'Abd al-Ilah

'Abd al-Ilah

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Crown Prince Abd al-Ilāh of Hejaz, GCB, GCMG, GCVO (Arabic: عبد الإله) (also written Abdul Ilah or Abdullah) (November 14, 1913 — July 14, 1958) was a cousin and brother-in-law of King Ghazi
Ghazi of Iraq
Ghazi bin Faisal was the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq from 1933 to 1939 having been briefly Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Syria in 1920...

 of the Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

. Abdul Ilah served as Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 for King Faisal II
Faisal II of Iraq
Faisal II was the last King of Iraq. He reigned from 4 April 1939 until July 1958, when he was killed during the "14 July Revolution" together with several members of his family...

 from April 4, 1939 to May 2, 1953, when Faisal came of age. He also held the title of Crown Prince of Iraq from 1943.

Biography


Son and heir of King
Kingdom of Hejaz
The Kingdom of Hejaz was a state in the Hejaz region, ruled by the Hashemite family. The kingdom was annexed by Nejd and merged into the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz in the mid 1920s, which would eventually be known as Saudi Arabia in 1932.-Kings of Hejaz:...

 Ali ibn Hussein of Hejaz
Hejaz
al-Hejaz, also Hijaz is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. Defined primarily by its western border on the Red Sea, it extends from Haql on the Gulf of Aqaba to Jizan. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina...

, who was the elder brother of King Faisal I of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and brother of queen Aliya bint Ali
Aliya bint Ali
Aliya bint Ali of Hejaz , was an a Arabian princess and an Iraqi queen consort of Iraq. She was the spouse of king Ghazi of Iraq and the queen mother of Faisal II of Iraq. She was the last queen of Iraq....

, Abdul Ilah assumed power upon Ghazi's
Ghazi of Iraq
Ghazi bin Faisal was the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq from 1933 to 1939 having been briefly Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Syria in 1920...

 death in an automobile accident. He served as Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 for the under-age Faisal II
Faisal II of Iraq
Faisal II was the last King of Iraq. He reigned from 4 April 1939 until July 1958, when he was killed during the "14 July Revolution" together with several members of his family...

.

1941 Iraqi coup d'état


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Abdul Ilah was deposed briefly by former Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Kaylani
Rashid Ali al-Kaylani
Rashid Aali al-Gaylani served as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Iraq on three occasions. He is chiefly remembered as an Arab nationalist who attempted to remove the British influence from Iraq...

. Rashid Ali led a pro-German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 against Abdul Ilah's pro-British government. After he fled the country, Abdul Ilah was replaced as Regent by Sherif Sharaf. Sherif Sharaf was an aging, holy-minded relative of King Feisal. The deposed Regent spent his time with former Prime Minister Nuri as-Said
Nuri as-Said
Nuri Pasha al-Said was an Iraqi politician during the British Mandate and during the Kingdom of Iraq. He served in various key cabinet positions, and served seven terms as Prime Minister of Iraq....

 as a refugee in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

. Abdul Ilah was a guest of Prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

 ‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

, the Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 ruler of Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 (future King).

On 2 May, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 launched offensive actions
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

 against the Iraqi rebels. On 26 May, the New York Times newspaper reported that Abdul Illah had called for an uprising of tribal and religious leaders to help him overthrow the insurgent government. He appealed specifically to the Iraqi people, the army and the police to accomplish "this heavy task".

By 2 June, Rashid Ali's "National Defence Government" had collapsed and Rashid Ali had fled to Persia. Abdul Ilah returned to Baghdad and was restored as Regent.

In 1942, Wendell Wilkie traveled to Britain and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 as President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

's personal representative. In Iraq, Abdul Ilah held a lavish state dinner
State dinner
A state dinner is a dinner or banquet paid by a government and hosted by a head of state in his or her official residence in order to renew and celebrate diplomatic ties between the host country and the country of a foreign head of state or head of government who was issued an invitation. In many...

 attended by Wilkie.

In 1945, Abdul Ilah visited the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. He was the honoree at the first state dinner hosted by the new American First Lady
First Lady
First Lady or First Gentlemanis the unofficial title used in some countries for the spouse of an elected head of state.It is not normally used to refer to the spouse or partner of a prime minister; the husband or wife of the British Prime Minister is usually informally referred to as prime...

, Bess Truman
Bess Truman
Bess Truman , was the wife of Harry S. Truman and First Lady of the United States from 1945 to 1953.-Early life:...

. The Regent of "friendly Iraq" was awarded a Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...

 military decoration
Awards and decorations of the United States military
Awards and decorations of the United States Military are military decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces...

 by President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

.

In 1953, Abdul Ilah stepped down when Faisal II came of age. But he continued to be a close adviser of the young King, and an advocate of a pro-Western foreign policy.

In 1955, Iraq adopted the Baghdad Pact (also known as the Central Treaty Organization, or CENTO). The other members of the organization were Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. The organization's headquarters were initially located in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

.

In May 1957, King Ibn Saud
Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia
King Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia was the first monarch of the Third Saudi State known as Saudi Arabia. He was commonly referred to as Ibn Saud....

 made an eight-day visit to Iraq. He was met on his arrival by King Faisel II, Crown Prince Abdul Ilah, and Prime Minister Nuri as-Said. It was the Saudi King's first ever visit to Iraq and it commemorated Iraq's membership in the Arab Federation
Arab federation
Arab federation can mean:* Arab Federation, a confederation between Iraq and Jordan * Arab League, a regional organization of Arab States in the Middle East and North Africa....

 and its break with the United Arab Republic
United Arab Republic
The United Arab Republic , often abbreviated as the U.A.R., was a sovereign union between Egypt and Syria. The union began in 1958 and existed until 1961, when Syria seceded from the union. Egypt continued to be known officially as the "United Arab Republic" until 1971. The President was Gamal...

 of Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

.

14 July Revolution


During the 14 July Revolution
14 July Revolution
The 14 July Revolution was a coup which took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq, marking the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy established by King Faisal I in 1932 under the auspices of the British. In 1958, the coup overthrew King Faisal II, the regent and Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, and Prime...

, Abdul Ilah was killed, along with most of the royal family. On 14 July 1958, a coup d'état led by Colonel Abdul Karim Qassim
Abdul Karim Qassim
Abd al-Karim Qasim , was a nationalist Iraqi Army general who seized power in a 1958 coup d'état, wherein the Iraqi monarchy was eliminated. He ruled the country as Prime Minister of Iraq until his downfall and death in 1963....

 toppled the government and brought an end to the Iraqi monarchy. The body of Abdul Ilah was trailed on al Rashid street and was cut into pieces. According to the 21 July edition of Time Magazine, Gamel Abdel Nasser's "Middle East News Agency gleefully described the assassination of Crown Prince Abdul Illah: 'The people dragged Abdul Illah's body into the street like that of a dog and tore it limb from limb.' Then the mobs burned the body."

Military ranks


'Abd al-Ilah held the following ranks:
  • Field Marshal
    Field Marshal
    Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

    , Royal Iraqi Army
  • Marshal of the Royal Iraqi Air Force
  • Air Marshal
    Air Marshal
    Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

     (honorary), Royal Air Force

See also


  • 1941 Iraqi coup d'état
  • Baghdad Pact
  • 14 July Revolution
    14 July Revolution
    The 14 July Revolution was a coup which took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq, marking the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy established by King Faisal I in 1932 under the auspices of the British. In 1958, the coup overthrew King Faisal II, the regent and Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, and Prime...


Further reading