Search by keyword

Historical Facts

The French Mandate

What Is?

The French Mandate for Syria started in 1920, shortly after the expulsion of the Ottomans in 1918.

After 400 years of Ottoman occupation, France and Britain had planned to divide the Levant and create new countries.

This took the form of a “Mandate” by which Syria and Lebanon were subjected to French control, whereas, Palestine was put under British rule.

The French Mandate ended in 1945 after years of struggles for independence. Struggles that saw thousands of martyrs and large parts of Damascus Old City get burned down to the ground.

The French Invasion of Syria

The French Invasion of Syria

In July 1920, the French Army of the Levant fully equipped with warplanes and tanks faced off fierce resistance from a small Syrian force and invaded the newly independent nation of Syria. General Henri Gouraud the French army commander is seen in this photo inspecting his army before clashing with the Syrian force lead by Yousef Al-Azma, the Syrian minister of defence at the time, who was martyred in the battle.