Little Bits of History

State of Iraq

Posted in History by patriciahysell on October 3, 2014
King Faisal I

King Faisal I

October 3, 1932: The British Empire cedes territory. During World War I, the Ottomans were driven back and the Ottoman Empire collapsed. In 1916, the British and French created post-war division of lands in Western Asia under the Sykes-Picot Agreement. British forces captured Baghdad in 1917 and defeated the Ottomans with an armistice signed in 1918. On November 11, 1920 Iraq became a League of Nations mandate under British control with the name State of Iraq. Hashemite king, Faisal I of Iraq was placed in charge after the French had booted him from Syria. Sunni Arab elites were given appointment to key government seats by the British.

In October 1920, the British replaced Arnold Wilson, civil commissioner, with Sir Percy Cox who quelled a rebellion. Unfortunately, he also created a policy of siding with the minority Sunni population. This would have long-lasting effects felt to this day. Slavery was abolished during the 1920s as well. On this day, the British honored requests from Faisal and granted independence to the Kingdom of Iraq although they kept military bases in the region. King Faisal died in 1933 and King Ghazi took the throne as a figurehead king. Many military coups weakened his rule and when he died in 1939, his underage son, Faisal II, took the thron with ‘Abd al-Ilah serving as Regent.

On 1 April 1941, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani and members of the Golden Square staged a coup d’état and overthrew the government of ‘Abd al-Ilah. A month later, the Anglo-Iraqi War began when the United Kingdom invaded, fearing the Rashid Ali government would cut off oil supplies to western nations since it had links to the Axis powers. An armistice was signed on May 31 and the Hashemite monarchy was restored. The occupation ended on October 26, 1947. Nuri as-Said and ‘Abd al-Ilah ruled until a new coup in 1958.

The 14 July Revolution ended the monarchy. A series of military rulers followed with subsequent coups ousting a series of men. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein initially asked for Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini’s help. The Ayatollah called for the spread of an Islamic Revolution to Iraq and armed Shiite and Kurdish rebels against Hussein. After months of border raids, Saddam declared war on Iran in September 1980, initiating the Iran-Iraq War or First Persian Gulf War. That war ended in a stalemate leaving between one and one and a half million dead.

I sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free, not to make them American. Iraqis will write their own history and find their own way. – George W. Bush

Iraq is a long way from the U.S., but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face. – Madeleine Albright

Iran, Libya and Syria are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons of mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve. – Ariel Sharon

Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not. – Barack Obama

Also on this day: Captain Jack – In 1873, Captain Jack was executed.
Siegfried & Roy – In 2003, Roy Horn was critically injured by one of his tigers.
Treasure House – In 1955, Captain Kangaroo premiered.
Cease and Desist – In 1712, Rob Roy MacGregor had a warrant issued for his arrest.

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