20 Am. J. Int'l L. 263 (1926)
The Bombardment of Damascus

handle is hein.journals/ajil20 and id is 269 raw text is: THE BOMBARDMENT OF DAMTIASCUS

By QuIcY WRIGHT
Of the Board of Editors
The Syrian insurrection culminating in the bombardment of Damascus in
October, 1925, is an incident of a kind which has frequently marred the rela-
tions of western Powers with less advanced peoples. Thus it may be of
more than passing interest to examine the conduct of the parties concerned
from the standpoint of international law.
The principal Allied Powers, in pursuance of various interallied war
treaties, authorized France to undertake the mandate for Syria at the San
Remo Conference of April 25, 1920. The mandate was drawn up by France,
approved by the United States, confirmed by the League of Nations Council
on July 24, 1922, and came into force September 29, 1923. Turkey had
given up all claim to Syria within the mandate boundaries by the Franklin-
Bouillon Treaty of October 20, 1921, confirmed by Articles 3 and 16 of the
Lausanne Treaty of July 24, 1923.1
The King-Crane Commission, sent to Syria by President Wilson in 1919,
had reported that of 1863 petitions received, over sLx-ty per cent were ex-
pressly opposed to a French mandate and less than fifteen per cent (mostly
from the Lebanon) were expressly favorable to France, in spite of consider-
able propaganda by French forces in occupation of the coastal area.2 On
March 10, 1920, a congress of 135 notables, claiming to represent all Syria,
met at Damascus and proclaimed the independent Kingdom of Syria with
the Emir Feisal as king. Damascus and the interior, which had actually
been under the Arab administration of Feisal since the withdrawal of General
Allenby in 1919, was forcibly occupied by the French on July 25, 1920.3
After this, Syrian complaints against French rule were numerous and were
manifested by several petitions to the League of Nations and by several in-
surrections of slight military significance before 1925. French troops were
reduced from some 70,000 in 1920 to about 10,000 in July of 1925, two-thirds
of which were Algerians, Tunisians, Senagalese and other Mohammedan
colonials.'
1 See Wright, The United States and the Mandates, Michigan Law Rev., Vol. 23, pp.
11, 22, May, 1925.
2 Full text printed in Editor and Publisher, Vol. 55, No. 27, 2nd Ser., pp. 1-28, Dec. 2,
1922. See also Baker, Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement, Vol. 2, Chap. 34.
3 Chrol, The Occident and the Orient, pp. 170-177; Republique Francaise, Ministere des
Affaires Etrangeres, Rapport sur la situation de la Syrie et du Liban, 1922-23, p. 37 et seq.;
Buell, International Relations, pp. 88-89.
4 Wright, Syrian Grievances against French Rule, Current History, Feb. 1926, pp.
687-693.

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