REALPOLITIK: A Timeline of Middle-East Colonies, Partitions & Coups (Part 1) – By Ollie Richardson

Source –

– Caught between the two poles of ideology that have dominated the last century, Liberalism and Communism, the Middle East has been used as a chessboard to determine the leading ideology for global order. While the United States of America has been involved in war for 93% of its existence, not every conflict has occurred on its soil. In fact, the majority have been fought abroad. The timeline below will attempt to shed some light on some of the chess battles between the two leading ideologies that have taken place in the Middle East since the buildup of World War I.

While not a definite list, the aim of the timeline is to focus on the countries that are still heavily involved in conflicts in the 21st century. These include: Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and other nations such as Algeria and Tunisia (peripheral to Libya). The timeline excludes countries in the gulf and most of Africa, as they have shown to be merely assets of Western intelligence, usually with western-friendly monarchies or despotic regimes. The aforementioned countries in and around the Levant have sincerely tried to retain sovereignty and independence, but seem to be consistently thwarted in these attempts by Anglo-Atlanticist nations and their proxy forces.

The reader is encouraged to conduct their own research on any of the topics, and to form their own conclusions.


  • 1882: British occupation of Egypt
    • In order to prevent the French from taking control of Egypt, the British established their long-term presence in Egypt. This move also served the purpose of protecting the British sea lanes to India, much like the occupation of South Africa.
  • 1901: Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar gives D’Arcy Drilling rights
    • William D’Arcy paid the Shah £20,000 for a 60 year concession on land that covered 480,000 square miles of Persia. ¹
  • 1905: Sidney Reilly steals oil rights in Persia
    • Reilly, disguised as a priest, tracks down William Knox D’Arcy in Persia with the aim of hijacking the contract with the Parisian Rothschild Bank. He succeeded in giving Britain the rights to a major source of oil.
Sidney Reilly
  • 1909: Tel Aviv constructed
    • Built under the British mandate in Palestine, “the city of Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 to the immediate north of the walled port city of Jaffa, on the hills along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.” ²
“About 100 people participate in a lottery to divide a 12 acre plot of sand dunes, that would later become the city of Tel Aviv.” (source)
  • 1915: Gallipoli Campaign
    • The campaign of the Dardanelles that led to a British defeat. After the Ottoman Empire placed on embargo on oil from Baku, the British were unable to secure Russian oil for their war effort.
  • 1916: Sykes-Picot Agreement
    • After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik party discovered a document, made in 1916, to carve up the Ottoman Empire, which they subsequently released to the public. Britain’s Mark Sykes and France’s Georges Picot had negotiated a deal whereby France and Britain would split the Middle East into Areas A and B. According to the document, the British would get Jordan (today) and the areas east of Iraq and Kuwait. The French would get Syria, Lebanon (today), and Mosul.
  • 1916: Britain abandons France on the frontline
    • Britain moved over 1 million troops into the eastern front to fight the Ottoman Empire. As if the Sykes-Picot secret agreement wasn’t enough of a betrayal for the arabs, who the British claimed to be liberating from Ottoman rule, and Hussein bin Ali, who proclaimed the arab revolt, Britain, in the face of Lawrence of Arabia, promised their arab-allies they would get full independence and sovereignty. This promise was even stated in a letter sent to Hussein bin Ali from Henry McMahon, a British army officer. Lawrence of Arabia would later write in his memoirs³:

“I risked the fraud on my conviction that Arab help was necessary to our cheap and speedy victory in the East and that better we win and break our word than lose.”

“Yet the Arab inspiration was our main tool in winning the Eastern war. So I assured them that England kept her word in letter and spirit… but, of course… I was continually bitter and ashamed.” 
    • Britain would later stab France in the back in the Treaty in Versailles by establishing the British army’s dominance in the Middle East.
Lawrence of Arabia
  • 1917: Balfour Declaration
    • Arthur James Balfour, on November 2nd, wrote a letter to Walter Rothschild, speaking as a representative of the “English federation of Zionists”, where he plants the seed for a Jewish State in Palestine:
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
“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.”
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour
    • This letter would become central to the League of Nations mandate on Palestine, whereby Rothschild’s money would fund the emigration of jews who were fleeing Poland and Russia.
  • 1919: Afghanistan declares independence from Britain
    • Habibullah Khan is assassinated, but his son would declare Afghan sovereignty after gaining the support of tribal leaders.
  • 1919: Creation of the League of Nations
    • Formed in parallel to the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations’ role was to ensure the creation of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. The LoN’s ‘Mandate for Palestine’ gave the green light for jews to settle anywhere in the land of Palestine (between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea).
    • The various articles of the Mandate can be seen here.
  • 1921: Churchill sends 40 experts to Cairo
    • Churchill convened a meeting between Lawrence of Arabia, Percy Cox, and 40 experts near Cairo. The result of this meeting was the creation of the British Colonial Office – Middle East Division, which was “responsible for the administration of all British territories (including protectorates and mandated territories) outside the British Isles except India, Burma and the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms (all of which are administered by the India Office).” ⁴ As a result of this, Mesopotamia was renamed ‘Iraq”, and the RAF was stationed there.
Colonial Office in London – today it is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • 1923: Britain recognises Transjordan
    • Churchill’s notorious 1922 White Paper designated the area east of the Jordan river as somewhere the Jews could not settle. This area was renamed Transjordan and handed over to Abdullah I of Jordan.
  • 1923: Republic of Turkey is founded
    • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk becomes the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Over time he would shape the Republic according to the western paradigm until his death in 1938.
  • 1926: Lebanon becomes semi-independent from France
    • The Lebanese constitution, created on May 23rd, 1926, turned “Lebanon [into] a sovereign, free, and independent country. It is a final homeland for all its citizens. It is unified inits territory, people, and institutions within the boundaries defined in this constitution and recognized internationally.” The constitution in its entirety can be seen here.
  • 1926: Mosul awarded to Iraq 
    • As Turkey and Britain both desired the possession of Mosul, Britain took the issue to the League of Nations. The LoN declared that Mosul should be a part of Iraq, a decision that was affected by the British dominance of the LoN.
Mosul Commission (1925), sitting (center): Col. A. Paulis – G. Bell – Sir H. Dobbs – Source: Marc Dassier papers & collection 
  • 1927: Seven Sisters formed
    • Consisting of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil of New Jersey, and Standard Oil Company of New York, the formation of the Seven Sisters signalled the end of British dominance of the global oil trade. The seven companies would agree to fix prices and put an end to the price competition that had dominated the preceding years.
  • 1928: Red Line Agreement
    • Following the formation of the Seven Sisters, the Red Line Agreement “marked the creation of an oil monopoly, or cartel, of immense influence, spanning a vast territory. The cartel preceded easily by three decades the birth of another cartel, OPEC, which was formed in 1960. Excepting Gulbenkian, the partners were the super majors of today. Within the “red line” was included the entire ex-Ottoman territory in the Middle East, including the Arabian Peninsula (plus Turkey) but excluding Kuwait. Kuwait was excluded, as it was meant to be a preserve for the British. Years later, Walter Teagle of Jersey remarked that the agreement was “a damn bad move.”“⁵
  • 1928: Muslim Brotherhood established in Egypt
    • Hassan al-Banna founded the MB as a response to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. From there it moved from an underground movement to a mainstream attraction. A focal point of the MB is the disregard of secular values and the sanctioning of Jihad.
Hassan al-Banna
  • 1932: Iraq recognized as an independent Monarchy by Britain
    • Due to Iraq’s accession into the League of Nations, British rule over Iraq ended, as was previously agreed. The country would remain an ally to Britain in the Middle East for the decades to come.
Residents in Baghdad celebrate their new independence
  • 1936: Palestine protests against the Zionist movement
    • Whilst trying to keep French influence out of the Middle East and protect the Suez Canal, Britain had to contend with Arab revolts in Palestine, which were sparked by the stabbing of two Jews. This resulted in mass riots, a general strike in Jaffa and Nablus, and demands to ban Jewish emigration.
  • 1937: The Peel partition plan is rejected
    • As a result of the revolt, Britain established the Peel Commission in order to further examine the conflict between Jews and Arabs. The Commission highlighted that the desire of Palestinians for independence and their fear of a Jewish state was the cause of the 1936-39 revolts. Recommendations were made to the British government, including a stemming of the flow of emigrating Jews, but they ultimately rejected it, along with all the Arab nations sans Transjordan.
Lord Peel arriving in Palestine
  • 1939: Britain publishes MacDonald White Paper
    • Arabs and Jews were summoned to a meeting so that the issues between them could be further discussed. However, the meeting was unsuccessful as the Arab representatives refused to accept the authenticity of the Jewish delegation, and thus Britain had to negotiate with each party individually. The result of these talks was the MacDonald White Paper. The paper highlighted plans to limit Jewish emigration, but the Arab representatives still rejected the policy.
  • 1941: Britain invades Iraq
    • After Rashid Ali al-Gaylani attempted a coup in 1941, the British removed him from power and reinstated the British-friendly government. The RAF bombed the Iraqi forces until they were defeated in May.


  • 1941: Britain & Russia occupy Iran


    • Britain managed to persuade Stalin to occupy Iran on the basis that a few German engineers were present on nearby neutral territory. The result of this occupation was thousands of Iranians dying from starvation, epidemics of diseases, and a lack of heating fuel. General Schwarzkopf was sent to Iran to train the Iranian police force for six years.


  • 1942: King Faruq appoints Mustafa al-Nahhas
    • As a result of caving in to British pressure and tanks, the King of Egypt appoints Mustafa al-Nahhas as Prime Minister, an act that sabotaged the reign of Faruq.
Mustafa al-Nahhas
  • 1943: Lebanon granted full autonomy by France
    • Charles de Gaulle, after much pressure, declared Lebanon an Independent state, along with the US, Britain, the Soviet Union, and the Arab states. France would later arrest a handful of Lebanese politicians, but would later release them.
Lebanese government in 1943
  • 1945: Arab League formed
    • Consisting of Syria, Egypt, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, the Arab League was formed in Cairo as an attempt to coordinate actions between the Arab states. The Arab League would act as the center for the rejection of a Jewish state in Palestine.
  • 1946: Democratic party established in Turkey
    • After a split inside the Republican People’s Party, the Democratic Party was founded, which ended the single party system. This was however short-lived, as the Democratic Party was later banned in 1956.

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