Talk:Simele massacre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Good article Simele massacre has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.


I've moved this page to Simele massacre because it gets the higest amount of Google hits - 118, and even one hit at Google books. Wikipedia policy says that we should have titles at the most common name for something. That's why we have the article at Kishinev pogrom, and not "Chişinău pogrom". Same reason for Great Fire of Smyrna as well. —Khoikhoi 04:44, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Thank you! Chaldean 19:10, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This article has been reviewed against the good article criteria and has failed. This is mainly because the article needs more references, better NPOV and should be better written. The complete review is below.

Well Written: FAIL

  • Your Government of Iraq wikilink goes to the Ba'athist and Allied occupation page - a page which makes no mention of government before Saddam. Remove it or link to a more relevant page. - done
  • The article is disjointed, commas are used too often. A few examples:
public animosity towards the Assyrians was ‘fever heat’, as American representative Paul Knabenshue was quoted - Why not say "the American representative in Iraq described public animosity towards the Assyrians was at 'fever heat', or not even name him and just cite the source - done
Mar Shimun would eventually be exiled to Cyprus, thus forcing the head of the Assyrian Church of the East to be located in Chicago, to this day. - Get rid of the comma between "Chicago" and "to this day". - done
  • The list of 54 villages adds nothing to the article. Either leave in two or three of the biggest, or else cut them out entirely and leave only the statement In the end, around 63 Assyrian villages were targeted in the Simele area - referenced, of course. - done

Factually Accurate and Verifiable: FAIL

  • Iraqi Independence and crisis section does not contain enough references. The entire passage about the plan and motivations of Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII is entirely uncited.

On factual detail: 'In June 1933 [he] was [called for talks with] Hikmat Sulayman's government'. A check on the details of the latter states he was indeed Prime Minister, but in 1936-37 rather than 1933... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Protozoon (talkcontribs) 01:22, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

  • In Baghdad, the government panicked, fearing disaster as the Assyrians presented a formidable fighting force that could provoke a general uprising in the north. The government unleashed Kurdish irregulars who killed some 120 inhabitants of two Assyrian villages in the week of August 2 to August 9 (with most of the massacre occurring on August 7). Then on August 11, a march to what was then one of the most heavily inhabited Assyrian area in Iraq, the Simele district, led by Kurdish general Bakr Sidqi (who had clashed with Assyrians before). - No references there at all - rectify this.
  • The Assyrian population of the district of Simele was indiscriminately massacred; men women, and children. - That is unreferenced, and without a citation both unverfiable and a point of view.
  • Holy books were used as fuel for burning girls. Children were run over by military cars. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were flung in the air and pierced on to the points of bayonets. - Again, no citation. History can still be inflamatory, it does not lose that just because it is in the past. You must be careful to reference most statements in a case such as this, otherwise you will be falling foul of both NPOV and verification rules.
  • Last paragraph of the Aftermath section is entirely unreferenced. The first half of that section's first paragraph is also in need of citations.

Broad: PASS

  • The article is suitably broad in scope.


  • You have to be really careful with a subject like this. Wikipedia rules forbid words like "massacre" at all unless that is the name by which the event is most commonly known - which in this case it is. However, that does not mean that you can write the rest of the article in that vein.
  • The government unleashed Kurdish irregulars making the Kurds sound like dogs is not NPOV.

Stable: PASS

  • The article is not the victim of ongoing edit wars

Pictures: FAIL

  • Fair use images are used.

Chrisfow 18:11, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Biased and false anfo[edit]

Hi. The article contains a lot of of false information, with either misquoting or biased references. It is heavily one-sided in favour of Assyrian party. Please corret it. Abrhamon 16:32, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Please state what parts are false. This article is indeed very well sourced and they can't be biased refernces, since they are third-party accounts (non-Assyrian, non-Arab/kurdish). Its silly to suggest refences such as "International Federation for Human Rights " as being baised. Chaldean 16:36, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
After I wrote my comment above, that this article contains lots of false info, I noticed that someone alse before me has noticed this and he has elaborateed weaknesses of the article. Moreover, I think it is silly to use good sources but misquote them! and this means to fabricate nonsense but represent a link as a source while the source really does not mention anything like what has been claimed in the article. One more thing: AINA is not third party! Abrhamon 16:48, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I think it is silly to use good sources but misquote them - Please dont just STATE, but PROVE. One more thing: AINA is not third party! - AINA is used once to state the name of the villages. I dont think this is a violation of NPOV. Chaldean 16:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I already told you that another user has elaborated weaknesses of the article before me. For example I did not find the page which talks about massacres in the link provided.
and it is not just AINA, much of links are from Assyrian blogs. Abrhamon 17:02, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Your going in circles. The peer-review by user Chrisfow mentioned a few sentences, not questioning the whole article (like you claiming.) Assyrian blogs? Here are the refences;
  • a b c d International Federation for Human Rights — "Displaced persons in Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraqi refugees in Iran", 2003.
  • "The Origins and Developments of Assyrian Nationalism", Committee on International Relations Of the University of Chicago, by Robert DeKelaita 1
  • Joseph Yacoub, La question assyro-chaldéenne, les Puissances européennes et la SDN (1908–1938), 4 vol., thèse Lyon, 1985, p. 156.
  • a b c d Iraq Between the Two World Wars: The Militarist Origins of Tyranny, Reeva S. Simon, 2004.
  • Majed Eshoo, "The Fate Of Assyrian Villages Annexed To Today's Dohuk Governorate In Iraq"
  • Colonel Stafford of the British Army testimony [2]
  • The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire, by Justin MacCarthy 3
  • Minorities in the Middle East: a history of struggle and self-expression By Mordechai Nisan
  • Good Morning Assyria, Zinda Magazine.
  • Premtad Seemel, Shlemon Bet Shmuel.
  • William Saroyan, "Seventy Thousand Assyrians," in William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on The Flying Trapeze and Other Stories. New York: New Directions, 1934
  • Seventy Thousand Assyrians, William SAROYAN, WikiQuotes.
  • Raphael Lemkin — EuropeWorld, 22/6/2001.

Where are "Assyrian blogs"? Your losing credibility. Moreover, I think its amusing you creating a username to just talk about this issue. Chaldean 17:12, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Well I'm a random user, just reading this article by accident. It is not important whether I lose credibility or not, It is important that this website, Wikipedia, should not be misused. I asked you where [International Federation for Human Rights] talks abot Simele fighting of Iraq and Syrian refugees, but you did not answer. I think I have the permission to add citiation tags. Abrhamon 17:21, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I find it hard to believe you being a randum reader when you question AINA's credibility, like many Kurds do. In regards to "International Federation for Human Rights" - this source was used 5 times; [[1]] please read page 17. Chaldean 17:27, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Ok now I see what you were talking about. Some of the references were screwed up. The reference "name" was being mistaken for another one. Please see this edit - [2]Chaldean 15:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm the one who edited Assyrian genocide[edit]

I think we should mention that not all Iraqi christians, and to be more accurate not all Assyrians supported Mar sham'un in his agenda to make an independant Assyria. Also Chaldeans and Syriacs tried not to get invoved in this conflict. and many of those Assyrians who envolved in this conflict were Imigrants from Iran (Urmia) and southern Turkey unlike other Iraqi christians (mostly Chaldeans and Syriac Orthodox) you can refer to this source as well

Iraqi was a lose term in 1933 because the country was so new. What is a Iraqi? One who lives in Iraq, right? Then Iraqis died in the pogram. Chaldean (talk) 00:40, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Khaldun S. Husry[edit]

Who is he? anyone know anything about him? Izzedine (talk) 13:34, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Sources for the section "massacre and looting"[edit]

Much of the later part of the section "massacre and looting" appears to be copied directly from the source "Assyrian International News Organization" with a few words added.

In turn, the "Assyrian International News Organization" piece of the Simele massacre consists entirely of one quote from a source identified only as "Anonymous; The Assyrian Tragedy; 1934".

That apparently copied material has inline citations at various points in it, citing a dead link at JSTOR.

The entire later part of this section is problematic unless someone can find where the relevant information at JSTOR now is. Some of the later JSTOR links work fine.

I've tagged the dead links and the unreliable link to dubious information at AINO. Later citations of AINO I have left alone because they link to a specific article there that appears to be a translation of an academic study of some sort, rather than just linking to a mass of claims about massacres throughout history on the AINO front page including only the dubious "Anonymous" quote that I mention above. -Demiurge1000 (talk) 14:56, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

ok someone has now removed some of the dubiously sourced statements in the latter part of that section, without explaining why (either here or there.) But left some other similarly sourced statements in place. It would be great to have a discussion and reach some concensus about the quality of these sources - perhaps get an idea of which source is supporting what, and whether someone with more knowledge in this area can help to find the relocated JSTOR resources that really do discuss these aspects of the events. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:27, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

This article is very biased and shows the Assyrian point of view only. the figures seem to be have been exaggerated too. Some sources say only 450 Assyrians were killed not 3000! thats a big difference. Also the survivers were transferred to Mosul then were disperesed around the country not massacred. If they really wanted to massacre them they could have done so when the killing was going on. Another point to mention is that NOT all Assyrians (and certainly not Iraqi Chaldeans or Syriacs) were part of Mar Shamoun movement or the British-trained Assyrian Army in Iraq. Most of those Assyrians; almost two thirds of the 37,000 Assyrians in iraqi at that time were not Iraqi citizens and were brought to Iraq as refugees from Iran and Turkey. who took adgantage of the british presence and thats how hate towards them grow over time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:15, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

The article is very well sourced and I did my best looking for neutral sources. The Mar Shimoun's testament is mentioned very briefly, on the other hand I couldn't find any pro-government accounts of the massacre. As to you claims:
No where in the article is mentioned that ALL Assyrians were supportive of Mar shimun, and by the way some Chaldean villages were attacked as well.[3]
No where in the article is stated that refugees who fled to Alqosh Telkef and Mosul where massacred, most of them chose to settle in Syria, only a small percentage stayed in Iraq.
Many of the massacred where Iraqi citizens who chose to cooperate with the government, some even being anti-Mar Shimun.[4]
If you have any sources for your claims please bring them forth otherwise I will consider this a case of WP:JDLI and I will remove the POV tag.--Rafy talk 19:05, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Ok apparently "Khaldun Husry" seems to be somehow supportive of the government stance. Unfortunately his books are not made available on google books. If you could find anything regarding his view on the events then we could add them.--Rafy talk 19:24, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
I have added Husry's testament and the other side's estimate of the total death toll. This should resolve the POV conflict imo.--Rafy talk 23:26, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Simele massacre/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Magicpiano (talk contribs count) 21:01, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

This has been an interesting project. I have no particular interest in any side of this incident; my interests tend to North American colonial history (which has its own sad history of unfortunate incidents involving attacks on civilians, albeit with less firepower). I chose to review this article because much of its source material is available to me, so that I could investigate allegations of POV (expressed, sometimes vaguely, on the talk page). I believe the article is somewhat biased, but this can be fixed, given the available sources (and possibly the use of some general books on the history of Iraq in this time).

I was also able to locate Khaldun Husry's paper part 1 on JSTOR, part 2 also available. If you do not have JSTOR access (e.g. through a public or university library), I can email PDFs. He is perhaps sympathetic to the Iraqi view (he claims to have met Bakr Sidqi as a boy in the Baghdad celebrations after the massacre), but he does not whitewash what happened. He does bring up facts (including excerts from British reports on the affair) that are not well accounted for in other sources. For example, he quotes a British report (not by Stafford, by a military officer) that explicitly claims that Yaqu made a premeditated attack on Dirabun. He also cites a letter in which Stafford (the letter's author) says that the Assyrians initiated the hostilities there. Husry also claims that atrocities committed by Assyrians in the Dirabun incident were cited by the British as an instigating reason for the subsequent mass killings and massacres. (None of this, of course, excuses what happened afterward; it is intended to provide a more rounded description of the environment in which the massacre took place.) He makes other claims (some pro-Iraq, some anti-) that are worth exploring.

Breadth and POV[edit]

The principal difficulty here is in the background and aftermath of the event. From my checking of sources, it seems clear that tensions were on the rise before the event, and both the Assyrians and the Iraqi government played a role in this. This is presently not communicated well. The background is too short: your average 12-year-old from the far side of the planet (my preferred target audience) will have no idea what the "crisis" is at the start of the article. (I didn't either until I researched it.) The Assyrian resistance appears to be rooted in the diplomacy at that ended the British Mandate; you need to start there.

There are many political/diplomatic positions that need to be described, because many stakeholders contributed to events leading up to the killings: the British position (and to a lesser extent the French position in Syria), the Iraqi government (in particular the impact of its goal of creating a national identity on the Assyrians and other internal groups) and its opposition, Mar Shimun and his opposition, the southern Iraqi situation, and the Kurdish situation. Some of these are now mentioned, others are not, but they do all show up in sources. To give one example, Joseph (p. 192) notes that a major rival to Mar Shimun's power was appointed to head Iraqi activities related to settlement of the Assyrians. This might explan in part his relative intransigence in dealing with the Iraqi government.

The aftermath, especially with respect to non-Assyrian parties, is too brief; more on that in the questions below.

Questions on breadth:

  • Who bears animosity toward the Assyrians? Is there a reason for it? (Stafford, 126 mentions Mar Shimun claiming Iraqi govt wants to exterminate Assyrians. Why? This sort of background is critical, and even this observation is absent.)
  • According to Stafford (129) and others, Bakr Sidqi had previously issued threats, and the British had recommended the king transfer him out of the region because of this.
  • Who owned the land of at least some of the Assyrian villages? (This is in your sources, and appears to be relevant.)
  • Mar Shimun is described (by role, position, title) differently several times. Please introduce him once properly.
  • According to Husry, Yaqu was openly and actively defying Iraqi government authority as early as spring 1933. He also reports that the Assyrian levies had been released with service weapons and ammunition (for defense against the armed Kurds). He claims that Yaqu's activities were what prompted the army deployment.
  • Who ordered Bakr Sidqi out? The prime minister? or king? When? What were his orders? When were troops deployed to the area?
  • Given Mar Shimun's role, a more detailed account of what happened to him after the massacre is probably warranted (documented by Husry); it should be presented as part of the aftermath.

Issues on POV:

  • Estimate of 3,000 appears to be from a potentially biased source (FIDH report does not show its source for this number, and Dekelaita temporizes, saying "hundreds, perhaps thousands" died). It should be clearer whose number this is, and how they sourced it (as the lower official number is credited), or it should be temporized away, as Dekelaita did. (By the way, I don't think it is fair to just say this is a FIDH number, since we don't know whether or not it came to them from a partisan source. Husry provides a source for this number, and describes it as an Assyrian claim. If this is the case, it should be explicitly labeled as such.)
  • What was the king's role in trying to manage Iraqi-Assyrian relations before the massacre, and what happened to him afterward?
  • Were any British involved in the decision making process to send troops to the area? Were they aware of the decision, and its implementation, in a timely manner?
  • Article links Portal:Assyrians, it should also link Portal:Iraq.
  • What was the ethnic/religious makeup of the Iraqi Army (or is it not important)? Attitudes about the Assyrian levies should be presented sooner (this is background to the event, not aftermath).
  • "distraction to the continuous Shiite revolt in the southern part of the country": Joseph casts the action against the Assyrians as an attempt by the Ikha government to distract from political divisions that led to a rise in tensions in the south, not to an ongoing revolt. Husry explicitly denies that the southern Shi'a were in revolt at the time, but that there was tension.
  • Historiography (around, for example, whether or not Bakr Sidqi or the king ordered the massacre, or if it was orchestrated by Ismael Abawwi on his own initiative) would seem an appropriate addition. (Husry explores this, other dedicated sources might also.)
  • A more extensive treatment of this event's impact on Iraqi politics and Iraqi-British relations is needed (beyond what is already given). Husry suggests that Iraqi-British relations nearly broke down over the affair; another source points out that this was the first major intervention of the Iraqi army in domestic politics, something that had long-term consequences (including Bakr Sidqi's later coup, which, while mentioned, is not linked to this event).

Referencing and citation[edit]

Article is well referenced and cited to mostly sufficiently reliable sources. However:

  • What makes a reliable source?
  • Bare links (for example, those found in the first three references, but there are more) need access dates; recommend use of {{cite web}}. Web links to non-book material in general should be consistently formatted.
  • Works that are used in inline citations should be listed separately (say, under a "Sources" heading) from "Further reading". See WP:LAYOUT.
  • Works listed in citations, source work listing, and further reading should be consistently formatted (i.e. if you use {{cite book}}, use it for all books).
  • The Stafford book is a reprint; its original year of publication should be given (origyear parameter to {{cite book}}).
  • Google Books link to Joseph is incorrect.


  • Prose is at a level I would consider minimally acceptable for GA. If the principle editors do not have English at a high level, I recommend it be copyedited (after the review is closed, please).
  • Iraq did not exist at the time of the described events. Please use [[Kingdom of Iraq|Iraq]] or preface your uses of Iraq by a temporal qualifier (e.g. "present-day Iraq").
  • Please include an Arabic translation of the name.
  • Article formatting is poor. Images are placed opposite each other, leading to "squashed" text (images should be staggered to avoid this). Their placement with respect to quote boxes can also be improved. There is large white space at the top of "Targeted villages" unless the browser window is opened very wide. Please examine your formatting choices in narrower browser windows.
  • A number of terms are overlinked. As a general rule, frequently used terms (for example Simele and Mosul) only need to be linked on their first occurrence in the lead, body, and infobox.
  • External link checker turns up a dead link. (Failure code is temporary, but I've received the same failure code on repeated tries over the last few days.)
  • Disambig checker turns up several links to disambiguation pages.

Images and stability[edit]

  • Article is stable (no edit wars)
  • Images have adequate provenance and captions


I believe it is possible to address these issues given the available sources, but it may take some time. I'm willing to hold the review if the work will be done in a timely manner; if editors feel they cannot do so, please say so and I will close the review. (I will be happy to re-review later if desired.) Magic♪piano 18:47, 22 September 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for your thorough review. I was actually able to find both of Husry's articles at my university's library and will add new sections and modify others the next few weeks.--Rafy talk 10:12, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

While I see that you have made significant progress on improving the article over the last few weeks, I think that a number of my issues are still unresolved. Since the review has now been open for close to three weeks (when nominal review time is one week), I feel it is time to close it. As I mentioned above, I'll be happy to review it again later (either formally or informally); just leave me a message. Magic♪piano 14:22, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Simele massacre/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Thurgate (talk · contribs) 19:22, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    prose: (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:


1. Their historical feud with the Kurds, which culminated in 1915, is centuries old - Suggest - Their historical feud with the Kurds, which culminated in 1915, was centuries old

2. between the Assyrians and the Arabs was reported by British historians as far as the 1920s. Suggest - between the Assyrians and the Arabs was reported by British historians as far back as 1920.

3. opinion against Assyrians. Suggest opinion against the Assyrians.

4. the troops began to open an indiscriminate fire on the defenseless Assyrians. Suggest the troops began to fire indiscriminately against the defenseless Assyrians

5. The British were however recommended to transfer Bakr Sidqi, an ethnic Kurdish general, who was stationed in Mosul, to another region fearing due to his open animosity towards the Assyrians. Doesn't flow well suggest you rewrite this sentence.

6. On the long term however Suggest - In the long term however

I've put the article on hold for seven days to allow you to address the issues I've brought up. Feel free to contact me on my talk page, or here with any concerns. Thurgate (talk) 19:22, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

 Done.--Rafy talk 10:41, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Passed. Good job Rafy. Thurgate (talk) 13:18, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much for taking the time to review this article.--Rafy talk 13:54, 7 May 2012 (UTC)