890G.00/539: Telegram

The Minister Resident in Iraq (Knabenshue) to the Secretary of State

58. Military have established new “national defense government” with the Rashid Ali Gailani at its head. Not yet clear whether Regent to be deposed and Gailani given power of Fuehrer. Regent being flown today from Habbaniya to Basra from where will attempt form new constitutional government and by proclamation call upon people of country for support which he told me he expects receive from practically all tribes and possibly part of army. Civil war now within bounds possibility.

Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, new British Ambassador, arrived last night. Told me today he has informed his Government he will have no relations with present unconstitutional government. I will follow similar action pending Department’s instructions and Turkish Minister tells he will do likewise.