100 years in 100 seconds: Centenary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement

#Diplomacy

Many have traced the current turbulence of the Middle East back to the 1916 agreement while others say the focus on it is overstated

Sykes-Picot divided the Middle East between three imperial powers (MEE)
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Monday 16 May 2016 20:31 UTC
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Today marks the centenary of the Sykes-Picot agreement, which saw the Middle East divided up between rival imperial powers in 1916.

Also known as the Asia Minor agreement, Sykes-Picot defined the borders of the modern states of Syria and Iraq, handing the former over to the French and the latter over to the UK.

The impact of the agreement is still being felt today. Most recently, the Islamic State militant group has made the elimination of the borders defined by Sykes-Picot a crucial part of its propaganda.

Some, however, say the focus on the agreement as the source of regional turmoil is overplayed and fails to account for the effects that authoriatrian rule in the countries had over the past century.

In 100 seconds, Middle East Eye's correspondent Linah Alsaafin explains the background and consequences of one of the most controversial colonial agreements in history: