The Full Wiki

More info on Rashid Ali al-Gaylani

Rashid Ali al-Gaylani: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Rashid Ali al-Gaylani ( , also spelled Sayyad Rashid Ali al-Gillani , Sayyad Rashid Ali al-Gailani or sometimes Sayyad Rashid Ali el Keilany) (1892–August 28, 1965) served as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Iraq on three occasions. He is chiefly remembered as an Arab nationalist that attempted to remove the Britishmarker influence from Iraqmarker. During his brief tenures as Prime Minister in 1940 and 1941, he attempted to negotiate settlements with the Axis powers during World War II in order to counter British influence in Iraq.

Early life

Rashid Ali born as the son of Sayyad Abdul Wahhab al-Gaylani into the prominent Baghdadmarker-based Gaylani family. The Sunni Muslim Gaylani were known as sadeh, signifying that they were a family of religion that traced their ancestry back to the the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was also related to Iraq's first Prime Minister, Abd al-Rahman al-Kayyali, though the two parts of the family were estranged. Rashid Ali enrolled in law school in Baghdad and became a lawyer prior to his political activism.

Political career

In 1924, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani began his career in politics in the first government led by Prime Minister Yasin al-Hashimi. Yasin al-Hashimi appointed Gaylani as the Minister of Justice. The two men were ardent nationalists and were opposed to any Britishmarker involvement in the internal politics of Iraq. They rejected the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty signed by the government of Prime Minister Nuri as-Said in 1930. They formed the Party of National Brotherhood to promote nationalist aims. Gaylani served as Prime Minister for the first time in 1933 but held office for less than eight months.

On 31 March 1940, when Gaylani was again appointed Prime Minister, World War II had started and Iraq had just experienced the premature death of King Ghazi. Ghazi's reign was followed by a Regency for his four-year-old son who was now the new King Faisal II. Faisal's Regent was Ghazi's uncle, Emir Abdul-Illah. While Abdul-Illah supported Britain in the war, he was unable to control Gaylani, who used the war to further his own nationalist goals by refusing to allow troops to cross through Iraq to the front. He also rejected calls that Iraq break its ties with Fascist Italy and sent his Justice Minister, Naji Shawkat, to meet with the then German ambassador to Turkeymarker, Franz von Papen, to win German support for his government.

1941 Iraqi coup d'état

Britain responded with severe economic sanctions against Iraq. Meanwhile, news of British victories against Italian forces in North Africa dulled support for Gaylani's government, and, on 31 January 1941, under pressure from Regent Abdul-Illah, he resigned his post as Prime Minister. This only exacerbated his mistrust of Britain and its supporters in the government. Together with the members of the Golden Square, Gaylani made plans to assassinate Regent Abdul-Illah and seize power. On 31 March, Abdul Illah discovered the plot to assassinate him and fled the country. On 1 April, the coup d'état was launched. And, on 3 April, Gaylani returned to power as Prime Minister. As one of his first acts, he sent an Iraqi artillery force to confront the RAF base situated in Habbaniya, RAF Habbaniyamarker. By the end of April, the Iraqi armed forces were situated in strong positions on the escarpment above the base and a siege began.

Iraq had been a major supplier of petroleum to the Allied war effort and represented an important landbridge between British forces in Egypt and India. To secure Iraq, Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered General Archibald Wavell to protect the air base at Habbaniya. On 18 April, British forces from India landed in Basramarker, Sabine Force. In the British Mandate of Palestine, another force was created to enter Iraq from the west and relieve RAF Habbaniya, Habbaniya Force.

Anglo-Iraqi War

At Habbaniya, the besieging Iraqis demanded the cessation of all training activities and of all flights in and out of the base. On 2 May, the commander at RAF Habbaniya, Air Vice-Marshal Harry George Smart, responded to the Iraqi demands by launching a pre-emptive strike against the Iraqi forces overlooking the air base. This action initiated the Anglo-Iraqi War. Within a week, the Iraqis abandoned the escarpment. By mid-May, British forces from Habbaniya had moved on to Fallujahmarker and, after overcoming Iraqi resistance there, moved on to Baghdad. On 29 May, fearing a British onslaught, Gaylani fled to Persia. Before he left Baghdad, Gaylani contaccted Mulla Effendi and informed him that he had chosen his house as a safe haven for the Royal family to stay until the conflict ended.

On 31 May, an armistice between the British and the Iraqis was signed. On 3 June, the Regent returned to Baghdad and his government was restored.

Persia, Germany, and Saudi Arabia

Gaylani was not to stay long in Persia. On 25 August 1941, armed forces of the United Kingdommarker and the Soviet Unionmarker invaded Persia and removed the pro-German Shah Reza Shah. Gaylani now fled to Nazi occupied Europe. In Berlinmarker, he was received by German dictator Adolf Hitler and he was recognized as the leader of the Iraqi government in exile. Upon the defeat of Germany, Gaylani again fled and found refuge this time in Saudi Arabiamarker.

Later life and death

Gaylani only returned from exile after the revolution that overthrew the Iraqi monarchy in 1958. Once again he attempted to seize power, and plotted a revolt against Abdul Karim Kassem's government. The revolt was foiled and Gaylani was sentenced to death. Later pardoned, he returned to exile in Beirutmarker, Lebanonmarker, where he died in 1965.

See also


((ru:Рашид Али аль-Гайлани))

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address