The Forgotten War

THE DJEBEL WAR 1957-1959

THE 1950 SAW A MAJOR INSURGENCY IN MUSCAT AND OMAN – ONE THAT THREATENED THE VERY FUTURE OF THE OMANI STATE UNTIL IT WAS DEFEATED WITH ASSISTANCE FROM THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND ARMED FORCES 60 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH. DR SIMON ANGLIM, OF KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, TELLS HOW THE REBELLION WAS QUELLED.

The sun rises over the Al Hajar Mountains. (VIA ROBERT HAANDRIKMAN) Silhouetted, the Grand Mosque in Muscat.

An Omani tribesman with hunting rifle. Such men formed the bulk of both government and rebel forces. (IMAGES VIA AUTHOR UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED)

The Djebel War was a tribal uprising led by separatist sheikhs in Oman’s interior in the mid- 1950s. All the major battlefields were within 150 miles (240km) of the capital, Muscat, and because this is a mountainous region, Omanis know it as the Djebel (meaning mountain or range)War. In Britain, it is usually referred to as the Djebel Akhdar campaign – after its climactic battle.

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