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: Covert action and terrorism have played major roles in the policies of the Middle East. It is impossible to comprehend the intricacies of regional politics without an understanding of the covert machinations that lie beneath the surface. This work is an in-depth study of Syrian politics and foreign relations between 1949 and 1961. Topics covered include the role of foreign governments in manipulating Syria's numerous military coups; the covert struggle to remove Adib al-Shishakli, the conflicts in the late 1950s between Syrian politicians and officers, the consolidation of power in Syria by chief Abd al-Hamid Sarraj and his covert battles with Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq from 1957 onwards. Previously unstudied aspects of Syrian covert intervention in the 1958 Lebanese Civil War and of a Syrian-Jordanian "dirty war" are also included. Throughout the book, particular attention is paid to the role of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.