Adham Khanjar

Adham Khanjar(Left)Sadiq Hamza(Right).

Adham Khanjar (Arabic: أدهم خنجر) is a Lebanese Shia rebel who participated in an attempt to assassinate General Gouraud, the French High Commissioner in Syria and Lebanon.

Assassination Attempt

Khanjar joined a guerrilla band led by famous Syrian rebel Ahmed Mreywed. And on 23 June 1921, the band ambushed the car of General Henri Gouraud, the French High Commissioner in Syria and Lebanon, on its way from Damascus to Quneitra. The general survived the attempt, but Commandant Branet was killed, and the governor of Damscus was wounded in the attack.[1] After the failed attempt, the band members fled to Transjordan.

The military chauffeur was not killed, and succeeded in driving the car away from the Arab ambush—even with his tires shot, saving the day (he became a local bus driver after his military service in Roanne, France).

The Adham Khanjar Incident

On July 7, 1922, Khanjar arrived at the village of Al-Qrayya in southern Jabal al-Druze. Two French soldiers recognized and captured him while he was trying to get water at a well. Khanjar was transferred to Suwayda immediately. From his prison there, he sent a message to Sultan Pasha al-Atrash asking for his help, as he was seeking refuge at his house Al-Qrayya. Upon receiving the message, Sultan, who was in nearby village at that time, considered Khanjar's capture as a breach of the Druze traditions of protecting the fugitive, and an attack on him personally. Thus he demanded the release of Khanjar in exchange with some of the captured French soldiers. The French agreed upon that but betrayed Sultan once they got hold of their soldiers. Intead of giving Khanjar to Sultan they took their soldiers and held an open fire on Sultans people. A few days later, Sultan and his men attacked a French convoy they thought to transport Khanjar, who was sent to Damascus in another convoy. The French responded by destroying Sultan's house and ordering his arrest. The Sultan had to flee to Jordan and launched raids against French posts. But he returned ten months later when he was pardoned.

Khanjar was put to trial and found guilty. He was executed the same year.

The people of Jabal al-Druze consider this incident an example of defending their values of protecting the fugitives, as they fought the French for Khanjar, a man they didn't know, who sought refuge in their territory. Khanjar's name is still mentioned today in the traditional songs of the area.


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