Jabal Druze State

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State of Jabal al-Druze
Djebel Druze
جبل الدروز
1 May 1921–9 September 1936
Flag of Jabal al-Druze
Location of Jabal al-Druze (turquoise-blue) in the Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
Location of Jabal al-Druze (turquoise-blue) in the Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
StatusMandate of France
Common languagesFrench
Sunni Islam
• 1921–1923
Prince Salim Basha al-Atrash
• 1935–1936
Pierre Tarit
Historical eraInterwar period
• Established
1 May 1921
• Named "State of Souaida"
4 March 1922
• Named "Jabal al-Druze"
1 June 1927
• Disestablished
9 September 1936
Preceded by
Succeeded by
State of Damascus
First Syrian Republic

Jabal al-Druze (Arabic: جبل الدروز, French: Djebel Druze) was an autonomous state in the French Mandate of Syria from 1921 to 1936, designed to function as a government for the local Druze population under French oversight.


Arrete No. 1343, which laid out the borders of the State of Jebel Druze, March 1922
Statut Organique of the State of Jebel Druze, 14 May 1930

On March 4, 1922, it was proclaimed as the State of Souaida, after the capital As-Suwayda, but in 1927 it was renamed Jabal al-Druze or Jabal Druze State. The name comes from the Jabal al-Druze mountain.


The Druze state was formed on May 1, 1921, in former Ottoman territory, while other statelets were installed in other parts of the Syrian mandate (e.g. the Alawite State in the Lattakia region). Jabal al-Druze was home to about 50,000 Druze. It was the first, and remains the only, autonomous entity to be populated and governed by Druze. The 1925 Syrian Revolution began in Jabal al-Druze under the leadership of Sultan al-Atrash, and quickly spread to Damascus and other non-Druze areas outside the Jabal al-Druze region. Protests against the division of Syrian territory into statelets were a main theme of Syrian anti-colonial nationalism, which eventually won the victory to reunite the entire French-mandated territory, except Lebanon (which had become independent) and Alexandretta, which was annexed to Turkey as the Hatay Province.

As a result of Syrian nationalist pressure, under the Franco-Syrian Treaty of 1936, Jabal al-Druze ceased to exist as an autonomous entity and was incorporated into Syria.

General distribution of population in the State of Jabal Druze according to the French census in 1921–22[1]
Religion Inhabitants Percentage
Druze 43,000 84.8%
Christians 7,000 13.8%
Sunni 700 1.4%
Total 50,700 100%


  • Amir Salim Pasha al-Atrash (May 1, 1921 – September 15, 1923)
  • Trenga (provisional) (September 1923 – March 6, 1924)
  • Gabriel Marie Victor Carbillet (March 6, 1924 – October 14, 1925), provisional to October 1, 1924
  • Sultan Pasha al-Atrash (July 18, 1925 – June 1, 1927), chief of state; in dissidence
  • Charles Andréa (October 15, 1925 – 1927)
  • Marie Joseph Léon Augustin Henry (1927)
  • Abel Jean Ernest Clément-Grancourt (1927–1932)
  • Claude-Gabriel-Renaud Massiet (February 3, 1932 – January 28, 1934)
  • Justin-Antoine Devicq (1934–1935)
  • Pierre-Joseph-François Tarrit (1935 – December 2, 1936)[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936, Volume 2, page 301.
  2. ^ Jabal Druze: Heads of State: 1921–1936

External links[edit]

  • Syria at WorldStatesmen.org.
  • Map at unimaps.com.