THE WAR with Yemen (1352AH/1934)
King Abdul Aziz faced problems in foreign relations and new problems cropped up such as that of the borders with Yemen, which both countries didn't determine. This fact had caused the Yemenite Imam Yahya to fear the expansionism of King Abdul Aziz to the south. In the year (1352H-1934), King Abdul Aziz sent two military expeditions; one of them was led by Prince Saud who planned to attack Najran, and advance secretly through the rugged mountains in the North West part of Yemen. As for the other expedition, it moved towards al Hudaida passing through the coastal way under the leadership of Prince Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz.
Prince Saud chose to go through the hard path on his expedition, knowing that these mountains are well known for their difficult access. Hence, climbing them and crossing them was not easy. (Also, the army had no perfect idea about their relieves) Thus, these mountains were called the mountains of torture. (Many times the army crossed the mountains to pass from one side to the other.)
The supplies were scarce due to the difficulty in providing them. Thus, there was a lack of food supplies especially after the Yemenites attacked the military camps of Prince Saud, stole the provisions and burned the tents until the army of Saud was obliged to eat kites, which are birds that hover above carcasses. The Yemenite tribes were aware of the mountain passages and (relieves.) And so, they increased their attacks day after day while Prince Saud and his soldiers were used to the wars in the desert and to their strategies that differ totally from the war in the mountains.
On this military expedition, Saud divided his army into four divisions: the first was led by Faisal Bin Saad Bin Abdul Rahman who went in the direction of Batem. The second, was led by Khaled Bin Muhammad Bin Abdul Rahman who had to advance between Najran to the left and Baqim to the right to reach the boundaries of Saadah. And he led the third. He went through the east side of the region through which the first unit went provided that they moved all towards the front. As for the fourth unit, it occupied some parts in Najran with the help of its citizens) then Saud sent his forces to occupy Aqaba. As a result, some of the remaining Yemenite forces retreated to the region of Wailah. The Saudi forces followed them to expulse them from the region.
Hence, the crown prince Saud vanquished the Yemenites in Hardd went deeply into the region after them until he became near Ghamdan. Also, he occupied the region between Saadah and Najran despite the fact that few people are able to reach Saadah even today, because of its rugged passages where Prince Ahmad, the Crown Prince of Yemen and the General of the Yemenite army, had a base camp. Moreover, the people of these regions are from the Zeidieh tribes whose men are fierce warriors. It is said that they have been among the most aggressive Yemenite fighters until today. In addition, these warriors who played a major role in the Yemen war, faced the resistance of the Yemenite army and major tribes. The fact that Prince Saud was the commander-in-chief of this military expedition, had attracted to the battlefield a great number of tribes and the most powerful factions from the Yemenite fighters. The advantage that lay behind this strategy was the attraction of the major forces in the Yemenite army to the battle field in order to facilitate the mission of the other Saudi forces coming along the coastal way, equipped with vehicles and carriers. These Saudi forces did not encounter any resistance until they reached al Hadida. This war ended with the ratification of the Taif treaty in the year (l353H/1934). Moreover, secret British sources mentioned that this event contributed to drawing the world's attention to Crown Prince Saud.
The War with Yemen
THE WAR with Yemen (1352AH/1934)