The Summer of Freedom
The long war against Germany and Japan had left Britain close to bankruptcy, only surviving through generous American loans and aid. This, coupled with the cost of administrating and garrisoning such a large Empire was stretching British finances to breaking point. Therefore, due to constant protesting and acts of subversion, the United Kingdom gracefully let go of several of her overseas possesions.
First to go was Iran, where anti-British insurgency had been strongest, due to broken promises about the restorated of independance after the British occupation during the war.
This was shortly followed by Iraq, who had been nominally independant, but had been brought under closer control after a pro-German president had taken power
Next, it was the turn of India and Pakistan. The Indian subcontinent had been begging for independance since long before the war, but the complicated nature of freeing up these two states and the necessary population transfers that would take place severely delayed this.
Finally, the former French Mandate for Syria was broken up into two new states, Syria and Lebanon.
In the spirit of independance, the American government withdrew a large number of military troops and political overseers from Japan, allowing them a greater freedom to decide their own course of actions
After all this, the British still held onto some Middle Eastern footholds for strategic purposes. One of these was the port of Aden. However, on August 22nd 1956, a group of protestors several thousand large, including many armed freedom fighters overran the skeleton crew at the British Naval base who pulled out on any craft they could commandeer. Shortly afterwards, the British signed documents officially handed a large swathe of territory over to the Yemeni government.