7. Oman (1912-present)


Crisis Phase (June 1, 1912-April 30, 1913): Sultan Faisal bin Turki announced the issuance of regulations concerning the import and trade of weapons in the country in June 1912. Britain deployed six naval ships commanded by Rear Admiral Alexander Bethell in Muscat harbor in support of the government between September 30, 1912 and December 2, 1912.

Conflict Phase (May 1, 1913-September 25, 1920): The Iman of Oman, Salim bin Rashid al-Kharusi, and Sheikh Isa bin Salih led a tribal rebellion against the government beginning in May 1913. Rebel troops captured Nizwa in June 1913, and Samail Valley on July 5, 1913. Sultan Faisal bin Turki requested assistance from the British government, and Britain deployed some troops in support of the government in Matrah beginning on July 9, 1913. Sultan Faisal ibn-Turki died on October 4, 1913, and he was succeeded by his son, Taimur bin Faisal, on October 5, 1913. Britain and France provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the government of Sultan Taimur bin Faisal on November 15, 1913. Some 700 British troops defeated some 3,000 rebel troops near Mattrah in January 1915, resulting in the deaths of 350 rebels. Britain offered to mediate negotiations between the parties in February 1915, and negotiations between the parties began in April 1915. Rebel troops captured al-Rustaq on August 12, 1917. Iman Salim bin Rashid al-Kharusi was killed in 1920, and Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Khalili of the Bani Rawahah tribe became the Iman of Oman. Ronald Wingate of Britain mediated the signing of the Treaty of al-Sib by the parties on September 25, 1920, which provided for the recognition of the spiritual and political authority of the Iman by the Sultan. Some 1,000 individuals were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (September 26, 1920-September 30, 1954): The Iman of Oman, Mohammed bin Abdullah, died in May 1954, and Sheikh Ghalib bin Ali of the Bani Hina tribe claimed the leadership of the Imanate.

Conflict Phase (October 1, 1954-January 31, 1960): Iman Ghalib bin Ali led a rebellion against the Sultan of Muscat and Oman, Sa’id bin Taimur, in central Oman beginning in October 1954. Saudi Arabia provided military assistance (weapons and ammunition) to the rebels. The Iman of Oman requested membership in the League of Arab States (LAS) on November 25, 1954. Government troops and rebels clashed on May 27, 1955, resulting in the deaths of some 12 individuals. The Sultan’s Muscat and Oman Field Force (MOFF) troops occupied the Iman’s capital of Nizwa on December 15, 1955, and Shiekh Ghalib bin Ali resigned as Iman on December 16, 1955. Sultan Sa’id bin Taimur arrived in Nizwa on December 24, 1955. Shiekh Ghalib bin Ali resumed the rebellion against the Sultan in June 1957. The Sultan requested British military assistance on July 16, 1957. The rebels gained control of the Nizwa region on July 19, 1957. Britain formally agreed to intervene in support of the government of Sultan Sa’id bin Taimur on July 20, 1957. Some 700 British troops commanded by Brgadier J. A. R. Robertson were deployed in support of the Sultan of Oman on July 24, 1957. British Royal Air Force (RAF) planes attacked rebel positions beginning on July 24, 1957. British military aircraft attacked rebels near Farq on August 2, 1957. British and government troops began a military offensive against the rebels on August 6, 1957, and captured Nizwa from the rebels on August 11, 1957. The Political Committee of the LAS referred the matter to the United Nations (UN) Security Council on August 12, 1957, but the UN Security Council rejected the LAS request to put the Oman situation on the council’s agenda. British troops completed their withdrawal from Oman on August 18, 1957. Saudi Arabia provided military assistance (weapons and ammunition) to the rebels in June 1958. British troops intervened in support of the government on November 1, 1958. British troops and rebels clashed in the Jabal Akhdhar region on January 26, 1959, resulting in the deaths of two rebels. Two British soldiers were accidently killed in the Jabal Akhdhar region on January 27, 1959. British and government troops suppressed the rebellion in January 1960. Some 100 individuals, including 40 rebels, eight government soldiers, and six British soldiers, were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (February 1, 1960-June 8, 1965): One British soldier was killed by rebels near Rustaq, and three civilians were killed by rebels near Muscat in February 1961. Rebels exploded a bomb on the ship M. V. Dara off the coast of Dabai on April 17, 1961, resulting in the deaths of 236 individuals. Twenty-four individuals by killed by rebels in 1962. The Dhofar Liberation Front (DLF) was established in opposition to the government in 1963. Egypt and Iraq provided military assistance to the DLF. The Sultan invited the UN secretary-general to send a special representative to Oman to investigate conditions within the country (after several Arab countries made complaints to the UN) in 1963. Herbert de Ribbing of Sweden was appointed special representative, and he conducted a fact-finding mission in the country from May to June 1963. Herbert de Ribbing later reported that rebel activity had ceased several years earlier. The UN General Assembly established a five-member fact-finding committee (Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal) on December 11, 1963. The UN fact-finding committee issued a report in January 1965. Some 250 individuals were killed in political violence between February 1960 and June 1965.

Conflict Phase (June 9, 1965-March 11, 1976): The DLF rebelled against the government in the Dhofar province beginning on June 9, 1965. Britain provided military assistance (300 military advisors) in support of the government from June 1965 to March 1977. The UN General Assembly approved a resolution on December 17, 1965, which blamed Britain for the civil and political problems in the country and called on Britain to end its involvement in the country. DFL rebels unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Sultan Sa’id ibn-Taimur on April 28, 1966. The DLF became the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arab Gulf (PFLOAG) on September 1, 1968. South Yemen provided military assistance (weapons, training, and military base) to the PFLOAG beginning in September 1968. China provided military assistance (weapons and training) to the PFLOAG from September 1968 to May 1973. The Soviet Union provided military assistance (weapons and training) to the PFLOAG beginning in September 1968. The US (military assistance), Saudi Arabia (financial assistance and weapons), and the United Arab Emirates (financial assistance) provided assistance to the government. PFLOAG rebels attacked Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and British military bases in central Oman on June 11-12, 1970. Sultan Sa’id bin Taimur was deposed in a rebellion on July 23, 1970, and Sultan Qaboos bin Said took control of the government. Some 120 rebels, 31 SAF troops, and three British soldiers were killed in the conflict in 1971. Prime Minister Sayyid Tarik bin Taimur resigned on January 2, 1972. SAF troops and PFLOAG rebels clashed near Marbat on July 19, 1972, resulting in the deaths or wounding of some 100 rebels. Iran deployed some 3,500 troops and military aircraft in support of the government beginning on April 15, 1973. Cuba provided military assistance to the PFLOAG beginning in April 1973. Nineteen PFLOAG supporters were sentenced to death for plotting to assassinate Sultan Qaboos bin Said on June 17, 1973, and ten of the nineteen were executed by the government on June 20, 1973. The PFLOAG was renamed the People’s Front for the Liberation of Oman (PFLO) in August 1974. Jordan deployed 650 troops in support of the government from January to September 21, 1975. PFLO rebels shot down a British helicopter on March 9, 1975, resulting in the deaths of three British soldiers. Mahmoud Riad, secretary-general of the LAS, conducted a fact-finding mission in Dhofar province on March 17-19, 1975. Iranian troops attacked PFLO rebels in Dhofar province on October 17, 1975, resulting in the deaths of three Iranian soldiers. Government troops captured the remaining PFLO-controlled villages in southern Dhofar on December 1, 1975. The parties agreed to a cessation of military hostilities, which went into effect on March 11, 1976. Some 10,000 individuals were killed during the conflict, including 500 Iranian soldiers and 35 British soldiers.

Post-Conflict Phase (March 12, 1976-December 31, 1979): PFLO rebels killed five British technicians in June 1978. Iran withdrew its remaining troops from Oman on February 21, 1979. The Soviet Union expressed support for the PFLO on April 30, 1979. Some 100 individuals were killed in political violence between March 1976 and December 1979.

Post-Crisis Phase (January 1, 1980-present): Parliamentary elections were held on October 16, 1997. Parliamentary elections were held on September 14, 2000. The US provided de-mining assistance (mine-clearing training) to the government beginning in January 2001.  Parliamentary elections were held on October 4, 2003, which was the first election open to all adult citizens of Oman.  More than 500 candidates, including 15 women, ran for seats on the 83-member Consultative Assembly (Majlis al-Shura).

[Sources: Banks and Muller, 1998, 694-697; Bercovitch and Jackson, 1997, 146-147; Brecher and Wilkenfeld, 1997, 645-646; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), October 5, 2003; Burrell, 1972, 55-58; Butterworth, 1976, 184-186, 367-369; Clodfelter, 1992, 1039, 626-627, 1040-1041; Degenhardt, 1988, 257-258; Donelan and Grieve, 1973, 112-115; Durch, 1978, 34-74; Facts on File, July 18-24, 1957, July 25-31, 1957, August 1-7, 1957, August 8-14, 1957, August 15-21, 1957, August 22-28, 1957, February 5-11, 1959, July 15-21, 1973, November 1, 1975; Jessup, 1998, 547-548; Joyce 1995; Joyce 1995; Keesing’s Record of World Events, August 17-24, 1957, April 1-8, 1972, June 17-23, 1974, February 24-March 2, 1975, December 8-14, 1975, May 7, 1976, May 20, 1977, October 1997; Landen 1967; Langer, 1972, 1305-1306; Middle East Contemporary Survey (MECS), 1976-1977, 1977-1978, 1978-1979; Middle East Journal (MEJ), Summer 1955, Autumn 1957, Winter 1959, Middle East Record (MER), 1969-1970; New York Times (NYT), October 4, 2003; O’Neill, 1980, 213-233; Phillips 1967; Riphenburg 1998; Tillema, 1991, 190-191, 195-197; Townsend, 1977, 95-121; Weisburd, 1997, 187-188; Wilkenson 1987.]