 “Ramadan Revolution,” which preceded and helped to inspire the event we’re here to discuss today, Syria’s “8 March Revolution” is a military coup that got rebranded by the successful coup plotters. However, just as the “Ramadan Revolution” had a fair amount of civilian support—mostly from middle class Iraqis who were displeased with Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim’s ad hoc relationship with the Iraqi Communist Party—this incident also drew support among the Syrian middle class and the peasantry. As in the case of the Iraqi coup the previous month, this Syrian coup brought the Baath Party to power. Unlike what happened in Iraq, where the Baathists were soon purged from government only to return later, in Syria’s case the Baath Party remained in power, albeit with some changes along the way, right up to the present day.

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