Arab Socialist Movement
The Arab Socialist Movement (Arabic: حركة الاشتراكيين العرب- Harakat Al-Ishtirakiyeen Al-'Arab) also known as Arab Socialist Party, was a political party in Syria that has split into several factions since the 1960s which continue to use the same name.
|Leader||Omar Adnan al-Alawi (Damascus branch)|
|Founded||5 January 1950|
Ba'athism (Damascus branch)
Anti-Islamism (Damascus branch)
|National affiliation||National Progressive Front (Damascus branch)|
National Democratic Rally (Ayyash faction)
National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change
|Cabinet of Syria|
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The Arab Socialist Movement traced its roots back to the "Youth Party", a 1930s radical anti-capitalist, pan-Arab group led by Othman al-Hawrani. In its later form, it was formally established as "Arab Socialist Party" in the 1950s, and was led by Akram al-Hawrani from then on. The party merged with the Ba'ath Party in 1953, only to withdraw again in 1963. It then split into several factions:
- One faction, known as Damascus branch and headed by Abdul-Ghani Qannout, joined the Ba'ath Party-led National Progressive Front government in 1972 and has continued to support the al-Assad family's rule in Syria ever since. It is active in Syria and Lebanon. After Abdul-Ghani Qannout died in 2001, Ahmad al-Ahmad became the new secretary general; under him, the party continued its pro-government course, even during the Syrian Civil War. Amid the conflict's civil uprising phase, the Arab Socialist Movement's Damascus branch organised pro-government rallies. When the uprising escalated into a full insurgency, members of the party organised pro-government militias. Assistant secretary general Omar Adnan al-Alawi headed the National Defence Forces' Deir ez-Zor branch during part of the Siege of Deir ez-Zor (2014–17), and was wounded in combat. Al-Alawi later aided a member of the party's political office, Turki Albu Hamad, in founding the "Forces of the Fighters of the Tribes" militia. Ahmad al-Ahmad died on 25 August 2016, leaving the office of secretary general vacant until the election of Omar al-Alawi as official party head on 24 May 2017.
- Another splinter group was led by the former officer Abdul-Ghani Ayyash (died 2010), and joined the opposition in form of the National Democratic Rally.
- One faction of Marxists, led by Akram al-Bunni, split off and formed the "National Council of Damascus Declaration for National Democratic Change", which was suppressed by the Assad government.
- Another branch has also gained legal recognition and parliamentary representation in Syria, but under the name "National Vow Movement".
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (4 February 2019). "The Arab Socialist Movement: Interview". Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- Akram al-Bunni (2013), p. 8.
- Seale 1990, p. 65.
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (2 April 2017). "Quwat Muqatili al-Asha'ir: Tribal Auxiliary Forces of the Military Intelligence". Retrieved 31 August 2017.
- Seale 1990, pp. 175, 176.
- Akram al-Bunni (2013), pp. 5, 8.
- Akram al-Bunni (2013), p. 6.
- Akram al-Bunni (2013). An Analysis of the Syrian Left Realities (PDF). Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
- Seale, Patrick (1990). Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06976-5.