Monday, March 06, 2006
The situation in Iraq was getting worse by September 1940
The situation in Iraq had deteriorated by late September 1940. The Iraqi Prime Minister was sympathetic to the Italians and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who had been expelled from Palestine, was plotting with the Germans. The Iraqi army seemed sympathetic to the Germans and Italians, as well. The British hoped to send a mission to Iraq, headed by someone known to and respected by the Iraqis, but it never happened. By early 1941, the situation had deteriorated further. There was a new, Pan-Arabist Prime Minister, a political crisis, and "a threat of civil war". General Wavell did not want to be involved, and asked if India could control any operations that were required. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.