external image Middle-East-map.gif

- The Middle East is a vast amount of land (five-million square miles)

-Filled with rugged mountains, vast bodies of water, and endless deserts

-The Middle East is the junction of trade routes connecting Europe, Asia, China, India, as well as Africa =CULTURAL DIFFUSION

- For this reason the Middle East is known as the cross roads of the world

- Has been multiply used by other nations for its strategic location


Syrian Desert

-Located North of the Arabian Peninsula and over Saudi Arabia

-Little to no rainfall (average of 5 inches per year)

-Oases are common Most of the landscape is formed from lava flow
-Is now home to multiple oil pipelines

- During the 2003 Iraq War the Syrian Desert served as a major supply line for the Iraqi insurgents

-Several nomadic tribes such as the Bedouin tribe inhabit this desert

-The Syrian Desert is still one of the primary smu
ggling routes due to its proximity to the Syrian border



-During WWII U.S. and Europe consumed oil drastically

- Made the Middle East crucial to U.S. foreign policy

-The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 divided the Ottoman lands between the British and the French, giving those nations control over any natural resources, most importantly oil

- Middle Eastern nations have strategically black mailed other nations by "playing" with the prices of oil

eg) After the
Yom Kippur War an OPEC embargo enabled for oil to go from $3 in 1972 to $12 in 1974


- Water is one of the major resources lacking in the Middle East

- Egypt, Iran and Turkey are the only nations in the Middle East with an abundant amount of clean water
- Most Middle Eastern Nations rely on other nations for clean water

- Due to the lack of water tensions have risen between nations

- In the 1960's Arab nations worked to divert water going to Israel and Jordan to only Jordan

Abundance of oil in the Middle East

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Bodies of Water
Bodies of Water

Mediterranean Sea

-Body of water between Europe and Africa

-Connecting mechanism for Europe and Africa

- Suez Canal located between the Mediterranean and the Red sea

- Suez canal is established to enable European powers to access to Middle Eastern, East Asian and South Asian markets (MAJOR TRADE ROUTE)

-Suez canal built by French with Egyptian workers and sells to Britain for 84 years until Egypt nationalizes

Persian Gulf

-An arm of the Arabian Sea between the Arabian peninsula and Iran

- There have been many incidents that has negatively affected the environment of the Persian Gulf such as the oil spill in 1983 during the
Iran-Iraq War and in 1991 during the Gulf War

- The Persian Gulf war fought between Iraq and allies of Kuwait for underground resources of oil in the Persian Gulf

- Kuwait was accused of depleting Iraq's oil and therefore causing a drop in oil prices which caused economic suffering for the Iraqi's

- Resulted in U.S. force against Iraq



  • The great empire reached from the Persian Gulf to Western Algeria

  • After the rule of Sultan Suleiman l the Magnificent (1494-1566) the empire began to decline

  • By the 18th century Russians were seeking to become the rulers of Turkey

  • The Crimean and Russo- Turkish war gave Bulgaria independence and Romania and Serbia were liberated from the rule of the Sultan

  • The weakness of the nation led to revolts by a group called the "Young Turks" in 1909

  • The group forced Sultan Abdul Hamid to establish a liberal government and create a constitution


-Armenians were the minority group in present-day Turkey in 1915-1917

-The Turks wanted a pan-Turkish Empire and the Armenians contaminated their goals

- Armenians were demanded to hand all weaponry to the government

- April 24 1915- Armenian leaders were rounded up and murdered in Istanbul
(Decreases chance of revolution)
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-Men were either murdered or worked to death

- Woman and children were forced to go on
"Death Marches"

- "Death Marches" were led across Anatolia all the way to the Syrian Desert (if they made it that far)

- Result was rape, starvation dehydration, or kidnapped

cooltext423117556.png 1896-

- Theodor Herzl
is founder of theisraeli_palestinian.gif Zionist Organization

- Publishes
The Jewish State"
- A pamphlet that envisions a state where all Jews could live free from persecution


  • The Jewish National Fund (JNF)
is established
  • Goal is to purchase Palestinian
land under Theodor Herzl
  • Herzl travels world in search of political support of his vision

Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
Important Early Conflict

Balfour Declaration (1917)

Declaration establishes by Britain to show support for Jewish establishment of a homeland

League of Nations (1922)

- Issues a mandate for the establishment of a national home for Jews in

Tensions Arise (1936)

- The land consumption and immigration of Jews anger Muslims

- An
Arab attack on a Jewish bus marks the start of Palestinian rebellion

- Attacks result in temporary ban of land sales

Arab League (1945)

- The Arab League is formed to oppose the Jewish state in Palestine

- Members include
Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Sy ria, S audi Arabia

UNSCOP (1947)

- Britain declares Palestine unworkable

- United Nations Special Committee On Palestine (

- UNSCOP divides Palestine into two halves

Israeli War of Independence (1947-1949)

- Arab League goes to war with

- Leads to victory of Israel in 1949

- Israel signs cease-fire treaty with
Jordan, Syria, and Egypt

- Israel now controls 70% land rather than 50%

PLO Formation (1964)

- Palestine Liberation Organization (

- Council for the end of Jewish State through terrorism

The Six Day War (1967)

- June 5 to- June 10

- Arab troops accumulate in
Sinai Peninsula

- Egypt blockade of
Straits of Tiran, angers Israel

Kuwait, Jordan Syria and Iraq fight alongside Egypt

-Results- Israel gains
Golan Heights, Sinai, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and West Bank

Note: This is the potential Arab League Palestine wanted. Not all flags on logo were part of the Arab League.
Note: This is the potential Arab League Palestine wanted. Not all flags on logo were part of the Arab League.


The Six Day War and Israel's conquest for Sinai
The Six Day War and Israel's conquest for Sinai

Israel-Palestine Conflict
Israel-Palestine Conflict


September 5th 1972-

- Israeli athletes are taken as hostages at the Munich Olympics

- An underground terrorist organization known as Black September (A branch off from the PLO) takes the Israeli Olympic team as hostages

- Two hostages are killed immediately when the terrorist group busted into the apartment block

- Black September agrees that if 200 Palestinian prisoners held in jail were released then the nine hostages left would be let go

-The nine hostages as well as the terrorists were flown to Fuersten Feldbruck military airport

The 11 hostages murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics
The 11 hostages murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics

-When the helicopter lands, German police open fire

All nine hostages are killed as well as five of the extremists

- The remaining 3 are jailed, but are later released after a high jacking of a Lufthansa flight by the Palestinians

- The Israelis who were affected by the deaths of the hostages still seek justice till this day ultimately creating an endless cycle of hate towards the opposing enemy

One of the 8 terrorist responsible for the deaths of the hostages
One of the 8 terrorist responsible for the deaths of the hostages


December 9 1987

- The Palestinian Intifada, a Palestinian group against Israeli occupation, forms in West Bank and Gaza

- A group of young Palestinians demonstrators hurl rocks at the Israeli troops in occupation zones and as a result the troops shoot ammunition at them

- Curfews are imposed on Palestinians and arrests and deportations follow

- More than 20,000 people (mostly Palestinians) are murdered between 1987 and 1993

Palestinian Intifada hurl rocks at Israeli troops in 1987
Palestinian Intifada hurl rocks at Israeli troops in 1987

December 14 1988

- Yasir Arafat agrees to accept the state of Israel's existence and renounces the use of terrorism as a mechanism to get rid of a Jewish state in Palestine

- Leads to
Madrid Peace Conference

- U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. host the Madrid Peace Conference

-The objective is to resolve
Palestine-Israeli Conflict

- The Conference isn't very effective due to later uprisings

- Leads to the
Oslo Accords in 1993


- Signed on August 20th 1993

- Calls for withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza strip and West Bank as well as Palestinian self- government

-Palestinian rule would last for a 5-year period until permanent negotiations could be made

-West Bank and Gaza are divided into three areas:

  1. Area A- Under complete Palestinian authority
  2. Area B- Under Palestinian civil control and Israeli Security Council
  3. Area C- Under complete Israeli control, except of Palestinian civilians

-Signing of The Letter of Mutual Recognition-> Israeli government recognizes the PLO and vise-versa


War ON Gaza
War ON Gaza

- Palestine struggles to gain authority in the Gaza Strip and West Bank

- Israel agrees with a Palestinian controlled West Bank and
Gaza Strip for five years until U.N. can negotiate a better plan

-Israel launches an attack and blockades the Gaza Strip
-This is known as
Operation Cast Leadand takes place on December 27 2008

Cartoon showing Israel's dispropotional response towards Hamas
Cartoon showing Israel's dispropotional response towards Hamas

- Israel raids the Gaza Strip targeting Hamas bases, police training camps, Mosques, medical facilities, schools and
houses causing multiple deaths

- Hamas strikes back by launching missiles

- Israeli Defense Forces
(IDF) begin to attack Gaza Suburbs

- 300 miles into the city, Israel begins to bomb high rise building

- including the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA)

A cartoon showing Israelis brutality on Gaza children through bombardment of the Gaza Strip
A cartoon showing Israelis brutality on Gaza children through bombardment of the Gaza Strip

- Hamas's negotiation to stop firing missiles included the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Hamas

- Ehud Olmert, Israeli Prime Minister, states he will not meet up to Hamas's negotiations until an IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit, is released

- Hamas in return wants the release of 1,400 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel
- Israel declares a cease-fire on January 18, 2009 and withdraws out of the Gaza Strip in three days

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  • World war I breaks out and the Ottoman Empire joins Germany against the Allies


- Arabs side with Allies and sign the Hussein- McMahon Correspondence with the British
- The Correspondence states the independence of Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula if the Allies win
- Britain also signs the Sykes-Picot Agreement with France which contradicts the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence
-Sykes-Picot Agreement would divide Arabian nations between the French and the British if the Allies were victorious


- At the San Remo Conference in Italy, Ottoman controlled Arabic Nations are split between Britain and France

Split of Arabic counties between Britain and France
Split of Arabic counties between Britain and France


  • The Allies during World War II believe the Middle East might be an area where the Germans might attack

  • Anticipating the attack, the Allies are right; there is fighting in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran


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Lebanon and Syria


  • Luftwaffe (German Air force) plane is shot down
in Iraq during German advancement in Baghdad
British and Australian troops ready to fight the Vichy
British and Australian troops ready to fight the Vichy

  • Allies believe the plane had refueled in Vichy France (Military ally of Germany), which controlled Lebanon and Syria

  • Suspicious since Syria and Lebanon were "neutral"

  • The Vichy put up great resistance but were eventually taken over by the Allies

The Iraqforce
The Iraqforce


-Iraq is granted independence by Britain under some conditions including the retention of British bases in Iraq
- British influence in Iraq angers
many including prime minister
Rashid Ali
- Iraqi army surround British bases including
Basra and Habbaniya
- The Iraqi force was defeated
the British Army who are aided by the Luftwaffe

- Rashid and his supporters flee

Iranian troops ready to fight British and the Soviets
Iranian troops ready to fight British and the Soviets



  • Soviet Union desperately needs supplies for its war against Germany

  • Supplies are sent from a place where capacity is limited and prone to enemy invasion

  • Only option is through Iran but the Shah (Iranian Ruler) is pro- Germany and does not allow it

  • British and Soviet invade and occupy Iran


MOIP (1959)

- US government establishes Mandatory Oil Import Quota Program (MOIP)

-The MOIP restricts the amount of crude oil and refined products allowed into the Western Hemisphere

-This exclusion depresses oil prices in the Middle East

Formation of OPEC (1961)

- In retaliation to MOIP, Iran, Kuwait
Saudi Arabia and Venezuela form the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ( OPEC)

- Primary mission is to stabilize oil prices

- The beginning years of OPEC were not very effective

Yom Kippur War (1973)

- Prices begin to rise due to the Yom Kippur War

- Arabian uprising against Israel causes war

- Americas help to Israel angers OPEC causing them to boycott oil to America

OPEC Embargo (1973)

- The decrease in oil production causes prices to increase (↓supply =↑ demand = ↑prices)

-Causes a recession due to high prices in nations such as US and other consumers

Termination of Embargo (1974)

- Recession causes the US to negotiate

- US says Israel will pull out of Sinai and Golan Heights

- OPEC agrees and removes embargo

American recession due to Embargo
American recession due to Embargo

Lack of Oil in America
Lack of Oil in America


- Once known as the Heart of the Persian Empire, Iran became an independent state after its fall

-After years of rule under the
Qajars (ruling family), the Iranians finally wanted a new ruler

-The nationalistic period led to a
Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911)

- In 1908 the British struck oil in Iran and the power of remaining Qajar shahs were weakened

- A military commander by the name of
Reza Khan (1878-1944) overthrew the Qajar dynasty and began the Pahlavi Dynasty, which would last from 1925 to 1979

Reza Khan


- During World War I the country of Iran is occupied by British and Russian forces

- Reza Shah begins to
modernize the country during this time period

- The British and the Russians invade Iran and remove Reza Shah from the throne

- His son
Muhammad Reza was then proclaimed Shah of Iran

external image gfon233l.jpgexternal image gfon233l.jpg
Ayatollah Khomeini wanted to step back into fundementalist Islam

- Muhammad Reza follows his father's dream of modernizing Iran

- Joins the
Baghdad Pact and help Iran receive Military and economic aid from the U.S.

- In the early 1960's Reza modernizes the country by introducing economic, political, social, and land reforms known as the
White Revolution

- The growth of Iran's economy grows at a staggering rate

- Vast oil reserves in Iran also helped lead to modernization

- Only helps the wealthy, leaving the majority of the population poor

- In 1979 After being exiled to France,
Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, started to protest against the government
Khomeini returns to Iran
Khomeini returns to Iran

- Lead to a complete rebellion against the government

-A disagreement between the press and Iranians fires a demonstration as well as Iranian traditional style opposing Shah's modern style

-The several deaths during demonstration angers everybody causing hatred for the Shah

- The Shah was finally overthrown in 1979 and resulted in mass chaos

- Poor Economic and Political conditions now lead to association with terrorist group within the nation, which lowers international support

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- September 22 1980- War begins when Iraq invades Iran

-Causes of war include:

1) Border disputes between the two nations

2) Apprehension of Shiite revolt due to oppression caused by the Iranian Revolution

3) Assassination attempt on Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz

4) Shooting at a funeral for students who died in the Iranian Revolution

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  • Iraqi objectives of invasion include:

1) Control over Shatt al-Arab Waterway

2) The three islands of Abu Muse and the Greater and Lesser Tunb's on behalf of the UAE (United Arab Emigrates)

3) Take over and annexation and of

4) Overthrow the revolution regime in

  • Of the six Iraqi invasion divisions, four were sent to Khuzestan to cut off the Shatt al-Arab from Iran and establish a security zone

  • The other two were to secure the territory bounded to Khorramshahr-Ahvaz-Susangerd-Musian due to revolt uprisings

  • Central front occupied Mehran to block the Tehran invasion

  • Sadam Hussein
    Sadam Hussein
    Iranians respond by air strikes against important Iraqi targets including oil facilities, dams, petrochemical plants, and a nuclear reactor near Baghdad

  • Saddam Hussein(president of Iraq) then declared that 11 Iranian cities would come under attack unless Iran halted their acts of aggression

  • Iran responds by launching an attack on northern sector of the front line, and as Saddam had promised attacks on the 11 cities went underway

  • June 1982- Iran gains back most of their territory

  • Iraq only gains a small portion of Khuzestan

  • August 20 1988- Iran and Iraq agree to a peace treaty

The Iraq Iran War is said to be very similar to WWI due to the similar tactics such as trench warfare
The Iraq Iran War is said to be very similar to WWI due to the similar tactics such as trench warfare


Current Problems-

-Iran is creating nuclear power plants in order to create energy for civilians

-Many international analysts believe that Iran is creating more nuclear materials and they might use these materials to create nuclear bombs

- Iran refuses to stop creating nuclear weaponry

- The U.S. was on the brink of a war with Iran

George W. Bush tried to negotiate with Iran but failed to come to an agreement

- Problems with Iran are still increasing

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Oil Refinery
Oil Refinery

- Iraq possesses the world's second largest oil reserves

-Even today, the war fought in Iraq has much to do with the rich and valuable oil it contains

-The significance of Oil is that it helps to generate the world with energy, as well as helping industries, transportation and many more fields that are essential to the economy of a country

  • As a leader of OPEC, Iraq is very attractive to large international oil companies because:
  1. The oil in Iraq is high quality, therefore high in value and price
  2. The huge supply of this oil
  3. The low cost of producing a barrel causes a high profit for companies

-The US and UK has long held three-quarters of oil production in Iraq
before 1972


Iraqi Ba'thist leadership brings Communism into Iraq after signing the 15-year treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union

-Iraq's nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company causes the UK and US to lose its position from the oil production it once held

-Ever since, the US and UK have been trying to get their hand back into Iraqi oil

Saddam Hussein and WWIII

-Throughout the 80's President Saddam Hussein uses Chemical weapons in conflicts

- Many suspected that it would try to make nuclear weapons

- The cease fire agreement with Iran includes the destruction of all the WMD

- UN members that inspect Iraq to prevent the building of weapons are kicked out

- Once again many begin to suspect the building of weapons

- Saddam Hussein does not allow officials to inspect


- US invades Iraq because:

  1. " Weapons of Mass Destruction" many believe it has
  2. The ties it has with Al-Qaeda, a terrorist group that is dangerous the US
  3. Regain oil production lost in 1972

WMD was just an excuse to go to war.
WMD was just an excuse to go to war.

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Previous Saddam Hussein Conflicts


What Kurds have long been wanting
What Kurds have long been wanting
- for decades Kurds wanted their own country
-Their original land crosses through three countries Turkey, Iran, Iraq
- All of these nation prosecuted the Kurds

1. Turkey : forbidding Kurds to speak their native language

2. Iran: persecute due to different relegion

3. Iraq: -Saddam Hussein drops poisonous gas on Kurds killing 5,000
Eventually in the late 80's UN works to end this harsh treatment

Persian Gulf War
Persian Gulf War

-Saddam Hussein seizes Kuwait oil fields

-Due to its rich oil and the importance of the oil to the US intervenes

- first Embargo is put upon Iraq

- The embargo does not do much causing military assistance from the US (Persian Gulf War)

- USA drives Saddam out

-During Iraq's departure from Kuwait, Saddam burns the oil fields

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Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda


- USSR invades and gains control of


- The Mujaheddin want soviets out therefore rebel against them

- US supports the Mujaheddin against the USSR because of the Cold War it is fighting against it


- Osama Bin Laden and other Islamists form Al-Qaeda to fight off Soviets and others that stand in their way of a pure nation governed by Islam

Osama Bin Laden
Osama Bin Laden

- Al Qaeda begins to shift its focus on America

- It believes the US, a superpower is an obstacle for the formation of a total Islamic nation


- Soviets withdraw from Afghanistan

Pakistan, USSR and Afghanistan sign a peace accord guaranteeing Afghan independence


-Taliban (took over after the Russians) come to power and make strict and extreme Islamic laws

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Shows American invasion of Afghanistan has not really been productive. The hope to find Osama has been a faliure and therefore the energy being used on Afghanistan has beem wasteful
Shows American invasion of Afghanistan has not really been productive. The hope to find Osama has been a faliure and therefore the energy being used on Afghanistan has beem wasteful


US military base in Saudi bombed 19 servicemen killed

-A bomb hits a US military housing complex near Saudi Arabia killing 19 Americans

- US believes alQaeda was involved

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22 February, 1998

Bin Laden issues fatwa calling for attacks on US citizens

-A statement signed by Bin Laden calls for the killing of Americans -"individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it".(Osama Bin Laden)

7 August, 1998

US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed

-More than 220 people are killed when bombs hit the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania

- On 20 August US strikes back with air strikes against training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan

- Bin Laden is later accused by a US court for the bombings in East Africa

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12 October, 2000

Attack on US warship in Yemen kills 17 sailors

-Two suicide attackers ram a boat carrying explosives into the USS Cole in Aden port killing 17 American sailors

- In 2004 six suspected alQaeda militants are charged in connection with the attack by a Yemeni court

11 September, 2001

The worst attack on US soil kills about 3000 people

-Nineteen alQaeda suspects hijack four planes and fly them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington and a field in Pennsylvania


- Six weeks later US launches attacks on Afghanistan from where Osama has been operating

- After the war hundreds of suspected alQaeda fighters are sent to America's base in Guantanamo Bay Cuba where they are held in US custody ||
1 March, 2003

AlQaeda kingpin captured

-Khalid Sheikh Mohammed thought to be one of alQaeda's most senior leaders is arrested in a joint PakistaniCIA operation near Islamabad

- US believes he helped plan the attack on the twin towers

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12 May, 2003

Dozens killed in bombing

-34 people are killed in a series of bomb attacks in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh

- AlQaeda is the prime suspect in Washington


Bin Laden video threatens US

-Four days before presidential elections in the US, alJazeera TV airs a videotape in which Osama Bin Laden threatens attacks on US

- The alQaeda leader says the reasons behind the events of 11 September 2001 still exist


Pakistan says it has caught alQaedas alleged number three

-Pakistan announces it has arrested Libyan alQaeda suspect Abu FarajalLibbi thought to be third person responsible for the 9/11 attacks

- US President George Bush describes him as a "major facilitator and chief planner" for alQaeda

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7 July, 2005

Rushhour bomb attacks strike the heart of London

-Fifty two people die and 700 are injured as bombs explode on three underground trains and one bus in central London

-Analysts say the attacks linked to or at least inspired by alQaeda

19 January, 2006 Bin Laden offers a long term truce

- Osama Bin Laden offers the US a "long term truce"

-Offer quickly rejected by the US comes in an audio tape aired by Arabic TV station alJazeera

-The alQaeda leader also warns that new attacks on the US are being planned

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