Hi, and welcome to the Political Economy of Israel and Middle East course.
This video will be focusing on Border Conflicts and wars during 20th century as part of the Borders, areas and nation states in the Middle East unit.
We will be looking at 3 examples of conflicts:
The Yom Kippur War
The Iranian Revolution
And the Gulf War
The Yom Kippur War was a war fought by the coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel from October 6 to 25 in 1973. It is also known as the Ramadan War, or October War and also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War.
What caused this conflict?
Well, the war began when the Arab coalition launched a joint surprise attack on Israeli positions in the Israeli-occupied territories of the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights.
These territories had been captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The Arab Coalition had attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. This year it had occurred that year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan- hence the names Yom Kippur War or Ramadan War. The Arab Coalition and Israel were not the only sides involved.
Remember that at this time it was during the Cold War so both the United States and the Soviet Union initiated massive resupply efforts to their respective allies.
This led to a near confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers.
The clash began when Egypt led a mass of fighter across the Suez Canal.
This initial proved successful as Egyptian forces advanced virtually unopposed into the Sinai Peninsula.
After three days, Israel had mobilized most of its forces and managed to halt the Egyptian offensive. They settled into a stalemate.
The Syrians coordinated their attack on the Golan Heights to coincide with the Egyptian offensive and at first made threatening advances into Israeli territory.
But within three days, however, Israeli forces had managed to push the Syrians back to the pre-war ceasefire lines.
They then launched a four-day counter-offensive deep into Syria.
The Israeli artillery began to shell the outskirts of Damascus.
As Egyptian president Anwar Sadat began to worry about the integrity of his major ally, he believed that capturing two strategic passes located deeper in the Sinai would make his position stronger during the negotiations.
He therefore ordered the Egyptians to go back on the offensive, but the attack was quickly repulsed.
The Israelis then counterattacked at the seam between the two Egyptian armies, crossed the Suez Canal into Egypt, and began slowly advancing southward and westward towards Cairo in over a week of heavy fighting which inflicted heavy casualties on both sides. After two and a half weeks of fighting and looses, the war was concluded with Israeli tactical victory.
The Iranian Revolution 1979 refers to events involving the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was supported by the United States and its eventual replacement with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution, supported by various leftist and Islamic organizations and Iranian student movements.
While the Soviet Union immediately recognized the new Islamic Republic, it did not actively supported the revolution, initially making efforts to salvage the Shah’s government.
How did the Revolution begin?
Demonstrations started against the Shah in October 1977.
This developed into a campaign of civil resistance that was religious based (but with some secular elements) and intensified in January 1978.
Between August and December 1978 strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country. The Shah left Iran for exile on January 16, 1979 as the last Persian monarch.
His duties were left to a regency council and an opposition based prime minister. The Ayatollah Khomeini was invited back to Iran by the government, and returned to Tehran to a greeting by several million Iranians. On February 11 the royal reign collapsed when guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah. There was fighting in the street, and eventually they brought Khomeini to official power.
On April 1, 1979 Iran voted by national referendum to become an Islamic Republic, and to approve a new theocratic-republican constitution whereby Khomeini became Supreme Leader of the country, in December 1979.
The Gulf War was a conflict waged by a U.N. authorized coalition force against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait. It ran from 2nd of August 1990 until 28 February 1991, with the codenamed Operation Desert Storm going from 17 of January 1991 until 28 February 1991. The coalition was made up from 34 nations which included the United States, Britain, Egypt, France, and Saudi Arabia.
The war is also known under many other names, many of which you will probably remember, such as the Gulf War, First Gulf War, Gulf War I, or the First Iraq War, before the term “Iraq War” became identified instead with the 2003 Iraq War.
Kuwait’s invasion by Iraqi troops that began on 2nd August 1990 was met with widespread international condemnation.
The U.N brought immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the Security Council.
U.S. President George Bush deployed U.S. forces into Saudi Arabia, and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene.
The great majority of the Coalition’s military forces were from the U.S., with Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Egypt as leading contributors, in that order.
Saudi Arabia paid around US$36 billion of the US$60 billion cost.
The war was marked by the beginning of live news on the front lines of the fight, with the primacy of the U.S. network CNN. The war has also earned the nickname Video Game War after the daily broadcast images on board the U.S. bombers during Operation Desert Storm.
Unfortunately, the Middle East has a long tradition of turmoil, with huge cost to human life.
In the next video, we’re going to take a closer look at how conflict and fighting, and other factors, have influenced migration in the area.