quoting from William Ziff, The Rape of Palestine, p.406-408:
Those who believe the assurances of the English have only to read
the gory history of the Christian Assyrians in Iraq, after Britain
terminated its Mandate there in 1932, to gain a picture of what is impending
in Palestine. Just as the English made an arrangement with the Zionists,
so they had made a similar one with the Assyrians, inviting them to rise
against the Turks and promising them independence and protection if they
would do so. Moved by these pledges, the Assyrians were the only people
in what is now Iraq who took up the Allied cause and fought loyally for
the British Empire. Their territory was later placed under Arab rule
because London was anxious to include the Mosul Oil District within
When the Assyrians expressed alarm over the British proposal to grant
statehood to Iraq, the Mandates Commission was solemnly assured that the
anxiety of these minorities was due to "mischievous propaganda." Iraq,
said the British representative, was "a country where the Moslem, Christian,
and Jew have lived happily side by side for centuries... His Majesty's
Government fully realizes its responsibilities in recommending that
Iraq should be admitted to the League. Should Iraq prove
unworthy of the confidence which has been reposed in it, the moral
responsibility must rest with His Majesty's Government. [sic]
In vain the Assyrians pleaded. The engineer A. M. Hamilton and other
thoughtful Englishmen immediately called the turn without reservation,
stating that "the lives of the minorities have been placed in the hands
of people without any morals or conscience."
Scarcely a year after Iraq was granted its 'independence,' and
despite the readiness of His Majesty's Government to assume "moral
responsibility," the Kurdish settlements were bombarded by airplanes.
A month later (in August 1933), a holy war was proclaimed against the
Assyrians. The Government offered Arab tribesmen one pound bounty for
every Assyrian head brought in, as well as license to plunder any Assyrian
property they could find. The Arab press made it known that all acts
of violence were lawful and that anyone not participating in the war
would be betraying his religion and country. At the head of the
Criminal Investigation Department was an Englishman, who watched this
terrific barrage of wild propaganda and incitement without making a
Lieutenant-Colonel A. S. Stafford, British Administrative
Inspector in Iraq, gives a blood-curdling eye-witness account of
what followed. The Assyrians were first systematically
disarmed. On August 5, an Army detachment swept through their
territory and the Assyrians were hunted down as one stalks rabbits.
"No pretence was made that these operations had any purely military
objective, for the Army Intelligence Officers did not even take
the trouble to cross-question that captured Assyrians, who were
simply shot as they were rounded up." [...]
On August 7, the inhabitants of the whole surrounding district
were ordered to come down to Simel, the largest Assyrian settlement.
After days of sacking, the troops began a cold-blooded and methodical
The troops engaged against the defenseless Assyrians were given a
royal reception on their return. In Mosul the Crown Prince, now King
of Iraq, decorated their colors with his own hands. The various
officers concerned were promoted. Enthusiastic applause greeted their
triumphant procession through the capital.
After this cowardly slaughter, occurred other massacres, this time
of the Yezidis, "planned by the Central Authorities at Baghdad and
conducted by the army with no less barbarity than the previous ones."
Ziff's citations are:
- 97: Lieut.-Col. A. T. Wilson, Mesopotamia : A Clash of Loyalties,
p.291; Sir A. Haldane, The Insurrection in Mesopotamia, pp.288-296;
Lieut.-Col. A. T. Wilson in The Nineteenth Century and After Review,
- 98: Sir Francis Humphreys, British High Commissioner for Iraq,
speaking for His Majesty at Geneva, January 5, 1932. Only four years later,
Great Britain and the East (issue of June 4,1936) is
glibly repeating the same assurances that "Jews and Arabs have lived in
amity ... for many centuries without racial or religious friction of
- 99: Hamilton's statement was carried in the entire Hebrew press.
See also his book, Road through Kurdistan.
- 100: Yusuf Malkak, The British Betrayal of the Assyrians, pp.267-268
- 101: Lieut.-Col. A. S. Stafford, The Tragedy of the Assyrians, p.168
- 102: Ibid. p. 169.
- 103: Ibid. pp.174-177.
- 104: Yusuf Malkak, The British Betrayal of the Assyrians, pp.269-270
- 105: Dr. David Barsum Perley, Nero's Rule in Iraq.
Side note: the author is the Ziff in Ziff-Davis, as in the ZDNet tech publisher.