The Allies enter Damascus

October 1st, 1918

The defeat of the German and Turkish armies in Palestine and Syria by British and Colonial forces in 1918 was made virtually complete when the capital of Turkish-occupied Syria fell into British hands. A swift series of crushing defeats in Judea led to a disintegration of Ottoman rule, which culminated in the Turkish withdrawal from Damascus and the Arab takeover of the city. For the leaders of the Arab rebellion assisted by Colonel T.E. Lawrence, ‘of Arabia’, this represented a final step towards their goal of the creation of a self-governing Arab nation: a hope quickly extinguished.

The battle of Megiddo on September 18-19th in the Judean hills, and the rout of two Turkish armies, meant the beginning of the end for the Central Powers in the Middle East theatre. The British went on to capture Nazareth, Haifa and Tiberius, which lay within easy reach of Damascus. The surviving Turkish army was forced to retreat towards the city, harassed intermittently by Lawrence and his Arab forces.

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