Rashid Ali, el-Gaylani, 1892-1944

Rashid Ali seized power in Iraq on 1 April 1941 and immediately pledged his loyalty to Britain. However his leanings were pro-Axis so Rashid Ali was determined to try to get help from HITLER and was able to extract a promise of air support and supplies from the Vichy regime via Syria. The British, aware of his political leanings, told Rashid Ali that they were sending in more troops in accordance with the Anglo-Iraqi treaty terms. Rashid Ali agreed but on 27 April said no more troops could enter the country. The British continued to send in troops and Rashid Ali led an attack on the British camp at Habbaniyah on 29 April. However the superior air power of the British defeated the greater numbers of the Iraqis. On 30 May Rashid Ali fled to Persia.

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