106. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Rountree) to Secretary of State Dulles0


  • Proposed Reply to Iraqi Crown Prince’s Suggestion that a Revolutionary Movement be Fomented in North Syria


We have received through Ambassador Warren in Ankara a message from Crown Prince Abdulillah of Iraq, who is currently in Istanbul, to the effect that certain Syrian refugee leaders have suggested that a revolutionary movement be fostered in north Syria to take UAR pressure off the Lebanon (Tab B).1Abdulillah said that he favored this suggestion but could not unilaterally approve such a move which would require supplies and support which Iraq could not provide, the implication being that US assistance would be necessary. He asked for our comments on this suggestion so that he could, as he had promised, reply to the Syrian refugees within six days.

Suggestions from the Iraqis and from Syrian refugee leaders that we assist in fomenting revolt in Syria have been made on a number of occasions in the past. We seriously question that either the Iraqis or the Syrian refugees are presently able, with or without covert assistance from other sources, to mount a successful revolt in Syria. An abortive revolt would, we believe, seriously prejudice the possibility of taking action on an appropriate occasion in the future to redress the Syrian situation itself. While a revolt in north Syria might contribute temporarily to easing UAR pressure on the Lebanon, we believe that such a revolt would in all likelihood fail to achieve anything permanent and that the long-range consequences of such failure in Syria would outweigh any advantage which might result from a temporary easing of UAR pressure on the Lebanon. A draft telegram containing a message to this effect to Abdulillah is attached (Tab A).2

[1 paragraph (2-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]


That you [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] send a reply to Abdulillah along the lines of the attached draft telegram.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783.00/6–2058. Top Secret. Drafted by Waggoner.
  2. Telegram 3130 from Ankara, June 18, not printed. (Ibid., 783.00/6–1858)
  3. Sent as telegram 3788 to Ankara, June 20, not printed. (Ibid.)