Iraqi Rebellion of 1920

Iraqi Rebellion of 1920


a national-liberation rebellion against British domination in Iraq.

The direct cause of the rebellion was the decision of the San Remo Conference (April 1920) to divide the Arab countries between Great Britain and France. Erupting on June 30 in the town of al-Rumaytha, the rebellion had spread by August to all agricultural regions inhabited by Arabs and to several Kurdish areas. The British retained Baghdad, Mosul, Basra, and the middle Tigris region. The peasantry, especially the semisettled tribes of the middle Euphrates, constituted the main force of the uprising. Tribal sheikhs and Shiite theologians headed the rebellion. The insurgents dealt the British occupation forces a number of defeats. Organs of revolutionary power were formed in the liberated regions, but these regions were isolated from each other. In October 1920 a British army of 65,000 men defeated the main rebel forces.

The rebellion had a great influence on the future development of the country. Great Britain was forced to renounce plans to establish an outright colonial regime in Iraq. The Iraqi people consider the 1920 uprising the “immortal national revolution.”


Kotlov, L. N. Natsional’no-osvoboditel’noe vosstanie 1920 g. v hake. Moscow, 1958.
Al-Fayyad, A. Al-Thawra al-Iraqia al-Qubra sana 1920 (The Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920). Baghdad, 1963.


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