Ancient Assyria was a home of earliest human civilization which evolved originally as one of a number of Akkadian kingdoms in Mesopotamia. In the Old Assyrian period of the Early Bronze Age, Assyria had been a kingdom of northern Mesopotamia, initially competing with other Sumero-Akkadian states in southern Mesopotamia for dominance of the region.
Beginning with the campaigns of Adad-nirari II (911-892 BC), Assyria once more became a great power, growing to be the greatest empire the world had yet seen. The empire expanded its hegemony over Egypt, Babylonia, Elam, Urartu, Media, Persia, Mannea, Gutium, Canaan, Aramea, Arabia, Israel, Judah, Edom, Moab, Samarra, Cilicia, Cyprus, Chaldea, Nabatea, Commagene, Dilmun and the Hurrians, Sutu and Neo-Hittites.
The Assyrian Empire was severely crippled following the death of Ashurbanipal in 627 BC, the nation descending into a prolonged and brutal series of civil wars and finally came to an end in 605 BC after being defeated by the Babylonians and Medes. After successively conquered by Babylon, Persia, Macedonia, Parthia, and Roma, the Assyrians began to convert to Christianity during the period between the early 1st and 3rd centuries AD. After the Arab Islamic conquest in the 7th century AD Assyria was dissolved as an entity.
Under the rule of Ottomans, the Assyrians mostly concentrated in northern part of Mosul Vilayet and maintained their cultural and religious autonomy. The persecutions suffered by the Assyrians from the Ottomans and the Kurdish between late 19th century and early 20th century triggered the movement for the establishment of an Assyrian nation state.
During World War I, the Assyrians allied with the British to fight against the Ottomans. The British appreciated the Assyrian for their fighting qualities, loyalty, bravery and discipline. The Assyrians also played a greater role for the incorporation of Mosul Vilayet into the British Mandate of Mesopotamia and repression of 1920 Iraqi Revolution.
The Assyrian Independence Party (Aramaic: Gaba A’zadutta Atturaya) established in New York, the United States, on 1925 with Naum Faiq as its president. The Independence Party campaigned for the establishment of Assyrian national homeland in northern Mesopotamia within an Arab-Kurdish-Assyrian federation and the revival of Syriac language, bearing a resemblance with the struggle of Zionist World Organisation. The AIP actively persuaded the British government to grant the sociopolitical and cultural autonomy for the Assyrians within the Mandatory Mesopotamia.
In 1929, the Assyrian nationalists in the Mandatory Mesopotamia founded the Assyrian Revolutionary Party (Aramaic: Gaba Duba’rutta Atturaya) with Freydun Atturaya as its general secretary. Atturaya formerly was a pro-Soviet socialist before successfully escaped from the Soviet Union for his nationalist activities. The ARP’s goal was not just to establish a national home for Assyrian people, but also to create a democratic and independent Assyrian Republic in northern Iraq.
In 1935, the ARP split between the right-wing faction and the left-wing faction. The former founded the Gil’iara Attura Party (literally means “the Soldier of Assyria”) while the latter founded the Assyrian Democratic Party (Aramaic: Gaba Dimuqrataya Atturaya).
After the formation of the Peel Commission in Palestine to solve the problem occurred between the Arabs and the Jews, the AIP pressured the British to form similar Inquiry Commission to solve the Assyrian Question in Mesopotamia. In his speech before the AIP party congress on January 12, 1936, Naum Faiq stated the establishment of Assyrian Commonwealth in Nineveh Plain would guarantee the loyalty of Assyrian people to the British Empire. This speech, however, was heavily criticized by the pro-republican parties such as the Gil’iara Attura and the ADP.
In 1937, the far-right Assyrian nationalist party, Phlaggha Umta (literally means “the Phalanx of Nation” or usually known as the "Assyrian Falange"), founded by Farid Nazha in Beirut, Lebanon. The Phlaggha Umta was backed by the Falangist Spain government and supported for the establishment of Assyrian national homeland by the revolutionary way and as a secular state. The short-lived alliance also formed by the Gil’iara Attura and the Phlaggha Umta in 1938 and ended in 1942 following the former’s support for the formation of Assyrian Brigade.
Following the 1941 Mesopotamian Revolution carried by German-supported Arab nationalist, Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani, between 2 to 31 of May 1941, the Assyrian Question taken seriously for the first time by the British government. The AIP and the Gil’iara Attura sought to establish the Assyrian fighting units under the British flag within the British Royal Army. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Lord Halifax, who recognized the efficiency and the discipline of Assyrian forces agreed for the formation of Assyrian Brigade in 1942.
Naum Faiq died on July 7, 1943 and replaced by Yossip Bar-Qaqnos as the leader of Independence Party. Bar-Qaqnos, who tried to restore the good relationship with the Gil’iara Attura, agreed with the establishment of Assyrian Republic in the future that brought the AIP along the same line with the Gil'iara Attura and the Phlaggha Umta. The meeting between Bar-Qaqnos and Atturaya on February 11, 1944 united the goal of independence between both parties.
At the end of World War II, the British established the Mesopotamia Royal Commission to inquire the transition of Mandatory Mesopotamia into the fully independent states. In 1946, the Commission adopted a resolution called the Pachachi-Atturaya Agreement for the formation of an Assyrian national homeland in Assyrian Triangle and the establishment of an independent state in Arabo-Kurdish sectors that known as "Iraq".
The first election of Assyrian Parliament held on March 1, 1947 with the Assyrian Independence Party gained narrow victory over the Gil'iara Party. The provisional Assyrian government was formed on April 25, 1947 with Freydun Atturaya was elected as its Prime Minister and Noel Mason-Macfarlane as the last High Commissioner for Mesopotamia (Assyria). On December 12, 1948, the Parliament of Assyria declared the independence of Assyria as a sovereign and democratic republic within the Commonwealth Confederation with Tel Keppe as its national capital. Yossip Bar-Qaqnos was elected as the nation's first President.