State of Aleppo

State of Aleppo

Infobox Former Country
native_name = دولة حلب
conventional_long_name = State of Aleppo / État d'Alep
common_name = Aleppo|
continent = moved from Category:Asia to the Middle East
region = Middle East
country = Syria
era = Interwar period
status = League of Nations Mandate
empire = France
year_start = 1920
year_end = 1925|
event_start = Mandate granted
date_start = April 25, 1920
event_end = Unification of Aleppo and Damascus
date_end = December 1, 1924
event1 = Federation established
date_event1 = June, 1922|
p1 = Ottoman Empire
flag_p1 = Ottoman Flag.svg
s1 = French Mandate of Syria
flag_s1 = Flag of Syria French mandate.svg

capital = Aleppo
currency =
common_languages = Arabic, French

The State of Aleppo (1920-1925) ( _fr. État d'Alep) ( _ar. دولة حلب) was one of the five states that were established by the French High Commissioner in Syria and Lebanon General Henri Gouraud in the French Mandate of Syria which followed the San Remo conference and the collapse of King Faisal's short-lived monarchy in Syria.

The other states were the State of Damascus (1920), the State of Alawites (1920) and the State of Jabal Druze (1921). The State of Greater Lebanon (1920) became later the modern country of Lebanon. The capital of the State of Aleppo was the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.


The State of Aleppo was declared by the French General Henri Gouraud in September 1920, with Aleppo as its capital.

The state included in addition to the wealthy Aleppo region the autonomous Sanjak of Alexandretta and the entire fertile basin of river Euphrates, including the regions of Deir ez Zor, Ar Raqqah , and Al Hasakah. The state contained much of the agricultural and mineral wealth of Syria.

The majority in the Aleppo state were Sunni Muslims, they were mainly Arabs but also Kurds, especially in the eastern regions, and other diverse ethnicities relocated during the Ottoman period, most notably Circassians, Adyghe, Albanians, Bosnians, Bulgars, Turks, Kabardins, Chechens, and others). Significant Shiite populations lived in Aleppo too, in towns such as Nebbol, Fu'a, Az Zahra', Kefrayya, and M'art Misrin. While the Alawites concentrated particularly in the autonomous Sanjak of Alexandretta.

Aleppo was also a home to one of the richest and most diversified Christian communities of the Orient. Christians belonging to a dozen different congregations (with prevalence of the Armenian and Syriac Orthodox Church and other Orthodox denominations) represented about a third of the population of Aleppo city, making it the city with the largest Christian community in the Middle East outside Lebanon. Many Christians inhabited the eastern districts of the state too, mainly Syriac and Assyrian Christians.

Aleppo city had also a large Jewish community of about 10,000 people.


* 1920 - 1922 General Kamil Pasha Al Qudsi (b. 1845 - d. 1926)
* 1923 Mustafa Bey Barmada (b. 1883 - d. 1953)
* 1924 - 1925 Mar'i Pasha Al Mallah (b. 1856 - d. 1930)

French Delegates

* 1920 - 1922 General de Lamothe
* 1922 - 1925 General Billotte (b. 1875 - d. 1940)

The Council of Directors

A Council of Directors was created in 1920 to complement the governor general. The four members of the Council were: Mar'i Pasha Al Mallah (Interior), Subhi Bey Al Nayyal (Justice), Nasri Effendi Bakhash (Commerce and Agriculture) and Victor Effendi 'Ajouri (Finance). On Al Mallah's resignation in 1921, he was succeeded by Al Nayyal as Director of the Interior and Zaki Bey Al Gorani was selected to succeed Al Nayyal as Director of Justice. In 1923 the Council of Directors was abolished following the establishment of the Syrian Federation.

The Representative Council

The legislature was the Representative Council, and the majority of its members were pro-French. Some of the prominent deputies were Subhi Bey Barakat who later served as President of the Syrian Federation, Aleppo's mayor Ghaleb Bey Ibrahim Pasha, the head of the Chamber of Commerce Salim Janbarat, the lawyer Michel Janadri and Fakhir Al Jabiri, elder brother of nationalist leader Saadallah Al Jabiri.

The Revolt of Hanano

Ibrahim Hanano was a native of Aleppo and a prominent member of the Syrian Congress which was elected in 1919, and which refused the French mandate of Syria. Supported by the Turkish nationalist leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Hanano started an armed insurgency against the French that lasted until he was arrested in 1921. Hanano was tried in the same year in an Aleppo court, but he was found not guilty by the judges by three votes to two; probably the verdict was influenced by the crowds of supporters who gathered around the courthouse in that day.

Hanano moved to political opposition afterwards, and in 1926, he played a major role in preventing the secession of Aleppo from the State of Syria established in December 1924. He died in 1935.

The Syrian Federation and the State of Syria

In 1923, General Gouraud announced the Syrian Federation (la Fédération syrienne) which included the states of Damascus, Aleppo, and the Alawite State. In 1924, the Alawite State was separated again. The Syrian Federation became the State of Syria in December 1, 1924. With the centralization of the new Syrian state in 1925, Aleppo lost its autonomy and restored its provincial status. The incumbent governor general of the state of Aleppo Mar'i Pasha Al Mallah was named governor (vali) of the province of Aleppo (with a rank of minister).

See also

* French Mandate of Syria
* State of Alawites
* Jabal el Druze (state)
* Alexandretta/Hatay
* State of Damascus


* al-Ghazzi, Kamil, Nahr al-dhahab fi tarikh halab, (History of Aleppo), 3 vols., Aleppo, 1922-1926.
* L'indicateur Libano-Syrienne. Eds. E & G. Gédéon. Beirut, 1923, 1928-1929.
* Recueil des Actes Administratifs du Haut-Commissariat de la République Française en Syrie et au Liban. Beirut, 1919-1920, 1921-1939.

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