Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Digression: With Sympathy for the People of Syria,
We Present Antique Pictures of the Shelling of Damascus in 1925

Destruction in Damascus, 1925
After World War I and the defeat of the Ottomans, the Kingdom of Syria was placed under a French mandate in 1920.
French troops and their machine guns
in Damascus 

An ambulance cart moves across a
public square covered with barbed wire

The mandate was divided into six fiefdoms -- the Jebel Druze, Greater Lebanon, the Sanjak of Alexandretta (Iskenderun today), an Alawite State, the State of Damascus and the State of Aleppo.  Eventually, Lebanon was granted its independence in 1943 and Alexandretta was ceded to Turkey in 1939. 

 In the early summer of 1925, a Druze leader named Sheikh Sultan al-Atrash led a full scale revolt against the French across Syria.  The French brought in reinforcements and heavy weapons and by October 1925 were shelling the city of Damascus.  The American Colony photographers took pictures of the aftermath.
"Al-Atrash and his warriors" in Transjordan (circa 1926)

Al-Atrash was defeated and fled with his rebels south to Transjordan.  The photographers followed him and took portraits of him and his fighters.

Statue of al-Atrash in Druze town of
Masedeh on the Golan Heights

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Click on captions to view the original pictures.

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