16.07.

1979: Saddam Hussein Became President of Iraq

1979: Saddam Hussein Became President of Iraq
Photo Credit To Flickr / Brian Hillegas. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0 licence.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 16 July 1979
  • Although he had never served in the military, Saddam Hussein became a general, and the most powerful man in Iraq. Only six days after his appointment, he had a meeting with the main leaders of the Ba'ath Party. He immediately arrested 68 people, who were allegedly involved in a conspiracy. 22 of them were sentenced to death and executed.

Saddam Hussein became President of Iraq on this day in 1979.

He was born in the village of Al-Awja on the Tigris River (in 2003, he was arrested just a few kilometers from his native village). His mother gave him the name of Saddam, which means “one who opposes” in Arabic.

Saddam didn’t meet his father because he “disappeared” six months before his birth. He joined the Ba’ath Party (literally, “rebirth” or “uprising”), which began to rule after the overthrow of the last King of Iraq. Saddam held important positions.

Although he had never served in the military, he became a general, and the most powerful man in Iraq. However, President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr still played a key role in the country.

When Ahmed Hassan al-Bak resigned as president, probaby persuaded by Saddam Hussein, the latter officially became the first man in Iraq.

Only six days after his appointment, he had a meeting with the main leaders of the Ba’ath Party. He immediately arrested 68 people, who were allegedly involved in a conspiracy. 22 of them were sentenced to death and executed.

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