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Zeine, Zeine N. (1956) Syria and the Lebanon in International Politics, From Mudros to Maisalun 1918-1920. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033758

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Abstract

Great Britain and France had various interests in the Ottoman Empire, particularly in the Arab areas of that Empire, before the First World War. France had a special claim on Syria and the Lebanon, based on her ''traditional interests", on cultural and political prestige. To Great Britain, Syria and the Lebanon were part of a strategic area in which it was necessary to have a secure position. In October, 1913, Syria and the Lebanon were occupied by British, Arab and French forces. The Emir Faisal established an Arab Government in Damascus. The Lebanon fell under French administration. Both Administrations were responsible to General Allenby. But the Sharif Husain and the Arab Nationalist leaders insisted on getting complete independence for all the Arab countries basing their claim on the Sharif Hasain-McMahon Correspondence and on other British war time pledges. The French insisted on having not only the Lebanon but Syria as well - areas which had been allotted to them by the secret Sykes-Picot (Agreement. In the impossibility of reaching a compromise, conflict was inevitable between the Arabs, the British and the French. In 19195 Faisal spent nearly four months in Europe trying to reach a settlement in favour of the Arabs. Long and bitter controversies followed between Clemenceau and Lloyd George when the latter gave his support to Faisal. Finally, by the Franco-British agreement of 13th September, the British troops were withdrawn from Syria. The small Arab force under Faisal was left alone to face the French troops in the Lebanon and along the Syrian littoral. In 1920, anti-French agitation increased in Syria and strong resentment developed against Faisal. The proclamation of Faisal as King of United Syria on 8th March by the Syrian Congress, served only to strengthen the French intention of putting an end to Faisal's regime. On 25th April, at San-Remo, the Mandate for Mesopotamia and Palestine was assigned to Great Britain, for Syria and the Lebanon to France. The determination of France to enforce the Syrian Mandate and of the Syrian nationalists to oppose it even by force of arms if necessary, brought the Syrian crisis to a head. Finally on 25th July, French troops under General Gouraud entered Damascus and put an end to Faisal's rule in Syria. A careful study of the documents seems to suggest that the settlement imposed upon Syria and the Lebanon at the time was part of a historically inevitable process in the imperialistic history of modern times and in the struggle of the Arab peoples for their national independence. London, July 1956.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033758
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:20
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/33758

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