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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 01, 1955

REGARDING AL-MALKI'S ASSASSINATION

This document was made possible with support from the Youmna and Tony Asseily

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    Communists seize on al-Malki's assassination for political gain against Anglo-American policies.
    "Regarding al-Malki's Assassination," April 01, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 12, File 113/12, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176092
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Regarding al-Malki's assassination

The communists' role: The Communists, and those loyal to them, took as much advantage as possible from this assassination and seized the opportunity to launch a determined campaign against the PPS and Anglo-American policies. They accused the latter party of being a criminal tool in the hands of the imperialists, intent on spreading chaos to prepare for the implementation of their plans.

The role of Anglo-American policies: The growth of the leftist popular movement in Syria and its influence on steering the Government and army's position against Britain and America's policies forced political decision-makers in these two countries to go openly down into the arena to fight this tyrannical wave.

Here are the activities that the two countries are currently initiating:

A warning to the Syrian Government by the American Embassy against accusing them of having a hand in the assassination of Colonel al-Malki. This move came in response to statements by the Syrian Prime Minister to the effect that a foreign country had played a role in the crime, as evidenced by a call from the PPS to certain 'information centres’. The use of the term 'information centres' is a clear reference to America because it is exclusively used to indicate the American Information Centre. American pressure succeeded and the Syrian Government denied what the statement had in fact said.

The intelligence section of the British Embassies in Beirut and Damascus contacted its collaborators within these countries' political circles, press, and Governments, and berated them for their cowardice and for running and hiding instead of facing up to the communist propaganda movement against the West in Syria. It warned of dire consequences if they remained silent and did not effectively counter communist propaganda or steer the course of Syrian politics towards the West and against communism. The threats had a strong impact on these individuals and produced quick results. A campaign was launched in the Lebanese newspapers starting with al-Hayat, owned by Kamel Mroue, that published an editorial strongly attacking supporters of Western policies and describing them as cowards and as the ones who handed the ‘flag of Arabism' in Syria over to Marxism to be painted red. The use of the terms 'Arabism’ and 'Arab nationalism' has a very strong impact on the Syrian people's spirit because they are proud of their Arabist and nationalist identity. Furthermore, many personalities known for their secrecy and fearfulness also joined the fray, such as:

Fares al-Khoury who sent an SOS message, through Lebanon's Attaché, to save Syria from the red danger and from tyranny; so far this information has not denied.

Adnan al-Atassi and his colleague Mounir al-'Ajlani stood in the Syrian General Assembly against demands by the people, the Government, and the army that Martial Law be imposed and extraordinary courts be formed.

Said Takkieddin and Mr Abdullah al-Kobrossi's successive declarations in the name of the PPS against the Syrian Army and the popular movement in Syria. These are very strongly worded statements not necessarily relevant to the assassination but targeting rather the leftist campaign in Syria.

The spectator attitude of the Lebanese Government and its allowing Lebanon to become a base from which campaigns could be launched against Syrian policy.

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