Military Review

Country Saud. How Saudi Arabia turned into a Middle Eastern power

20 May 1927 The United Kingdom officially recognized the political sovereignty of the Kingdom of Nedge and Hejaz, a large state on the Arabian Peninsula, resulting from the conquest of several smaller states in the region by the Sultanate of Nedd, and after the addition of three more state entities that were renamed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the 1932 world, May is considered the Independence Day of Saudi Arabia, a state that plays a very prominent role in modern world politics. Meanwhile, 20 years ago, before extensive oil deposits were found in Saudi Arabia, it was the periphery of the Middle East - backward and very poor lands, torn by endless intertribal and inter-clan wars.

In fact, история Saudi state (Saudis) began much earlier - in the first half of the XVIII century. At that time there was no single state in Central Arabia, and various Bedouin tribes fought for dominance in the oases. The disunity of the Bedouins did not allow them to unite efforts to repel the periodic raids of the Meccan sheriffs, who besieged the Central Arab tribes and oases with tribute. Even more dangerous for Arabia was the powerful Ottoman Empire, which formally declared the peninsula to be its possession. Just as a protest against the Ottoman expansion in the Arab lands, in the middle of the XVIII century, the Wahhabi movement began to form. It was named after Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792), a Muslim theologian from Uyayna (Nejd), who advocated a return to true Islam and strict adherence to the rules and regulations prescribed for Muslims. Naturally, first of all, the Ottomans, who were not distinguished by austerity and temperance, fell under the definition of “wrong”. In 1744, Ibn Wahhab settled in the small town of Ed-Dirya, where he found support from the local ruler of the emir Mohammed ibn Saud (1710-1765) - the representative of the Anaza tribe. The preacher and the emir perfectly complement each other. Ibn-Wahhab gained numerous supporters and fighting power, and Ibn-Saud - an ideology that allowed him to unite the previously disparate Nejd tribes and come to the fore among the other emirs and sheikhs of Central Arabia. Country Saud. How Saudi Arabia turned into a Middle Eastern power

This is how the Diyri Emirate or the First Saudi State emerged, which by the middle of the 1760s. subjugated the whole of Central Arabia, capturing the most important cities of the region - Uyaynu, Ayayanu, Riyadh. By the end of the XVIII century. The diyrian emirate subjugated Eastern Arabia as well. The Ottoman troops sent to pacify the Wahhabis suffered a defeat and were forced to retreat, after which the Saudis launched a series of invasions into Iraq, where in 1802 the city of Karbala was defeated. In 1803, the Saudis took Mecca, and in 1805, Medina and almost all of the Hejaz. 1805 to 1810 The Saudis invaded Iraq and Syria, but in 1811 they encountered a powerful adversary, the Egyptian Wali (viceroy) Muhammad Ali. Egyptian troops in 1813 recaptured the Hijaz, and by 1817 they even occupied Nejd, the epicenter of the Saudi movement. In 1818, the capital of the emirate of Ed-Dirya fell. Emir Abdullah ibn Saud was taken to Istanbul, where he was executed by beheading.

The first Saudi state actually ceased to exist. But three years later, in 1821, a new anti-Ottoman uprising led by Turki ibn Abdallah broke out in Riyadh. In 1824, the Second Saudi State was created. It existed until the beginning of the 1890-ies, when on the Arabian Peninsula the positions of Saudi rivals, the clan al-Rashidi, which destroyed the Second Saudi State, were seriously strengthened. Having lost in the struggle for power, the Saudis were forced to flee to Kuwait. The actual control over Nejd was gained by the members of the clan ar-Rashidi, who ruled in the emirate of Jebel Shammar.

For nine years, the Saudis were in exile in Kuwait, where they accumulated strength for revenge. By this time, they had a new strong and strong-willed leader - the young Abdul-Aziz al-Saud, also called Ibn-Saud (1880-1953). In 1902, 22-year-old Abdul-Aziz al-Saud invaded Nejd, where he was able to quickly capture Riyadh. But the Rashidi family did not intend to give up their positions without a fight - she requested help from the Ottoman Empire, which was not interested in the return of the Saudis. Istanbul sent an expeditionary force to Nejd, but it was defeated and was forced to leave Central Arabia.

Like his ancestor Muhammad ibn-Saud, Abdul-Aziz relied on a combination of military-political actions with the approval of "pure Islam". In 1912, they founded the Ikhvan Brotherhood, which all Bedouin Nejd tribes were urged to join. From Ikhvanov, Abdul-Aziz demanded the creation of agricultural colonies - “hijr”, complete submission to the emir - the imam, and the total rejection of any contacts with non-believers and Muslims living in European colonies. The inhabitants of the Ikhvan settlements were at the same time both farmers and warriors, since in case of a declaration of war they were mobilized into military units. Already in 1915, the fraternity consisted of at least 60 000 people.

By 1912, the whole of Central Arabia was ruled by Abdulaziz. Emirate Nejd, who ruled Abdulaziz, enlisted the support of the British Empire. The British saw the Saudis as a natural counterweight to the influence of the Ottoman Empire in the region, and since Germany was gaining strength behind the Ottoman Empire, it was extremely important for London to prevent the Ottomans from returning to the Arabian Peninsula. It was the British authorities who ultimately provided the main support to the Arabs who fought against the Ottoman Empire in the early twentieth century. At the time of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, five independent states were formed on the peninsula: Hejaz, Nejd, Jebel Shammar, Asher and Yemen. In 1921, the troops of Abd al-Aziz al-Saud inflicted a crushing defeat on the Rashidi detachments and captured the emirate of Jebel Shammar. After that, the emir of Nejd proclaimed himself the Sultan, and the emirate of Nejd was transformed into a sultanate with the same name.

The main rival of the Saudis on the Arabian Peninsula after the defeat of Rashidi was the influential Hashimite dynasty, which ruled in Hejaz. King Hijaz Hussein ibn Ali was distinguished by expansionist and hegemonic aspirations - being the ruler of Hijaz, on whose territory were sacred Muslims Mecca and Medina, and taking advantage of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Hussein ibn Ali in March 1924 declared himself a new caliph of the faithful (previously, this tatrite of the faithful (previously, this tatel of the faithful) tradition belonged to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire). But the plans of Great Britain, which, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, claimed the leading role in Middle Eastern politics, did not include the unification of Arab Muslims under the rule of Hussein ibn Ali. In London, to a greater degree, they favored the Saudis, who were regarded as a profitable ally, who had no serious expansionist plans. As a result, using the support of Great Britain, the Sultanate of Nejd attacked the Hejaz. The short war ended with the defeat of Hejaz.

After the defeat of the Hashimites in 1925, the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz was created, which the Soviet Union was one of the first to recognize in 1926. The Soviet leaders would know in that distant time that they recognize the state, which for many decades will become one of the most important ideological opponents and geostrategic obstacles to the expansion of Soviet influence in the Middle East. Moreover, the adversary is tough and has developed political, financial, economic and military ties with the UK and the USA. 20 May 1927, the United Kingdom also recognized the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz.
Meanwhile, King Abdulaziz did not stop at conquering the Hijaz. On the Arabian Peninsula, there were still a few practically independent possessions, which he intended to subordinate to his power - Al-Hasa, Al Qatif and Asher. Al-Hasa is located in the northeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, near Qatar. Al Qatif is also located in eastern Arabia - on the shores of the Persian Gulf, and most of the population in it are still Shiites. Finally, Asher was the most imposing of these possessions.

The emirate of Asher in 1906 founded Muhammad ibn Ali al-Idrisi. Formally, Asher’s territory was then part of the Yemen ’vilayah of the Ottoman Empire, but was in fact controlled by local tribal leaders. In 1909, al-Idrisi raised a powerful rebellion against the Ottomans, forcing the Ottoman leadership to 1910 to recognize Muhammad ibn Ali as ruler of Asher. 3 August 1917, Muhammad proclaimed himself the emir of the independent emirate Asher, after which he was recognized by Great Britain. However, after Muhammad ibn Ali passed away in 1923, the struggle for power began between his relatives. In 1926, the son of the late Emir Ali was overthrown by his uncle Hassan. Civil strife seriously weakened the already very loose emirate. In April, a part of the emirate 1925 was captured by the Imam of neighboring Yemen, after which 21 October 1926, the emir al-Hassan signed an agreement on the protectorate of the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz over the emirate of Asir. In accordance with the text of the treaty, Asher recognized the primacy of the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz in foreign policy matters. However, soon Emir al-Hassan decided to restore his authority over Asir in full, for which he turned for help to Yemen. Meanwhile, the 23 of September of 1932, the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz, was renamed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which emphasized the Saudis' claims for power in the entire Arabian Peninsula. In 1934, KSA was annexed by Asher, annexed by Saudi troops.

Thus, by the beginning of the 1930's. under the rule of Abdul-Aziz was a huge territory - almost the entire Arabian Peninsula, with the exception of Yemen, Oman and a group of emirates of the Persian Gulf. But, at the same time, the Saudis have established very complex and contradictory relations with the leaders of other Arab states. Saudi Arabia was in a kind of isolation caused by the old grievances of the monarchs of Iraq and Jordan - they came from the Hashemite dynasty, which the Saudis ousted from the Hejaz. Permanent territorial disputes have contributed to maintaining tensions with Yemen.

However, the growth of the influence of Saudi Arabia in the Arab East, and then wider - in the Muslim world, contributed to the discovery of oil fields. In 1933, American oil companies began exploring oil fields in Saudi Arabia, after which it became clear that the country's lands hide enormous oil reserves. The King of Saudi Arabia transferred the basic rights for the development of oil fields to the American company ARAMCO. Income from oil exports, however, came directly to the royal family of the Saudis. With the growth of profits from oil exports, the Saudi Arabia’s budget began to grow seriously. By the beginning of the 1950's. Saudi Arabia has become the richest state in the Middle East, and the Saudi royal family has taken a strong position among the richest families in the world.

Solid financial capabilities have significantly changed the role and place of Saudi Arabia in international politics. First of all, the country became the largest sponsor of religious Islamic organizations operating in all parts of the world, and also began to provide financial assistance to many Muslim countries in Asia and Africa, including quite odious regimes like Idi Amin Dada in Uganda or Mohammed Siad Barre in Somalia. At the same time, throughout the Cold War between the USSR and the socialist bloc on the one hand, the United States and its allies on the other, Saudi Arabia remained the most important geopolitical partner of the United States in the Arab world.

In the twentieth century, two main ideologies fought for ideological influence in the Arab world — secular Arab nationalism with a “leftist” socialist tinge (to it Egypt during the reign of Nasser, Syria, Iraq, Libya and a number of other states) and religious fundamentalist traditionalism, supported by Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, the Gulf Emirates. The United States and Great Britain, fearing the spread of Soviet influence in the Middle East through the establishment of secular Arab nationalist regimes, betrayed Saudi Arabia and religious fundamentalists. The rigid traditionalist regime in Saudi Arabia allowed the country to maintain a political system in which there was no place for modern political parties, left ideology, secular culture.

Strong ties between Saudi Arabia and the West persisted after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Saudi Arabia played a key role in eliminating the last secular nationalist regimes of the Arab world in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, but in Syria it faced serious resistance from supporters of Bashar al-Assad, supported by Russia. Nevertheless, despite the fact that, in fact, Russia and Saudi Arabia are on opposite sides of the barricades in the Middle East, Saudi leaders are quite frequent guests in Moscow, since without the participation of Saudi Arabia, it is difficult to imagine a modern Middle Eastern policy.

At the same time, many unresolved political problems have accumulated in Saudi Arabia itself, which will inevitably manifest themselves, and in a sufficiently foreseeable future. We are talking about ethno-confessional problems - 15% of the country's population are Shiites, whose relations with the authorities of the kingdom are very tense, about the migration situation - a large number of migrants from Africa and South Asia live in Saudi Arabia, which also creates additional social risks. Finally, there is a socio-political discontent with the policies of the ruling dynasty and among the country's Arab population.
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  1. svp67
    svp67 20 May 2016 07: 02
    How Saudi Arabia turned into a Middle Eastern power
    Thanks for the info. But somehow the meaning of the name is not entirely clear. It turns out that before the SA - was some other power, Far Eastern or what?
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 20 May 2016 07: 18
      It’s just, probably, that she, a power, achieved her current sovereign state gradually. And under some conditions she might not have reached it.
      But there was an article about the death of their prince, for some reason it was not clear. Something could be clarified?
    2. Spnsr
      Spnsr 20 May 2016 23: 05
      Quote: svp67
      How Saudi Arabia turned into a Middle Eastern power
      Thanks for the info. But somehow the meaning of the name is not entirely clear. It turns out that before the SA - was some other power, Far Eastern or what?

      At first, the tribes inhabiting the sa were part of the Ataman “empire”, AFTER I HAVE collapsed, they tried to announce the Ottomans as hostesses, but the Western partners were not interested in a large and strong Oselje ЕРelje СЕelЛОe ЖelРОe Жelée ЕРelРО , BY THE way, THIS PARTICIPATED AND NOVELS! TAKE THOUGH BULGARIA AND MANY MODERN STATES OF THE BALKAN AND THE CAUCASUS, UNTIL LITTLE TURKEY REMAINS. And so that the possibility of a return of hostile tribes to the Ottoman Empire again does not arise, a state should have been created, again without the participation of Western partners ....
  2. surrozh
    surrozh 20 May 2016 07: 40
    Yeah, there are contradictions, they are not so monolithic. I would like to continue in this vein.
  3. verb
    verb 20 May 2016 09: 34
    Islam in general, and fundamentalist in particular, is the most depressive and aggressive religion in the world. In Islam, the principle of obedience prevails. Hierarchy is in everything, from relations between the sexes and ending with state ones. Only harm in the whole world from this "religion".
    1. MAGA
      MAGA 20 May 2016 11: 36
      Quote: verb
      Islam in general, and fundamentalist in particular, is the most depressing and aggressive religion in the world. The principle of obedience dominates in Islam. Hierarchy is in everything, from relations between the sexes to state relations. Only harm in the whole world from this "religion"

      Answer how many people were killed by Muslims and how many Christians? - then draw a conclusion from which religions do more harm. I remind you that Charlemagne said whoever does not accept Christianity will fall by the sword, quite a few nations have disappeared.
      The Spaniards took pleasure in inventing sophisticated cruelty and torture. They built a gallows high enough for the hanged man to touch the ground with his toes to avoid suffocation, and thus hung thirteen Indians, one by one, in honor of Christ the Savior and his apostles. While the Indians were still alive, the Spaniards tested the sharpness and strength of their swords on them, opening their chests with one blow so that the insides were visible, and there were those who did worse things. Then, straw was wrapped around their excised bodies and burned alive. One soldier caught two children, two years old, stabbed their throats with a dagger and threw them into the abyss. "Las Casas, like others, expresses the opinion that what struck most of all in the strange white people from the big ships was not their violence, not even their greed and strange attitude to property, but rather their coldness, their spiritual callousness, their lack of love ". (Kirkpatrick Sale. The Conquest of Paradise. P. 151.)
      And this is not even 1% but 0,001% of Christian atrocities, read and draw conclusions.
      1. Anglorussian
        Anglorussian 21 May 2016 01: 14
        The conclusion is simple - you just muslim yourself.
        And this is not even 1% but 0,001% of Christian atrocities, read and draw conclusions.
      2. altel
        altel 21 May 2016 03: 35
        Magician, do not enter into an argument with such people. Be above them. In our KZ they say about such people "yesterday they did not wash their ass but today they are trying to teach."
      3. Warrior2015
        Warrior2015 24 May 2016 19: 57
        Quote: MAGA
        I remind you that Charlemagne said whoever does not accept Christianity will fall by the sword, quite a few nations have disappeared.

        Comrade, name at least one people exterminated by Charlemagne? I must say right away - the Saxons still live and live.

        Quote: MAGA
        and thus hung thirteen Indians, one after another, in honor of Christ the Savior and his apostles.
        Well, do not blaspheme, but just read what the supposedly peaceful simple Aztecs or Incas did in their lands with the same Indians, and everything will become clear. Or unclear. Then watch Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.
    2. MAGA
      MAGA 20 May 2016 11: 39
      Orthodox inquisition even surpassed Catholic in cruelty.

      - 1071 - Murder of the Magi in Kiev ("and vrinush his devils in the ditch", Pereyaslavsky chronicler). In the same year - in the Rostov-Yaroslavl land and in Novgorod, an uprising against the arbitrariness perpetrated by Christian baptists. In Rostov, Yan Vyshatich tortured and then executed the Magi. Laurentian Chronicle: "Two wise men rebelled near Yaroslavl. And they came to Belozero, and there were 300 people with them. At that time, it happened that Yan, the son of Vyshatin, collecting tribute, came from Svyatoslav. Yan ordered to beat them and pull out their beards. When they were beaten and tore out their beards with a split, Yan asked them: what do the Gods say to you? They answered: this is how the Gods say to us: we will not be alive from you. And Yan told them: then they told you the truth. And seizing them, killed and hung them on oak ".
      - 1069-76 - "Suppression" of the Slavic-Finnish pagans of Beloozero by Yan Vyshatich. "The Tale of Bygone Years" and the Chronicler of Pereyaslavl-Zalessky. At the same time, Prince Gleb Svyatoslavich and Bishop Fyodor perpetrate a massacre of pagans in Novgorod.
      - 1091 years. - The suppression of the Magi in Rostov ("the sorcerer of death soon") - Pereyaslavsky Chronicler.
      - XII century - The rules of Metropolitan John: do not give communion to someone who walks through the magi.
      This now seems "insignificant", but in those days this measure was quite a serious means of excluding a citizen from public life, damaged his honor and made such a citizen an outcast or "dissident".
      - XII century. - The Rostov bishop Fyodor was famous for his savage cruelty. The chronicler says about him that he was "an unmerciful torturer, he chopped off some heads, burned out his eyes and cut tongues with others, crucified others on the wall and tortured mercilessly" (Complete collection of Russian chronicles).
      - 1227 - Novgorod, four wise men were brought to the bishop's court and there they were burned: "four wise men were consumed in the Yaroslavl court" with the permission of the archbishop. Nikon Chronicle.
      - 1285 - A feeding book. "to excommunicate those who go to the wise men and the amateurs."
      - 1375 - Novgorod. The execution of heretic strigolnikov.
      - 1411 - Pskov. 12 "prophetic women" (witches, witches) were burned.
      - 1490 - The Cathedral demanded the death penalty of heretics, Ivan III prevented.
      - Beginning of the XNUMXth century - Execution of Thomas, a cousin of Dmitry Tveretinov (iconoclasts).
      - 1504 - the cathedral decided to burn Ivan Volk-Kuritsin, Dmitry Konoplev and Ivan Maximov in a cage, which was done.
      - 1515 - More than 500 witches were burned and destroyed. (!)
      - 1505 - Teachings against paganism in the "Letter of Metropolitan Photius and Daniel", "Domostroy" and "Stoglav" prescribe the punishment of the Magi and those who know the magicians.
      - XVI century - Bishop of Novgorod writes to Metropolitan Zosima: "Ano Fryazov, according to their faith, what a fortress they hold! The Tsar's ambassador told me about the King of Spain, how he cleared his land, and I sent those speeches and a list to you - they take envy and want to adopt experience at the inquisition ... "
      - 1682 (April) - the burning of Avvakuum, Lazarus, Fedor, Epiphanius.
      - 1682 (July 5) - the burning of the priest Nikita Dobrynin and others.
      - 1684 - Decree of Joachim: to torture schismatics, if they do not submit - to execute by burning. Execution for concealment was also foreseen. Stefan Yavorsky: "It is worthy and righteous to kill heretics, it is useful for a heretic to die, and a good deed happens when he is killed."
      - 1716 - double taxes were introduced for the Old Believers; from 1726 - four.
      This just shows the intolerance of the Christian church to other beliefs and the attempt by any means to force them to "come into the bosom of the church."
      Indeed, for people living their labor, the quadruple taxes are equivalent to death.
      1. Sarmat149
        Sarmat149 20 May 2016 12: 38
        Bullshit. This is if MAGA is just a fool. And if not a fool, then ...? Someone’s adherent.
        1. MAGA
          MAGA 20 May 2016 13: 00
          Quote: Sarmat149
          Bullshit. This is if MAGA is just a fool. And if not a fool, then ...? Someone’s adherent.

          Before you write so boldly indicate where the stupidity is written? Where is the truth?
          1. Sarmat149
            Sarmat149 20 May 2016 13: 23
            In this case, there will be no dialogue. Your statement about the Orthodox Inquisition is actually a demagogy. I believe that you know what it is. I do not agree with you. I consider your information to be harmful and false, completely. What else needs to be said?
            Yes, in any case, you will defend what you wrote. All.
            1. MAGA
              MAGA 20 May 2016 14: 24
              Quote: Sarmat149
              In this case, there will be no dialogue. Your statement about the Orthodox Inquisition is actually a demagogy. I believe that you know what it is. I do not agree with you. I consider your information to be harmful and false, completely. What else needs to be said?

              Where is she lying? Or have Christians destroyed Svyatoslav? If this is a lie, then the lie is easily refuted.
          2. Warrior2015
            Warrior2015 24 May 2016 20: 00
            Quote: MAGA
            Before you write so boldly indicate where the stupidity is written? Where is the truth?

            In response to the nonsense about the allegedly existing "Orthodox Inquisition" I will ask one question - do you know about, for example, the "executioner of the zindiks" in Islamic countries? and what was the service they headed? Or do they not talk about it in the mosques?
      2. YakimovSS
        YakimovSS 11 July 2017 10: 32
        MAGA, smoke less and learn more history from the source itself. I will not enter into an absentee dispute, but the first part is half at least nonsense, the second part is simply smeared snot.
        To begin with, try to study the Old Believers as the most affordable. In tsarist Russia, these were the wealthiest people. I’m now sitting a kilometer from Old Believers Street in Moscow, Catherine gave this land to them as a gift. But you better read it yourself. I, too, used to ride on such garbage. An independent study of the primary sources showed a different picture.

        So you look and “Christians” from Christians will begin to distinguish and learn a story. Maybe you will return to Russia from the lagalayza plantations.
    3. altel
      altel 21 May 2016 03: 54
      In eastern Ukraine, now and today, people with icons and crosses around their necks are killing each other. The Germans on the buckles were knocked out "God with us" and together with other inhabitants of Europe they destroyed 27 million Soviet citizens. Both world wars were unleashed by Christians. Christians dropped America on Japan. Christians began crusades. The Christian West bombed Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria. And when refugees from there went to Europe, they began to be indignant. The President of the United States takes the oath on the Bible and after that gives the green light to blue on registration of marriages. Bishops in Europe marry homosexuals and these themselves are carried away. They legalize abortions. They declare perverts sick people and therefore they cannot be punished. And all together about "crying for rights" and their violations in Islamic countries. All this is called in Christianity hypocrisy .Mister Verb and Anglo-Russian man. Wash your fingers before pointing them at someone
  4. soroKING
    soroKING 20 May 2016 10: 13
    they still have chopped heads in the square angry
    1. MAGA
      MAGA 20 May 2016 12: 36
      The death penalty is in the USA, it was in the USSR. Many want the death penalty to return, I personally want to be executed for pedophilia.
      1. Anglorussian
        Anglorussian 21 May 2016 01: 12
        There, for criticizing the government, too ... that ... And the execution was turned into a spectacle.