Wednesday, May 28, 2014
French rule in Syria and Lebanon
The French policy in regards to occupied Middle Eastern countries was to try and build an educated populace who could eventually rule themselves. The British were in a rush to rid themselves of the occupied countries, but the French wanted to move slowly. From the perspective of the people involved, the process was too slow. They ruled some 3.3 million people in Syria and Lebanon. There was a mix of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish people. There were also smaller groups such as the Druse. At the Armistice in 1940, the British announced that they would not allow the Germans or Italians to occupy Syria. Now, we see in 1941, that the Germans were starting to stage aircraft into Syria, so we could expect the British to react. The Vichy government greatly disliked the British, and one supposes, Winston Churchill. The stage was set for a confrontation that was inevitable. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.