The Heart of the Beast: The Sykes-Picot Agreement and Europe’s Colonial Partition of the Middle East*
A century ago, on May 16, 1916, diplomats from Britain and France set about carving up the former Ottoman Empire, drawing boundaries and separating peoples based on Western imperialist interests. Syria and Lebanon were to be the domain of the French, Jordan went to the British, and both took half of Iraq—while setting into motion the events that would lead to the settler-colonial state of Israel in Palestine.
It wasn’t until a year later that the agreement drafted by diplomats Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picto was revealed, thanks only to a revolutionary government seizing power in Russia and publishing the text. But the effects were felt immediately and the deal continues to shape the Middle East today.
teleSUR looks back at the Sykes-Picot agreement, 100 years later, and its ramifications then and now for the region and the world.