File No. 763.72119/1815

Report of the Special Agent at Cairo ( Yale)

[Extract]

Report No. 22

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The very fact that on October 29, 1916, the Cherif of Mecca was recognized by the Assembly of Ulemas at Mecca as the King of the Arab Nation is a striking indication of the ambition of the man. At that time and up until the entrance of the United States into the war there was much talk of an Arab confederacy or empire embracing northern Mesopotamia, the hinterland of Syria, and Arabia. It was generally supposed that France would have the Syrian coast, that Great Britain would take southern Mesopotamia, that Palestine would be internationalized and that the rest of the Arab countries, which were under Turkish domination, would become independent. …

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It seems quite evident early in 1915 the Cherif of Mecca began to contemplate a revolt against the Ottoman Government, and that [Page 238]the time between July 1915 and June 1916 was spent in coming to an agreement with the British Government and in making the necessary preparations. It would appear that the Cherif had made known to the British in a general way his ambitions, and it is to be supposed that he has received encouragement of some sort from them.

Everything tends to show that the Cherif and his sons wish to extend their power over part of Syria and of part of Mesopotamia. As such ambitions presumably run counter to the projects of the French in Syria, and as the entire Christian element of Syria is opposed to the domination of Syria by the King of the Hedjaz and also as there is a certain element among the Moslem Syrians, whose strength cannot be estimated at the present time, that does not wish to have Syria submitted to the control of the Hedjaz, a solution of the ambitions of the King of the Hedjaz is of interest.

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William Yale