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Why Islamic State Militants Care So Much About Sykes-Picot

One hundred years ago, on May 16, 1916, representatives from the United Kingdom and France (with the agreement of Russia) met in secret and signed what has come to be known as the Sykes–Picot Agreement. The pact, signed amid World War I, divided the Ottoman Empire into spheres of imperial control, and is often held responsible for establishing the current borders of the Middle East.

The agreement has been widely criticized in recent years, particularly after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, because to many its borders are not just a symbol of foreign imperialism but also reflect what they see as the lack of understanding of the Middle East — then and now — demonstrated by world leaders. Ethnic groups were split across borders and when sectarian violence erupted in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, many blamed Sykes-Picot for pitting ethnic groups against each other.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Yeah, they always would have been pitted against each other.
    Next excuse, please.

  • Jay Currie

    But, er, racist…. Colonialism. Old dead white guys… Said said.