Sykes Picot Agreement Map. It was an enclosure in Paul Cambon's letter to Sir Edward Grey, 9 May 1916.
|Created||November 1915 – March 1916|
|Presented||23 November 1917 by the Russian Bolshevik government|
|Ratified||16 May 1916|
|Author(s)|| Mark Sykes and
|Signatories|| Edward Grey and
|Purpose||Defining proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire|
The Sykes–Picot Agreement /ˈsaɪks pi.ko/, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret 1916 agreement between Great Britain and France, to which the Russian Empire assented. The agreement defined their mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in Southwestern Asia. The agreement was based on the premise that the Triple Entente would succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The negotiations leading to the agreement occurred between November 1915 and March 1916  and it was signed 16 May 1916. The deal was exposed to the public in Izvestia and Pravda on 23 November 1917 and in the British Guardian on November 26, 1917.
The agreement allocated to Britain control of areas roughly comprising the coastal strip between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan, Jordan, southern Iraq, and an additional small area that included the ports of Haifa and Acre, to allow access to the Mediterranean. France got control of southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Russia was to get Istanbul, the Turkish Straits and Armenia. The controlling powers were left free to determine state boundaries within their areas. Further negotiation was expected to determine international administration pending consultations with Russia and other powers, including Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca.
Given Ottoman defeat in 1918 and the subsequent partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, the agreement effectively divided the Ottoman's Arab provinces outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of British and French control and influence. An international administration was proposed for Palestine. The British gained control of the territory in 1920 and ruled it as Mandatory Palestine from 1923 until 1948. They also ruled Mandatory Iraq from 1920 until 1932, while the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon lasted from 1923 to 1946. The terms were negotiated by British diplomat Mark Sykes and a French counterpart, François Georges-Picot. The Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks published the agreement on 23 November 1917, "the British were embarrassed, the Arabs dismayed and the Turks delighted."
The agreement is seen by many as a turning point in Western and Arab relations. It negated the UK's promises to Arabs made through Colonel T. E. Lawrence for a national Arab homeland in the area of Greater Syria, in exchange for supporting the British against the Ottoman Empire. It has been argued that the geopolitical architecture founded by the Sykes–Picot Agreement disappeared in July 2014[clarification needed] and with it the relative protection that religious and ethnic minorities enjoyed in the Middle East. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claims one of the goals of its insurgency is to reverse the effects of the Sykes–Picot Agreement.
Zionism was first discussed at the British Cabinet level on 9 November 1914, four days after Britain's declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire. David Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer "referred to the ultimate destiny of Palestine." Lloyd George's law firm Lloyd George, Roberts and Co had been engaged a decade before by the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland to work on the Uganda Scheme. In a discussion after the meeting with fellow Zionist and President of the Local Government Board Herbert Samuel, Lloyd George assured him that "he was very keen to see a Jewish state established in Palestine." Samuel then outlined the Zionist position more fully in a conversation with Foreign Secretary Edward Grey. He spoke of Zionist aspirations for a Jewish state in Palestine, and of Palestine's geographical importance to the British Empire.
Samuel wrote in his memoirs: "I mentioned that two things would be essential—that the state should be neutralized, since it could not be large enough to defend itself, and that the free access of Christian pilgrims should be guaranteed. ... I also said it would be a great advantage if the remainder of Syria were annexed by France, as it would be far better for the state to have a European power as neighbour than the Turk." The same evening, Prime Minister H. H. Asquith announced in a speech that the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire had become a war aim, "It is the Ottoman Government, and not we who have rung the death knell of Ottoman dominion not only in Europe but in Asia."
In January 1915, Samuel submitted a Zionist memorandum entitled The Future of Palestine to the Cabinet after discussions with Chaim Weizmann and Lloyd George. On 5 February 1915, Samuel had another discussion with Grey: "When I asked him what his solution was he said it might be possible to neutralize the country under international guarantee ... and to vest the government of the country in some kind of Council to be established by the Jews" After further conversations with Lloyd George and Grey, Samuel circulated a revised text[which?] to the Cabinet, which was formally discussed on 13 March 1915.
In a 12 January 1916 memorandum commenting on a draft of the agreement, William Reginald Hall, British Director of Naval Intelligence criticised the proposed agreement on the basis that "the Jews have a strong material, and a very strong political, interest in the future of the country" and that "in the Brown area the question of Zionism, and also of British control of all Palestine railways, in the interest of Egypt, have to be considered".
Prior to Sykes's departure to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Sazonov in Petrograd on 27 February 1916, Sykes was approached with a plan by Samuel in the form of a memorandum, which Sykes thought prudent to commit to memory and then destroy. He also suggested to Samuel that if Belgium assumed the administration of Palestine this might be more acceptable to France as an alternative to the international administration France wanted and which the Zionists did not. Of the boundaries marked on a map attached to the memorandum he wrote:
"By excluding Hebron and the East of the Jordan there is less to discuss with the Moslems, as the Mosque of Omar then becomes the only matter of vital importance to discuss with them and further does away with any contact with the bedouins, who never cross the river except on business. I imagine that the principal object of Zionism is the realization of the ideal of an existing centre of nationality rather than boundaries or extent of territory. The moment I return I will let you know how things stand at Pd."
George Curzon said the Great Powers were still committed to the Règlement Organique agreement, which concerned governance and non-intervention in the affairs of the Maronite, Orthodox Christian, Druze, and Muslim communities, regarding the Beirut Vilayet of June 1861 and September 1864, and added that the rights granted to France in the blue area[which?] under Sykes–Picot were incompatible with that agreement.
In May 1917, William Ormsby-Gore wrote:
"French intentions in Syria are surely incompatible with the war aims of the Allies as defined to the Russian Government. If the self-determination of nationalities is to be the principle, the interference of France in the selection of advisers by the Arab Government and the suggestion by France of the Emirs to be selected by the Arabs in Mosul, Aleppo, and Damascus would seem utterly incompatible with our ideas of liberating the Arab nation and of establishing a free and independent Arab State. The British Government, in authorising the letters despatched to King Hussein [Sharif of Mecca] before the outbreak of the revolt by Sir Henry McMahon, would seem to raise a doubt as to whether our pledges to King Hussein as head of the Arab nation are consistent with French intentions to make not only Syria but Upper Mesopotamia another Tunis. If our support of King Hussein and the other Arabian leaders of less distinguished origin and prestige means anything it means that we are prepared to recognise the full sovereign independence of the Arabs of Arabia and Syria. It would seem time to acquaint the French Government with our detailed pledges to King Hussein, and to make it clear to the latter whether he or someone else is to be the ruler of Damascus, which is the one possible capital for an Arab State, which could command the obedience of the other Arabian Emirs."
Many sources contend that this agreement[which?] conflicted with the Hussein–McMahon Correspondence of 1915–1916 and that the publication of the agreement in November 1917 caused the resignation of Sir Henry McMahon. However, the Sykes–Picot plan itself described how France and Great Britain were prepared to recognize and protect an independent Arab state, or confederation of Arab states, under the suzerainty of an Arab chief within the zones marked A and B on the map. Nothing in the plan precluded rule through an Arab suzerainty in the remaining areas. The conflicts with Hussein-McMahon stemmed from the private post-war Anglo-French settlement of 1–4 December 1918, negotiated between British Prime Minister Lloyd George and French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, which rendered many of the guarantees in the Hussein–McMahon agreement invalid. The Anglo-French settlement was not part of the Sykes–Picot Agreement. Sykes was not affiliated with the Cairo office that had been corresponding with Sherif Hussein bin Ali, but Picot and Sykes visited the Hejaz in 1917 to discuss the agreement with Hussein. That same year he and a representative of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered a public address to the Central Syrian Congress in Paris on the non-Turkish elements of the Ottoman Empire, including liberated Jerusalem. He stated that the accomplished fact of the independence of the Hejaz rendered it almost impossible that an effective and real autonomy should be refused to Syria.
The greatest source of conflict was the 1917 Balfour Declaration, a letter from the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, stating that: "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object ..." Balfour wrote a memorandum from the 1919 Paris Peace Conference in which he noted that:
" ... the literal fulfilment of all our [the Allies] declarations is impossible, partly because they are incompatible with each other and partly because they are incompatible with facts ..." Although, in his view, the Allies had implicitly rejected the Sykes–Picot agreement by adopting the system of League of Nations mandates, which allowed for no annexations, trade preferences, or other advantages, Balfour declared that: "The four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land".
Eighty-five years later, in a 2002 interview with New Statesman, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw observed "A lot of the problems we are having to deal with now, I have to deal with now, are a consequence of our colonial past. ... The Balfour Declaration and the contradictory assurances which were being given to Palestinians in private at the same time as they were being given to the Israelis—again, an interesting history for us but not an entirely honourable one."
Public disclosure of the plan
Russian claims in the Ottoman Empire were denied following the Bolshevik Revolution and the Bolsheviks released a copy of the Sykes–Picot Agreement (as well as other treaties). They revealed full texts in Izvestia and Pravda on 23 November 1917; subsequently, the Manchester Guardian printed the texts on November 26, 1917. This caused great embarrassment between the allies and growing distrust between them and the Arabs. The Zionists were similarly upset, with the Sykes–Picot Agreement becoming public only three weeks after the Balfour Declaration.
The Anglo-French Declaration of November 1918 pledged that Great Britain and France would "assist in the establishment of indigenous Governments and administrations in Syria and Mesopotamia" by "setting up of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations". The French had reluctantly agreed to issue the declaration at the insistence of the British. Minutes of a British War Cabinet meeting reveal that the British had cited the laws of conquest and military occupation to avoid sharing the administration with the French under a civilian regime. The British stressed that the terms of the Anglo-French declaration had superseded the Sykes–Picot Agreement in order to justify fresh negotiations over the allocation of the territories of Syria, Mesopotamia, and Palestine.
On 30 September 1918, supporters of the Arab Revolt in Damascus declared a government loyal to the Sharif of Mecca. He had been declared 'King of the Arabs' by a handful of religious leaders and other notables in Mecca. On 6 January 1920 Faisal initialed an agreement with Clemenceau which acknowledged 'the right of Syrians to unite to govern themselves as an independent nation'. A Pan-Syrian Congress meeting in Damascus had declared an independent state of Syria on the 8th of March 1920. The new state included portions of Syria, Palestine, and northern Mesopotamia. King Faisal was declared the head of State. At the same time Prince Zeid, Faisal's brother, was declared Regent of Mesopotamia.
The San Remo conference was hastily convened. Great Britain and France and Belgium all agreed to recognize the provisional independence of Syria and Mesopotamia, while claiming mandates for their administration. Palestine was composed of the Ottoman administrative districts of southern Syria. Under customary international law, premature recognition of its independence would be a gross affront to the government of the newly declared parent state. It could have been construed as a belligerent act of intervention due to the lack of any League of Nations sanction for the mandates. In any event, its provisional independence was not mentioned, although it continued to be designated as a Class A Mandate.
France had decided to govern Syria directly, and took action to enforce the French Mandate of Syria before the terms had been accepted by the Council of the League of Nations. The French issued an ultimatum and intervened militarily at the Battle of Maysalun in June 1920. They deposed the indigenous Arab government, and removed King Faisal from Damascus in August 1920. Great Britain also appointed a High Commissioner and established their own mandatory regime in Palestine, without first obtaining approval from the Council of the League of Nations, or obtaining the formal cession of the territory from the former sovereign, Turkey.
Attempts to explain the conduct of the Allies were made at the San Remo conference and in the Churchill White Paper of 1922. The White Paper stated the British position that Palestine was part of the excluded areas of "Syria lying to the west of the District of Damascus".
Release of classified records
Lord Grey had been the Foreign Secretary during the McMahon–Hussein negotiations. Speaking in the House of Lords on 27 March 1923, he made it clear that, for his part, he entertained serious doubts as to the validity of the British Government's (Churchill's) interpretation of the pledges which he, as Foreign Secretary, had caused to be given to the Sharif Hussein in 1915. He called for all of the secret engagements regarding Palestine to be made public.
Many of the relevant documents in the National Archives were later declassified and published. Among them were various assurances of Arab independence provided by Secretary of War, Lord Kitchener, the Viceroy of India, and others in the War Cabinet. The minutes of a Cabinet Eastern Committee meeting, chaired by Lord Curzon, held on 5 December 1918 to discuss the various Palestine undertakings makes it clear that Palestine had not been excluded from the agreement with Hussein. General Jan Smuts, Lord Balfour, Lord Robert Cecil, General Sir Henry Wilson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and representatives of the Foreign Office, the India Office, the Admiralty, the War Office, and the Treasury were present. T. E. Lawrence also attended. According to the minutes Lord Curzon explained:
"The Palestine position is this. If we deal with our commitments, there is first the general pledge to Hussein in October 1915, under which Palestine was included in the areas as to which Great Britain pledged itself that they should be Arab and independent in the future ... Great Britain and France – Italy subsequently agreeing—committed themselves to an international administration of Palestine in consultation with Russia, who was an ally at that time ... A new feature was brought into the case in November 1917, when Mr Balfour, with the authority of the War Cabinet, issued his famous declaration to the Zionists that Palestine 'should be the national home of the Jewish people, but that nothing should be done—and this, of course, was a most important proviso—to prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. Those, as far as I know, are the only actual engagements into which we entered with regard to Palestine."
On 17 April 1964, The Times of London published excerpts from a secret memorandum that had been prepared by the Political Intelligence Department of the British Foreign Office for the British delegation to the Paris peace conference. The reference to Palestine said:
"With regard to Palestine, H.M.G. are committed by Sir Henry McMahon's letter to the Sherif on October 24, 1915, to its inclusion in the boundaries of Arab independence ... but they have stated their policy regarding the Palestine Holy Place and Zionist colonization in their message to him of January 4, 1918."
Another document, which was a draft statement for submission to the peace conference, but never submitted, noted:
Lloyd George's explanation
British notes taken[who?] during a meeting of the The Big Four held in Paris on March 20, 1919 and attended by Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando as well as Lloyd George and Lord Balfour, explained the British point of view concerning the agreement.
The notes revealed that the blue area in which France was "allowed to establish such direct or indirect administration or control as they may desire and as they may think fit to arrange with the Arab State or Confederation of Arab States" did not include, according to the British, Damascus, Homs, Hama, or Aleppo. In area A (the blue area in the map) France was "prepared to recognise and uphold an independent Arab State or Confederation of Arab States'.
The League of Nations mandate system had been adopted since the signing of the Sykes–Picot Agreement. If a mandate were granted to France by the League of Nations over these territories, France wanted that part[which?] put aside for it. Lloyd George said that the League of Nations was unable to contravene the provisions of the British treaty with Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, referred to in the notes as King Hussein. He asked if the French intended to occupy Damascus, as such a move would be a violation of the treaty between the British and Hussein. Stéphen Pichon replied that France had no convention with King Hussein. Lloyd George said that the whole of the Sykes-Picot Agreement was based on the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence from Sir Henry McMahon to King Hussein, on the basis of which King Hussein had helped Britain win the war against the Ottomans in World War I. Lloyd George claimed that France had for practical purposes accepted the British commitment to King Hussein by signing the Sykes-Picot agreement. If the British Government now agreed to include Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo in the sphere of direct French influence, they would be breaking their word to the Arabs, and they were unwilling to do this.
The Sykes-Picot agreement, where France recognised Arab independence, had been signed after the letter to King Hussein: "It is accordingly understood between the French and British Governments... that France and Great Britain are prepared to recognise and uphold an independent Arab State or Confederation of Arab States in the areas A. and B. marked on the annexed map under the suzerainty of an Arab Chief." Hence France, argued the British, by signing the agreement had for practical purposes recognised the British agreement with King Hussein, thus excluding Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo from the blue zone of direct French administration in the map attached to the agreement showing these cities included in an independent Arab State. Pichon said France could not be bound by what was for them an unknown agreement, and had undertaken to uphold "an independent Arab State or Confederation of Arab States", but that this did not mean the Kingdom of Hejaz, and if they were promised a mandate for Syria, it would only act in agreement with the Arab State or Confederation of States.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claims one of the goals of its insurgency is to reverse the effects of the Sykes–Picot Agreement. "This is not the first border we will break, we will break other borders," a jihadist from the ISIL warned in a video titled End of Sykes-Picot. ISIL's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a July 2014 speech at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, vowed that "this blessed advance will not stop until we hit the last nail in the coffin of the Sykes–Picot conspiracy".
The Franco-German geographer Christophe Neff wrote that the geopolitical architecture founded by the Sykes–Picot Agreement disappeared in July 2014 and with it the relative protection of religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East. He claimed furthermore that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in some way restructured the geopolitical structure of the Middle East in summer 2014, particularly in Syria and Iraq. Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin presented a similar geopolitical analysis in an editorial contribution for the French newspaper Le Monde.
- Syrian Social Nationalist Party
- Covenant Society
- Geography of Syria
- Geography of Saudi Arabia
- Unification of Saudi Arabia
- French colonial flags
- French Colonial Empire
- List of French possessions and colonies
- Calouste Gulbenkian
- Alawite State
- King-Crane Commission
- Constantinople Agreement
- Treaty of London (1915)
- Agreement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
- San Remo conference
- Treaty of Sèvres
- Treaty of Lausanne
- Fromkin, David (1989). A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East. New York: Owl. pp. 286, 288. ISBN 0-8050-6884-8.
- Martin Sicker (2001). The Middle East in the Twentieth Century. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 26. ISBN 0275968936. Retrieved July 4, 2016 – via Google Books.
- http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/collection/LimitsinSeas/IBS094.pdf p. 8.
- Syria and Lebanon are often in the news
- Castles Made of Sand: A Century of Anglo-American Espionage and Intervention Google Books
- Middle East still rocking from first world war pacts made 100 years ago Published in The Guardian, December 30, 2015
- Text of the Sykes–Picot Agreement at the WWI Document Archive
- Peter Mansfield, British Empire magazine, Time-Life Books, no 75, p. 2078
- Eugene Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans, p.286
- Peter Mansfield, The British Empire magazine, no. 75, Time-Life Books, 1973
- Hawes, Director James (21 October 2003). Lawrence of Arabia: The Battle for the Arab World. PBS Home Video. Interview with Kemal Abu Jaber, former Foreign Minister of Jordan.
- "Bientôt le souvenir de l'église catholique chaldéenne et des églises syriaques (orthodoxes & catholiques) sera plus qu'un souffle de vent chaud dans le désert". paysages (in French). Le Monde. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- "This is not the first border we will break, we will break other borders," a jihadist from ...". www.theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "Watch this English-speaking ISIS fighter explain how a 98-year-old colonial map created today's conflict". LA Daily News. 7 February 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Grooves Of Change: A Book Of Memoirs Herbert Samuel
- Britain's Moment in the Middle East, 1914–1956, Elizabeth Monroe, p26
- Conservative Party attitudes to Jews, 1900–1950, Harry Defries
- A Broken Trust: Sir Herbert Samuel, Zionism and the Palestinians, Sarah Huneidi, p261
- Samuel, Grooves of Change, p174
- Melvin I. Urofsky, American Zionism from Herzl to the Holocaust, p.203 (1995)
- Samuel, Grooves of Change, p176
- In the Anglo-Arab Labyrinth, Elie Kedourie
- A broken trust: Herbert Samuel, Zionism and the Palestinians 1920–1925, By Sahar Huneidi
- Friedman 1992, p. 111.
- Kamel, Lorenzo (2015). Imperial Perceptions of Palestine: British Influence and Power in Late Ottoman Times. British Academic Press. pp. 109–. ISBN 978-1-78453-129-4.
'I read the memorandum', clarified Sykes to Samuel shortly before departing for Russia, 'and have committed it to memory'
- Sanders, Ronald (January 1984). The high walls of Jerusalem: a history of the Balfour Declaration and the birth of the British mandate for Palestine. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-03-053971-8.
- CAB 27/24, E.C. 41 War Cabinet Eastern Committee Minutes, December 5, 1918
- UK National Archives CAB/24/143, Eastern Report, No. XVIII, May 31, 1917
- See CAB 24/271, Cabinet Paper 203(37)
- see paragraph 1 of The Sykes–Picot Agreement
- Allenby and British Strategy in the Middle East, 1917–1919, Matthew Hughes, Taylor & Francis, 1999, ISBN 0-7146-4473-0, pages 122–124
- Isaiah Friedman, Palestine, a Twice-promised Land?: The British, the Arabs & Zionism, 1915–1920 (Transaction Publishers 2000), ISBN 1-56000-391-X, p.166
- Foreign Relations of the United States, 1918. Supplement 1, The World War Volume I, Part I: The continuation and conclusion of the war—participation of the United States, p.243
- "The Balfour Declaration". Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
- "Memorandum by Mr. Balfour (Paris) respecting Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia". scribd.com. Retrieved 2015-12-24.
- Document 242, Memorandum by Mr.Balfour (Paris) respecting Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia, 11 August 1919, in E.L.Woodward and Rohan Butler, Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919–1939. (London: HM Stationery Office, 1952), ISBN 0-11-591554-0, p.340–348, 
- New Statesman Interview – Jack Straw
- http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/collection/LimitsinSeas/IBS094.pdf p. 9.
- See Allenby and General Strategy in the Middle East, 1917–1919, By Matthew Hughes, Taylor & Francis, 1999, ISBN 0-7146-4473-0, 113–118
- Jordan: Living in the Crossfire, Alan George, Zed Books, 2005, ISBN 1-84277-471-9, page 6
- Britain, the Hashemites and Arab Rule, 1920–1925, by Timothy J. Paris, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 0-7146-5451-5, page 69
- see for example International Law, Papers of Hersch Lauterpacht, edited by Elihu Lauterpacht, CUP Archive, 1970, ISBN 0-521-21207-3, page 116 and Statehood and the Law of Self-determination, D. Raič, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2002, ISBN 90-411-1890-X, page 95
- Report of a Committee Set Up To Consider Certain Correspondence Between Sir Henry McMahon and The Sharif of Mecca
- cited in "Palestine Papers, 1917–1922", Doreen Ingrams, page 48 from the UK Archive files PRO CAB 27/24.
- "Light on Britain's Palestine Promise". The Times. April 17, 1964. pp. 15–16.
- Elie Kedourie (April 23, 1964). "Promises on Palestine (letter)". The Times. p. 13.
- A Line in the Sand, James Barr, p.12
- 'The Council of Four: minutes of meetings March 20 to May 24, 1919, page 1'
- 'The Council of Four: minutes of meetings March 20 to May 24, 1919, page 6'
- The Council of Four: minutes of meetings March 20 to May 24, 1919, Page 7
- The Council of Four: minutes of meetings March 20 to May 24, 1919, Page 8
- Phillips, David L. "Extremists in Iraq need a history lesson". CNBC.
- Tran, Mark and Weaver, Matthew (30 June 2014). "Isis announces Islamic caliphate in area straddling Iraq and Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "Exclusive: First Appearance of ISIS Caliph in Iraq Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi (English Subtitles)". LiveLeak.com. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Zen, Eretz. "Is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the Man in the Recent ISIL Video?". YouTube.com.
We have now trespassed the borders that were drawn by the malicious hands in lands of Islam in order to limit our movements and confine us inside them. And we are working, Allah permitting, to eliminate them (borders). And this blessed advance will not stop until we hit the last nail in the coffin of the Sykes-Picot conspiracy.(transl.)
- "Yazidis d'Irak – le cri d'angoisse d'une députée du parlement irakien". paysages (in French). Le Monde. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- Dominique de Villepin. "Ne laissons pas le Moyen-Orient à la barbarie !" (in French). Le Monde. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
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- The Sykes–Picot Agreement
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- Erik Jan Zürcher (2004). Turkey: A Modern History. I.B.Tauris. pp. 143–145. ISBN 1-86064-958-0.
- Friedman, Isaiah (1992). The Question of Palestine. Transaction Publishers. pp. 97–118. ISBN 0-88738-214-2.
- James Barr (2012). A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle That Shaped the Middle East. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-84739-457-4.