Syria was under Turkish control from the 12th century and part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century until the First World War. Following the defeat of the Turks, the League of Nations granted France a mandate for Syria from 1920. On 27 Sept. 1941 Gen. Catroux, the Free French C.-in-C, proclaimed the independence of Syria. The evacuation of all foreign troops in April 1946 marked the complete independence of Syria, but the political situation was unsettled and military coups were staged in Dec. 1949 and in Feb. 1954. Syria merged with Egypt to form the United Arab Republic from 2 Feb. 1958 until 29 Sept. 1961, when Syrian independence was resumed following a coup. Following the fifth coup of the decade, Lieut.-Gen. Hafiz al-Assad became prime minister on 13 Nov. 1970 and assumed the presidency on 22 Feb. 1971. A new constitution, approved by plebiscite on 12 March 1973, confirmed the Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba’ath) Party as the ‘leading party in the state and society’.
KeywordsMilitary Coup Woollen Yarn Deputy Prime Minister International Flight United Arab Republic
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