Today in Middle Eastern history: Operation Exporter begins (1941)

World War II’s “Syria-Lebanon Campaign,” AKA Operation Exporter, is arguably (and I’m not a WWII expert so feel free to argue it) one of the least-covered operations of that war. Indeed, even at the time news about the campaign was downplayed or outright suppressed in Britain, for a very simple reason: it involved British troops fighting a French army. Yes, it was a Vichy French army, but it hadn’t even been a year since the last British and Free French forces were evacuated from France, and it was believed that British morale would suffer if the public learned that British and French forces were now at war with one other. But the fall of France to the Nazis, and this campaign, played a not-inconsiderable role in ultimately liberating both Syria and Lebanon from French colonial rule, so this operation is, I think, worth a mention.

Source: Today in Middle Eastern history: Operation Exporter begins (1941)

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