The events of the first half of the twentieth century seem to have a bloody character in many of them. It was not until that century that the First World War occurred, which claimed the lives of millions of people, and as a result changed the political map in many countries of the world, in the heart of which are the Arab countries whose lands witnessed events Bloody, pivotal political events, and changes in the contents of governance and authoritarianism.
In the midst of these events, the Hematite family led by Sharif Hussein and his sons and grandsons played a prominent role in the so-called “Great Arab Revolt,” which led to the rise of the Arab nationalist discourse, the defeat of the Ottoman Turks, and rapprochement with the British. Three of his sons rose to prominence; They are “Ali, Abdullah and Faisal I” to power in Syria, Iraq and the Hijaz.
He was one of the grandchildren of Sharif Hussein, King Ghazi I bin Faisal I, who assumed the rule of Iraq at a critical and dangerous stage in the history of Iraq and the Arab region. It is still vague, surrounded by gossip and suspicions, and historians handle it with analysis, contemplation, and the results that resulted from it.
How did the Hashemites rule Iraq? How did they deal with the British occupation authority? What is the policy of King Ghazi I? And how did the politicians of his time, especially the great ones like Nuri Pasha Al-Saeed, who held the Iraqi prime ministership for several times, view him? And how was the scene of his murder or assassination, and the opinions of historians about it? That’s what we’ll see in our next story.
Since the sixteenth century AD, Iraq has been under Ottoman sovereignty, just like the nearby Arab countries such as Syria, Egypt, Hijaz, the Gulf coasts, and others. The British are in clear hostility with the Germans, who entered into an alliance with the Ottoman Empire, and aimed to establish a railway from Berlin to Baghdad, which the British considered a threat to their interests in the Middle East.
And when the First World War (1914-1918 AD), the British took advantage of the Ottoman-German alliance and attacked Iraq, and they were able to occupy Basra and its surrounding areas in 1914. Finally, after defeating the Ottomans on more than one front, such as the Suez Canal, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and others, they were able to occupy Baghdad and then impose complete control over Iraq at the end of the World War in 1918 .
The British control over the Arab countries was in the face of the Ottomans, with open Arab support from the forces of the Prince of Hejaz, Sharif Hussein, and his sons Ali and Abdullah, especially Prince Faisal I bin Hussein, who were able to expel the Turks from the Hejaz, Jordan, Palestine and Syria, as well as Iraq, as a tacit agreement between the two parties by establishing The Arab caliphate or the great Arab state in these countries.
However, the regression of the British and the French and their deception of the Arabs after the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the San Remo Agreement in Italy in the year 1920 AD, and the placement of the Arab region between the Mediterranean and Iran under the authority of the British and French mandates, revealed the extent of deception that the Arabs were subjected to in those regions, including Iraq, which saw Britain deceived his ally Prince Faisal al-Hashemi, which generated a great feeling of hatred and hostility, and caused the emergence of national movements and revolutionary uprisings demanding independence, such as the movement and revolution of 1920 AD, which forced the British to go to the Hashemite family again, so Faisal I bin Sharif Hussein was appointed King of Iraq On August 23, 1921 .
King Faisal I sought independence and the termination of the British Mandate over Iraq, and after strenuous negotiations between the two sides, a treaty was concluded in 1922 CE, the texts of which revolved around the obligation to accept the texts of the treaty with the acceptance of British advice and assistance in everything related to financial affairs from the British commissioner, and not to lease or concede Iraq. For any part of its territory to any foreign country, and not to establish political relations with other foreign countries except with the approval of Britain, which bears the care of Iraqi interests abroad, and other texts that transformed the mandate formula into a formula closer to independence and self-government under the administration and supervision of Britain, with the signature of A protocol the following year in which the issues of the northern border with Turkey and the western border with the Saudis were to be determined, internal stability and the maintenance of security, and the holding of the elections for the Constituent Assembly.
Amendments and additions took place in this treaty later, and Iraq entered the League of Nations as an independent country, but the British administration and policy were still tying up complete independence, interfering in politics and internal affairs, and using some military bases and airports, and the situation remained that way until the seventh of September September 1933 AD, when King Faisal I died suddenly in the Swiss city of Bern, and he was sick with a heart ; He was succeeded by his son, King Ghazi I, the young man who, during his short reign, will witness a remarkable change in Iraqi politics.
King Ghazi I was born in the holy city of Mecca in 1911 AD. He came to Baghdad with his mother and sisters in 1923 AD. He received his primary education in the schools of the Hijaz, and then at the hands of a group of English professors in Baghdad. He traveled to London in March 1926 AD. He studied at Harrow College, and upon his return to Iraq he studied at the Military College for four years, and learned to ride horses skillfully, but reports indicate that his scientific and military progress was weak, and he became the crown prince of his father, King Faisal I, and then served as vice king on the throne during his father’s absence. The last one was about Iraq in the summer of 1933 AD .
When Ghazi ascended to the throne of Iraq, the British ambassador at the time informed Humphreys that he would follow the policy of his father, which depended on friendship, full cooperation and alliance with Britain. Sharif Hussein and the Arabs, so he grew up hating them, obstructing the Iraqi governments loyal to them, and refusing absolute cooperation with the British foreign oil company, and although his steps were small and weak in the face of British hegemony, his repeated declaration of the need for a national government to serve the Iraqi people first gave him popularity In the Iraqi street .
As a result of his hatred for Britain and its policy, Ghazi became close to the Germans, who gave him equipment to establish a new radio, which he placed in the Palace of Government, and called it “Radio Qasr al-Zuhur,” and he himself broadcast news and comments in cooperation with senior Iraqi officers, which Britain considered sharp national and national propaganda. His popularity increased in the neighboring Arab countries, especially in Syria, Kuwait and Jordan, to the extent that the Kuwaiti Council, by a majority of ten deputies out of fourteen, approved the union with Iraq under the rule of King Ghazi, which Britain considered a threat to its interests and plans in the east. middle.
British policy tended to Nuri al-Saeed, who held the prime minister ship and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs several times, and was the man of the English in Iraq, as well as some members of the Hashemite family who saw Ghazi’s actions as a threat to their existence, and from here Ghazi became the subject of special monitoring, and came on the lips of the British ambassador in One of his telegrams: “King Ghazi must be taken over or deposed”.
Since the summer of 1936 AD, only three years after the rule of King Ghazi, British documents have been dealing with the issue of a replacement that could replace Ghazi from the Hashemite family, such as Prince Nayef bin Abdullah bin Al Hussein and Prince Abdul Ilah bin Ali bin Al Hussein, Ghazi’s cousins. Abd al-Ilah is one of the personalities close to the English, and it seems that this issue at that time went out of the scope of closed rooms to general rumors, which encouraged Lieutenant-General Bakr Sidqi to carry out the coup of October 29, 1936 AD, and it was mentioned in the matter of that movement that “the Hashemite Ministry intended to remove His Majesty (King Ghazi)”.
However, Bakr Sidqi’s coup did not receive sufficient support, and soon it failed, and he was arrested and executed. Britain was afraid of the close rapprochement between the army and King Ghazi, so it instructed Nuri al-Saeed to declare martial law and eliminate any military outpost that threatens its interests on March 5 1939 AD.
King Ghazi felt the importance of the Iraqi army and the need to prepare it well to be ready to play its role in completing the liberation of Iraq, achieving unity and supporting national issues, and that his first task was to end British control in preparation for Iraq to perform its national role, and the king fed on these concepts through the presence of social clubs The same political activity, as well as his contact with army officers who carry nationalist ideas. Ghazi showed his interest in the Iraqi army, its development and strengthening, and following up its activities, until the king became a refuge for officers who clash with officers of the British military mission, offering them assistance, supporting them, and urging them not to care about British officers . .
Thus, on the eve of King Ghazi’s murder, the situation appeared that there was a conflict between two trends. The first is led by King Ghazi and supported by a large number of army officers and the Chief of the Royal Court Rashid Ali Al-Kilani, all of whom are calling for complete liberation from British domination, and demanding Arab unity, especially with Kuwait and others. Moreover, King Ghazi showed rapprochement with the Germans in pivotal moments in which the hostility was Strong between Britain and Germany before World War II (September 1939-May 1945), and between another group headed by Britain, Prime Minister Nuri Al-Saeed and Prince Abdul-Ilah bin Ali Al-Hashemi, cousin of the king and brother of Queen Alia, Ghazi’s wife.
The survival of King Ghazi at the helm of power in Iraq has become problematic in the face of Britain, and it has threatened its interests in Iraq and the region, so getting rid of him was necessary and inevitable in Britain’s eyes, and on the morning of April 4, 1939 AD, the Cabinet mourned King Ghazi following the collision of his car Which he drives by himself using the electric pole located near the Al-Harithiya Palace, near the Flower Palace in which he resides.
The ambiguity in the killing of King Ghazi and the lack of official documents about him led to the existence of different opinions on the interpretation of this incident, while Princess Badi’ah bint Ali bin Al Hussein, the cousin of King Ghazi and sister of Queen Alia, described in her memoirs “The Heiress of Thrones” that the cause of King Ghazi I’s killing was his preoccupation with drinking. And alcohol, which led to the car accident that killed him. Ismat Fahmy, the wife of Ibn Nuri al-Saeed, narrates this atmosphere, saying:
“King Ghazi had a special fondness for acquiring cars and testing their speed. One of his best hobbies was to drive racing cars and start them at high speed in the remote areas surrounding the city of Baghdad with a group of escorts or close friends, and most of these officers and pilots were inclined to championship games and risks… A few minutes later, the engine roared again, and the royal car sped violently to the high highway and crossed it with force, then veered to head towards Al-Harithiya Road. The road then rests under the field opposite the Flower Palace… It turned out that the heavy column when it fell on the car broke the arm of Abdullah, who was sitting in the back seat… The end of the column also hit the back of King Ghazi’s head, which was the final blow”.
As for the other and popular opinion, it asserts that Britain and its proxies masterminded the killing of Ghazi, and were the first beneficiary of the assassination, as well as its man, Prime Minister Nuri al-Saeed, who appears to have spoken about the necessity of getting rid of King Ghazi before that incident, and even Nuri continued Al-Saeed with the British ambassador and presented him with a plan to install Prince Zeid Al-Hashemi in place of King Ghazi.
It seems that this opinion was confirmed or strengthened more than thirty-five years after the killing of Ghazi, when Abdul Razzaq Al-Husseini, author of the book “The History of the Iraqi Ministries,” met on April 8, 1975 AD with Dr. Saeb Shawkat, King Ghazi’s private physician, and the first person who examined him immediately after the accident. That doctor says:
“I was the first to examine King Ghazi at the request of Messrs. [Nuri al-Saeed] and [Rustom Haider, one of the ministers] to find out the degree of danger to his life, and that Nuri al-Saeed asked me to say in my report that the accident was the result of the king’s car colliding with an electric pole, and I I think that he was killed as a result of a blow to the head with an iron rod severely, and perhaps the brother of the servant who was killed in the palace (a little before Ghazi’s death), and who was with him in the car was used to carry out the assassination, as the servant was brought to me immediately after the operation and he had a dislocated arm I returned the arm to its normal position, then the server and the wireless operator disappeared from that day and forever, and no one knows their fate to this day.”
Abd al-Razzaq al-Husseini also met with the Iraqi Minister of Interior during the reign of King Ghazi and the witness to his death, Naji Shawkat, and asked him about the truth about the killing of King Ghazi, to answer him saying:
“I kept a secret hidden for many years, and now the time has come to reveal it, the traces of humankind and joy were on the faces of Nuri Al-Saeed, Rustam Haider, Rashid Ali Al-Kilani, and Taha Al-Hashimi, after they confirmed the death of the king, and these four were affected by Bakr’s coup. Believe me, they accused King Ghazi of being aware of the coup, and I believe that Abd al-Ilah and Nuri al-Saeed had an actual contribution to the tragedy of King Ghazi”.
This opinion seems logical, as the killing of King Ghazi gave the British the opportunity to work freely and without disturbances. The politicians who formed the ruling elite at the time, such as Nuri al-Said, the Prime Minister, and Prince Abd al-Ilah bin Ali al-Hashemi, cousin of the slain king and guardian of the throne of his nephew Faisal II And others, who were supporters of Britain, on the other hand, the killing of King Ghazi sparked the resentment of the Iraqi street, which accused the British and Nuri al-Saeed of masterminding this incident, and the British accused the Germans of repeating and promoting this propaganda, and the reaction of the Iraqi street was violent, even the masses of Mosul attacked the Consulate The British killed the British Consul, Mr. Monk Mason .
It seems that this reaction of the Iraqi street has forced Nuri al-Saeed and his front to call for reform, but the years of the young King Faisal II under the tutelage of his uncle Prince Abdul Ilah al-Hashemi did not go according to what the Iraqis thought, led by the army, to enter Iraq into a cycle of turmoil and chaos that led to Ultimately, to eliminate the monarchy and take revenge on the Hashemite family with death and execution.