The Ottoman empire found itself defeated by some European states ….. The Empire lost its influence and were effected by the Russian ambitions in 1878. As a result of this, the Berlin conference was held in the same year 1878 . On this conference the Europeans were able to achieve their colonialistic purposes ..especiallly to take the Ottoman possessions throughout the world especailly those in the Arab states… The European believed that this was the only way to face the Russian ambitions of expansion…
The axe of colonization purposes for European states, in the ,20 century was, to occupy all Arab states by any means… Especailly SYRIA…. They found new meaning and tools to control and occupy any Arab states…Especially the Sykes-Picot agreement during world war I..between France and the United Kingdom..:
The Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France, with the assent of Russia, defining their proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The negotiation of the treaty occurred between November 1915 and March 1916. The agreement was concluded on 16 May 1916.
Sykes Picot Agreement Map. It was an enclosure in Paul Cambon’s letter to Sir Edward Grey, 9 May 1916.
The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence. The terms were negotiated by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and Briton Sir Mark Sykes. The Russian Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following the Russian Revolution of October 1917, the Bolsheviks exposed the agreement, “the British were embarrassed, the Arabs dismayed and the Turks delighted.”
Syria became under French mandate.. While palestine under the mandate of British in the same time the British issued the declaration of Balfour to promise to establish a Zionist Jewish state in Palestine:
The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) was a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The text of the letter was published in the press one week later, on 9 November 1917.The “Balfour Declaration” was later incorporated into both the Sèvres peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, and the Mandate for Palestine. The original document is kept at the British Library.
The Syrian people…participate in his revolution against the Ottoman empire in 1916 year in the same year the British co-opareated with the Zionists who were to esablish a Zionist State in Palestine.
The British promised the Arab states to be independant after defeating the Ottoman Empire .. As we see today it were all lies, as they lie today about Syria, Iraq ,Afghanistan and Libia.
The French..put Syria under its mandate as aresult of the San Remo conference:
The San Remo conference was an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council, held at Villa Devachan in Sanremo, Italy, from 19 to 26 April 1920. It was attended by the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I who were represented by the prime ministers of Britain (David Lloyd George), France (Alexandre Millerand) and Italy (Francesco Nitti) and by Japan‘s Ambassador K. Matsui.
The precise boundaries of all territories were left unspecified, to “be determined by the Principal Allied Powers,” and were not finalized until four years later. The conference decisions were embodied in the Treaty of Sèvres (Section VII, Art 94-97). As Turkey rejected this treaty, the conference’s decisions with regard to the Palestine mandate were finally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922.
At the same time the French on the supervision of General Gouraud.. Made a warning speach against Syria to ocuppy Damascus in 1920:
French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon
After the war, Gouraud served from 1919 to 1923 as representative of the French Government in the Middle East and commander of the French Army of the Levant. As commander of French forces during Franco-Turkish war, he presided over the creation of the French Mandates in Syria and Lebanon. Following the implementation of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the occupied remnants of the Ottoman Empire between France and Britain, Gouraud was commander of forces sent to enforce the French division of the Levant.
Between 20 January and 10 February 1920 Gouraud’s troops were moved north to support forces in the Franco-Turkish War. Gouraud directed the suppression of a rising of Turkish National Forces at the Battle of Maraş which led to the withdrawal of French troops back to Syria.
There, Gouraud’s ongoing attempt to control King Faisal came to a head. Gouraud led French forces which crushed King Faisal‘s short-lived monarchy at the Battle of Maysalun on 23 July 1920, occupied Damascus, defeated the forces of the Syrian Revolution and established the French Mandate of Syria. These territories were reorganised a number of times by Gouraud’s decrees, the most famous being the creation of the State of Greater Lebanon on 1 September 1920. Gouraud became the French High Commissioner in Syria and Lebanon, effective head of the colonial government there.
He is remembered in the Levant primarily for this role, and for an attributed anecdote which portrays him as the epitome of Western triumphalism in the Middle East.
Particularly unpopular following the French taking of Damascus, the folk hero Adham Khanjar of Southern Lebanon staged a failed attempt on Gouraud’s life on 23 June 1921.
:The Syrian people refused this warning and as a reult of this all Syrian people participatee in the Maisaloun battle in 1920 against the French occupying forces.
During the French occupation they divided, in a unlawfull way, Syria into sectarian states..between 1920- 1925.
The Syrian people refused this dividing completely, because of, the agressive behavior by the French Occupying forces. The Syrian people began its national resistance against the Ffench ocuppation in all syrian provinces.
The Syrian people pursued its resistance against the French occupation untill the withdrawal from the French in 1946.
The revolution at the Syrian coast or called the revolution of the Alawite was led by al Sheikh SaLeh al Ali…
Shaykh Saleh Ahmad al-Ali (Arabic: الشيخ صالح أحمد العلي) (1884 in Al-Shaykh Badr – 13 April 1950 in Tartus) was a prominent SyrianAlawi leader that commanded the Syrian Revolt of 1919, one of the first rebellions against the French mandate of Syria before the Great Syrian Revolt.
Saleh al-Ali was born in 1884 to a family of Alawi notables from Ash-Shaykh Badr, in An-Nusayriyah Mountains in northwest Syria. He reportedly clashed with the Ottomans in 1918 before their withdrawal from Syria.
In 1918 the French occupied the Syrian coast and began to move into the interior. On December 15, 1918, Saleh al-Ali called for a meeting of prominent Alawi notables in the town of Sheikh Badr. Al-Ali alerted the attendees that the French had already occupied the Syrian coast with the intention of separating the region from the rest of the country, and urged them to revolt and expel the French from Syria. When the French authorities heard of the meeting, they sent a force from Al-Qadmus to the town of Sheikh Badr in order to arrest Saleh al-Ali. Al-Ali and his men ambushed the force at the village of Niha, west of Wadi al-Oyoun. The French forces were defeated and suffered more than 35 casualties.
Al-Ali remained in hiding until General Gouraud issued a general amnesty in 1922. He returned to his home and abstained from all political activity until his death on 13 April 1950 in Tartus
Al-Ali remained in hiding until General Gouraud issued a general amnesty in 1922. He returned to his home and abstained from all political activity until his death on 13 April 1950 in Tartus
In Idlib the revolution began by Ibrahim Hanano..
Hananu was born in Kafr Takharim, a fertile olive-growing area west of Aleppo and raised in Aleppo. He studied at the Imperial High School in Aleppo and continued his studies at the Ottoman Law Academy of the prestigious Mülkiye school in Constantinople. As a student he joined the Committee of Union and Progress, the political organ that later took the stage following the Young Turk Revolution of 1908
Upon graduation, Hananu briefly taught at the military academy. Later he joined the bureaucracy of the Ottoman Empire, only to retire and manage his estates. One Syrian source from the United Arab Republic era indicates that having embraced nationalism when the Arab Revolt broke out in 1916, Hananu joined the Arab army of Faysal I and entered Aleppo with the Allies in 1918. He is also supposed to have joined the secret nationalist society al-Fatat, though there is no corroborating evidence for this. Along with many of the prominent merchants in Aleppo, Hananu became associated with the League of National Defense and the Arab Club of Aleppo.
Particularly following his French mandate authority trial in March 1922, the Muslim elite of Aleppo coalesced around Hananu as a patriotic leader of the Muslim resistance to the French that had occurred with Turkish aid prior to the Franco-Turkish negotiations of 1921. Breaking out in the autumn of 1919 in the countryside surrounding Aleppo, when the French army had landed on the Syrian coast and was preparing to occupy all of Syria, Hanano launched his revolt, bringing Aleppo, Idlib and Antioch into a coordinated campaign against French forces. Hananu was responsible for the disarmament of many French troops, the destruction of railroads and telegraph lines, the sabotage of tanks, and the foiling of French attacks on Aleppo. He received aid from the Turkish nationalist movement of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which was battling the French army of the Levant for control of Cilicia and southern Anatolia. With the withdrawal of Turkish military assistance following the signing of the Franklin-Bouillon Agreement in October 1921, Hananu and his men could no longer sustain a revolt, and their struggle collapsed. Despite the failure of the revolt, the organization of the northern areas of Syria with Turkish help has been interpreted as a prototype for self-government that Hananu and other Syrians built upon in later years. Much recent Syrian historiography considers Hananu’s rebellion as but the first of a broader series of coordinated revolts, including the Great Revolt of 1925, against the French occupation of the emerging nation state of Syria.
For Hananu, the Ottoman State, Islam and modernity were not mutually exclusive; like others of his class and educational background, as a “New Man,” his habitus revolved around the successful unification and continued harmonization of these key concepts in his public and personal life. Hananu’s efforts confirm what was at issue for him and others like him in the fight against the French: it was about political control and a profound sense of attachment to place, but also his professional dignity, personal ambition, and a sense of modern self.
Hananu continued to play an active role in the Syrian national movement. He was one of the founding fathers of the National Bloc, which emerged from the Beirut conference of October 1927, and which steered the course of the independence struggle in Syria until its completion nineteen years later. He was a member of the National Bloc’s permanent council and chief of its political bureau. In 1928, Hananu held office on the Constitutional Assembly that drafted the first republican constitution for Syria. In the 1930s, he affirmed his reputation as a hard-liner, refusing to negotiate with the French until they pledged complete unconditional independence for Syria.
He died in 1935 in Aleppo. Ibrahim Hanano is considered one of the most celebrated warriors and heroes of the resistance against the French Mandate. After his death, Hanano’s house in Aleppo was used by Syrian nationalists as a “house of the nation.” His nephew, Omar Al Sibai, was one of the communist leaders in Syria.
The revolution of Damascus was led by Hassan- Al Kharrat:
Hasan al-Kharrat (Arabic: حسن الخراط 1861 or 1875 – 25 December 1925) was a Syrian nationalist and one of the principal leaders of the Great Syrian Revolt against the French Mandate and the best-known military leader of rebel forces in Damascus and the Ghouta countryside. A well-connected qabaday (local youth boss) from the al-Shaghour quarter of Damascus, al-Kharrat joined the revolt in August 1925 and subsequently formed an armed group of fighting men from his quarter and various other neighborhoods and villages in the vicinity. In mid-October he commanded the rebel assault against the French Army in Damascus, briefly capturing the French High-Commissioner Maurice Sarrail‘s residence. After withdrawing from Damascus, which was severely bombarded by French forces, al-Kharrat continued to lead forays against French positions in and around Damascus until being killed in a French ambush in the Ghouta. Due to his efforts against French rule and his death in that struggle, al-Kharrat is considered a hero by Syrians until the present day .. Refoltion of ahmad mriwed in jolan heights … at last the big revolution of sultan bash al artash which set frim sweidaa province in co operate with all shrian people that dismissed the french occupation out of syria in 1925 year
Al-Kharrat was born to a Sunni Muslim family in Damascus in 1861.[He grew up in the city and did not have a high school education. Al-Kharrat eventually served as the night watchman of the al-Shaghour quarter in the Old City and as the guard of the neighborhood’s orchards,[ a role he continued to perform until late 1925.[
During the early French Mandate period which began in 1920, al-Kharrat served the role of al-Shaghour’s qabaday. The qabaday was the traditional leader of a village or neighborhood’s local toughs who was informally charged with redressing grievances and defending a neighborhood’s honor against local criminals or the encroachments of qabadayat (plural form) from other neighborhoods. According to historian Phillip S. Khoury, the qabaday was characterized as an honorable man by the masses, noted for his personal strength, honor and protection of the impoverished and minorities.[ A qabaday normally shunned formal education and was considered an “upholder of Arab traditions and customs, the guardian of popular culture,” according to Khoury. Despite occasional “shady dealings, preference for physical coercion and even committing ‘mortal’ sins for personal gain,” the qabaday was distinguished from the zu’ran, who were more associated with criminal activity and extortion (khuwwa) rackets.The qabadayat were normally linked with particular city notables and could secure political support for them inside the quarters where the notables might not have the kind of direct relationship with residents the way a qabaday would.
Role in the Great Syrian Revolt
In the mid-summer of 1925 Sultan Pasha al-Atrash rallied his Druze fighters and launched a revolt against French rule in Jabal al-Arab. This was directly in response to the arrest and imprisonment of three other prominent Druze leaders from the al-Atrash clan in Damascus. They had been invited to the city by the French authorities to negotiate an end to the growing unrest in the Jabal. Tensions between the two sides had been simmering throughout the previous years. As al-Atrash’s men scored a number of decisive victories against the French Army, Syrian nationalists throughout the country were inspired to participate and the revolt spread northward to Damascus and beyond. Politically speaking, al-Kharrat was allied with Nasib al-Bakri, a Damascus notable and the chief liaison between al-Atrash and the emergent Damascus and Ghouta-based rebels. Abdul Rahman Shahbandar, a prominent Syrian nationalist leader at that time, described al-Kharrat as a “socialist” in practice.Al-Bakri’s family was the most influential in al-Shaghour, and al-Kharrat had maintained particularly close relations with Nasib and his brother Fawzi. He served something akin to their principal connection and enforcer in the quarter.
After a meeting between Nasib al-Bakri and Shahbandar in August 1925, al-Bakri urged al-Kharrat to join the uprising,a request the latter accepted. He subsequently recruited a force of men from Damascus to take up arms. According to historian Michael Provence, al-Kharrat was “ideal” for the job, possessing “a local following of young men, notoriety outside the quarter, good connections and a reputation for toughness.” The group of fighters (′isabat) he commanded were known as ′isabat al-Shawaghirah, deriving its name from al-Kharrat’s neighborhood al-Shaghour. However, al-Kharrat’s ′isabat also included volunteers from the villages of Jaramana, Kafr Batna, Beit Sahem, al-Mleha and al-Amara. Al-Kharrat also a formed a partnership with Muhammad al-Hijaz, a Sufi religious sheikh based in Damascus. Together, the two men brought an “Islamic crusade” dimension to the largely secular revolt, according to Sa’id al-‘As, a rebel leader and secularist.
Al-Kharrat’s prominence quickly rose as he led his men in nighttime raids against French installations in Damascus city. In the neighborhoods of al-Shaghour, Souk Saruja and Jazmatiyya, al-Kharrat and his ′isabat destroyed all French buildings, confronting and disarming French Army patrols and holding soldiers hostage.His main area of operation was in the eastern Ghouta, particularly the heavily wooded al-Zur forest and the area near the al-Shaghour quarter. In the first week of October, 60 French gendarmes were dispatched to the Ghouta to apprehend al-Kharrat and his fighters. The gendarmes took up lodging in the home of the mukhtar (“village headman”) of al-Mleha. In the evening hours, a coalition of rebels from Damascus, Ghouta and Jabal al-Arab ambushed the mukhtar’s residence, capturing the entire gendarme unit. One French soldier was killed and the rest were disarmed. While most of the French soldiers were sent back to Damascus without their belongings, four officers were sent to Jabal al-Arab, where Sultan Pasha al-Atrash would later have them released after learning they had not resisted the rebels.
On 12 October French troops backed by tanks, artillery and aerial support launched a wide scale operation to surround and eliminate the Ghouta rebels in the al-Zur forest. Al-Kharrat’s men were pursued along the banks of the Barada River, but the French and their sniper units failed to apprehend them or draw a significant number out in the open. Some residents of al-Mleha had previously informed the rebels of the French Army’s approach and when the French withdrew from their operation, they looted and set the village on fire. French intelligence officials claimed that al-Mleha was collectively punished because a young boy from the village had notified al-Kharrat’s men of the French gendarme presence in al-Mleha the week before. Thus, French intelligence justified the punitive measures against the village as retaliation for its residents’ cooperation, which enabled the rebels to capture and humiliate the gendarmes.
French forces proceeded to loot and burn Jaramana (already largely destroyed by French bombardment), which had a large Druze population. This particularly angered the Druze rebel units from Jabal al-Arab who vowed to avenge the deaths of their coreligionists. Though they were not able to directly engage al-Kharrat and his forces, French troops executed around 100 civilians from the Ghouta villages. Their corpses were brought to Damascus, and 16 that the French described as “brigands” were put on display for much of the day.
Battle of Damascus
Following these actions and pressure from the Druze units, al-Bakri planned an operation to capture the Citadel of Damascus, where French forces were concentrated, and the Azm Palace, where rebels were informed that General Maurice Sarrail, the High Commissioner of the French Mandate, would be residing on 17–18 October. The High Commissioner, who was usually a general, functioned as the overall administrator of Syria on behalf of France and practically exercised absolute power. One of the principal intentions of the rebels was to capture Sarrail himself. The only rebel units in Damascus at the time was al-Kharrat’s ′isabat and a mixed force of fighters from Jabal al-Arab, the al-Midan quarter and the Ghouta. Therefore, al-Bakri sent a letter to Sultan al-Atrash, requesting reinforcements. Al-Atrash wrote that he was currently occupied with operations in the Hauran, but he would dispatch his entire force to back the Damascus rebels as soon his military affairs were settled. Fawzi al-Qawuqji, the rebel leader of the Hama region, was also called on, but before the return letters from either men could make it to Damascus, al-Bakri decided to move ahead with the operation.
On 18 October al-Kharrat led about 40 of his men into the al-Shaghour quarter from the old cemeteries of the southern Bab al-Saghir gate announcing that the Bani Ma’ruf, a prominent Druze clan, had arrived to relieve the city from French occupation. Crowds of residents enthusiastically welcomed the rebels and many took up arms with them. Al-Kharrat’s men first captured the quarter’s police station, disarming its garrison. By then, al-Kharrat’s men were joined by Ramadan al-Shallash, a rebel leader from the Deir ez-Zor region, and 20 of his Bedouin fighters. Their joint forces then proceeded to the Hamidiyya Market and from there they captured the Azm Palace, although Gen. Sarrail had already left to attend a meeting in the southern town of Daraa.
The battle spread as al-Bakri and the fighters of al-Midan swept the city’s neighborhoods and civilians joined the rebels in increasing numbers. Al-Kharrat issued an order to kill anyone linked to the French Army and about 180 French soldiers were killed during the battle. He subsequently had the entire Old City sealed to block the entry of French reinforcements. Sarrail ordered a massive aerial bombardment of the city. According to historian Phillip S. Khoury, 1,500 people were killed in the bombardment, while Sami Moubayed writes that 6,000 people were killed within the span of two days. General chaos and scattered fighting ensued in the capital as whole neighborhoods, mosques and churches had been leveled and hundreds of leading figures in the Syrian nationalist movement were arrested by the military, including al-Kharrat’s son Fakhri. Fakhri was captured on 22 October during a botched nighttime raid by the rebels against French forces, who by then were in control of Damascus. After a meeting between Sarrail and a delegation of Damascus notables, the French ended their bombardment of the city on 24 October.