President Fawzi Selu in 1952

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Image Source: Syrianhistory.com Archive

Fawzi Selu was born in Damascus in 1905 and studied at the Damascus Military Academy during the years of the French Mandate. He rose to fame during the first Syrian-Israeli armistice talks in 1949. In 1949-1951, he befriended Syria’s military strongman who appointed him Minister of Defense in the civilian administration of President Hashem al-Atasi. His main role was to destroy any progress in Syria-Iraqi union talks. In November 1951, Shishakli launched a coup d’etat but did not assume the presidency, making Selu instead the head of state, prime minister, and minister of defense. Selu co-ruled Syria with Adib al-Shishakli until the latter took over power in July 1953. Selu retired from political activity at the age of 67 and died in 1972.