Muhammad Talab Hilal

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Muhammad Talab Hilal (Arabic: محمد طلب هلال;[1] fl. 1963) was a Syrian politician, officer, and government official. He was a cabinet minister in the Ba'athist government of Yusuf Zuayyin and continued to be a cabinet minister in later governments. Before that, he was governor of Hama. Before that, Hilal was the chief of police in al-Hasakah. While he was a chief of police, Hilal wrote a book on Syria's Jazira region (part of Mesopotamia). This book was important for the Syrian government's plan for the "Arab Belt" ethnic cleansing programme in Syrian Kurdistan.

Hilal completed his National, Political, and Social Study of the Province of Jazira[a] on 13 November 1963.[2]:22–24[3]:471[4]:283, 342–345 This book said that the Syrian government should begin the "Arab Belt" programme. Hilal wrote that the government should force Kurdish people who lived near the borders between Syria and Turkey and between Syria and Iraq to move. Then, the government could move Arab people into the area to take their lands.[2]:22–24 The Arab Belt ethnic cleansing programme began in 1973 and continued until 1976.[5][6][2]:22–24[3]:471[7]:263 The government accepted Hilal's plan in 1965. When Hilal's National, Political, and Social Study of the Province of Jazira became public in 1968, the Syrian government claimed that these were only Hilal's ideas. The Arab Belt programme did not begin before 1973 because the government had not yet built the Tabqa Dam [en]. In 1975, after the dam was complete, the government moved 4000 Arabs of the Walda tribe from the valley of the Euphrates into the "Arab Belt" area.[8]:60–62

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Notes[change | change source]

  1. Other translations are: A Study about the National, Social, and Political Aspects of Al-Jazeera Province, Study of the al-Jezira Province from its Political, National and Social Perspectives, and National, social and political study of the province of Djazireh

References[change | change source]

  1. Vanly, Ismet Chériff (1968). Persecution of the Kurdish People by the Baath Dictatorship in Syria: The Syrian Mein Kampf Against the Kurds, translated and introduced with commentary and annotations by Ismet Chériff Vanly. Amsterdam. p. 2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gunter, Michael M. (2014). Out of Nowhere: The Kurds of Syria in Peace and War. London, New York: C. Hurst & Co., Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-1-84904-435-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 McDowall, David (2021) [1996]. "Living apart in French and Independent Syria". A Modern History of the Kurds (4th ed.). London: I. B. Tauris. pp. 453–476. doi:10.5040/ ISBN 978-0-7556-0076-2. S2CID 242110275.
  4. The Kurds: An Encyclopedia of Life, Culture, and Society. Sebastian Maisel. Santa Barbara, California. 2018. ISBN 978-1-4408-4257-3. OCLC 1031040153.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. Tejel, Jordi (2008). Syria's Kurds: History, Politics and Society. Translated by Welle, Emily; Welle, Jane. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 65. doi:10.4324/9780203892114. ISBN 978-1-134-09643-5. … the "Arab belt" policy, which aimed to put into practice ethnic cleansing and the dispossession of "non-national" land-owner classes (Kurds) and the transfer of land to "national" elements (Arabs).
  6. Hassanpour, Amir (2005). "Kurds". In Shelton, Dinah (ed.). Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 632–637. ISBN 978-0-02-865992-3. Although the Kurds of Syria have not engaged in armed conflict with the state, they were targeted for ethnic cleansing beginning in the early 1960s. Some 120,000 Kurds were stripped of Syrian citizenship. According to a 1991 report by the Middle East Watch, the Syrian government planned for the depopulation of Kurdish regions by creating an "Arab belt" along the Turkish border, evicting peasants from 332 villages, and replacing them with Arab settlers.
  7. Gunes, Cengiz (2021). "Kurdish Politics across the Middle East during the 1970s". In Bozarslan, Hamit; Gunes, Cengiz; Yadirgi, Veli (eds.). The Cambridge History of the Kurds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 250–268. doi:10.1017/9781108623711.010. ISBN 978-1-108-62371-1. S2CID 235542755.
  8. Tejel, Jordi (2008). Syria's Kurds: History, Politics and Society. Translated by Welle, Emily; Welle, Jane. Abingdon: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203892114. ISBN 978-1-134-09643-5.