Первое британское вторжение в Ирак

Первое британское вмешательство в то, что является теперь Ираком, произошло в начале Первой Мировой войны. В начале британские цели ограничивались защитой ее нефтяных запасов. Вскоре они были расширены до захвата Багдада, столицы провинции Османской Империи Месопотамии, и территории за ней.

Когда в октябре 1914 г. Османская Турция вступила в войну, из Британской Индии были посланы экспедиционные войска, наступавшие с ее передовой базы в устье Шатт-эль-Арабы, проходом Ирака в Персидский залив. Нефтяные установки в Абадане были взяты 7 ноября 1914 г. Город Басра, расположенный в 20 милях вглубь страны по Евфрату, был взят 22 ноября после разгрома более решительной оппозиции.

Поскольку Турецкое сопротивление было слабее, чем ожидалось, британцы начали думать о расширении своей власти в Месопотамии. Первые наступательные операции 1915 г. были успешными, оттеснив турков из Ахваза на восток, и установив Британский контроль на Персидских нефтяных месторождениях. В марте 1915 г. две пехотные дивизии и кавалерийская бригада двинулись на север вверх по рекам Тигр и Евфрат по направлению к Куту.

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