Riots during WWI and the Subsequent Clashes

Riots during WWI and the Subsequent Clashes

Nestorians that rioted during WWI were defeated by the Ottoman army, and as a result started moving towards Hamadan with guidance and help from British aircraft. Subsequently, Britain set up a 3000-tent settlement in Baquba, 50 km from Baghdad, for 40,000-50,000 Nestorians (SOURCE)

This made Nestorians more vulnerable to exploitation by the British. Living in tent camps dependent on the British, they couldn’t help but turn into potential mercenaries for future British claims in the region, rather than being ‘oppressed‘ people protected by the British.

Promising a muhtar (self-governing) state to Nestorians in Hakkari and Urmiye region, British wanted to build a buffer zone between the Ottoman Empire and its lands in Iraq and set up four battalions of Nestorians called ‘Levy forces‘ as the armed force of this buffer zone (SOURCE)

Identical to British forces in their uniforms and equipment, these forces staged attacks against people living in Hakkari, Şırnak and Van provinces, and particularly worked to drive the Kurdish population living along the Zab valley out of the region. In retaliation, Kurdish tribes began attacking British units in various areas starting in March 1919 (SOURCE)

Even though the British responded to these attacks with counter-attacks, they had to give up on their ‘buffer zone‘ plans based on the use of these ‘Levy forces’. Nevertheless, the British deep state continued its efforts to build a Nestorian state in Anatolia. During the conference held in San Remo, Italy from June 18 to 26, 1920, convened for the purpose of sharing Ottoman territory, Lord Curzon demanded a special settlement area for Nestorians. After this development, Nestorians decided to launch a military attack on Hakkari and then settle there (SOURCE)The attack that started on October 27, 1920 failed due to harsh winter conditions.

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