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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎68v] (136/536)

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The record is made up of 1 file (266 folios). It was created in Jul 1931-Dec 1934. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.

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4
240. The Ibn Rifada adventure itself came to an inglorious end on the
30th July, except for the carnage in detail which followed. There is still much
obscurity as to the movements and number of the rebels. It is probable that the
whole of Ibn Rifada's forces, including tribal elements who joined him m the
Hejaz, never exceeded 1.000 men, inadequately armed and mounted and suffeimg
from shortage of food, owing to the measures taken by the authorities in Trans
jordan, Palestine and Egypt to prevent supplies from reaching them by land or
sea. The rebels had tarried long at or near Haql, but in July they moved south
until the bulk of them were at Huraiba and Sherma, places on or close to the sea
eastward from the southern end of the Gulf of Aqaba. There was some prospect
of their attacking Muweyla or even Dhaba, where Ibn Saud had garrisons, and
they were reported at one moment to be threatening the road between the ^Y 0 ',
241. Meanwhile Ibn Saud had been continuing his preparations slowly but
methodically. The principal forces intended to be used were the Akhwan levies,
which had been summoned to assemble at A1 L la. It is not known how many
fathered there. Estimates varied from 1,500 to 10,000, a Hejazi figure and
probably much exaggerated. Whatever the number at A1 Ula, it was sufficient to
enable an important contingent under Ibn Aqil to be moved to Dhaba, whence the
Akhwan, working in with other Government forces, including camelry undei
Ibn Sultan, the following of the Amir of Dhaba and a party from Taif under one
of the King's own henchmen, marched against the rebels. They located the mam
body of the latter, apparently some 400 men, at Jebel Shar, a position inland from
the road between Dhaba and Muweyla. The battle, or battue, took place on the
30th July. According to the official reports, 370 rebels were killed on the field, a
remnant, including twenty men of the Beni Atiya, escaped, and the losses on the
Government side were only nine. Ibn Saud gave orders that m the subsequent
round-up all persons who had joined the rebels should be killed. Reports
published subsequently recorded the slaughter of various parties of rebels m the
area between Muweyla, Haql and Alagan, a place some distance inland from Haq .
242. News from Transjordan in the course of August indicated a possibility
of a rally of rebel fragments, Imran tribesmen and Beni Atiya, notably those left
over from the party which entered the Hejaz on the night of the 26th June (see
paragraph 184), at Alagan. If this rally took place, the rebels would appear to
have made no effective stand. Much less is known however, as to what had
happened up to the end of August between Alagan and the Hejaz Railway. e
position at the end of the month appeared to be that the majority of Ibn Aqil s
Akhwan had been sent back to Dhaba, but that there might be a further movement
of Government forces from Tebuk to clean up any disaffected area east of Alagan.
The Beni Atiya party under Ibn Farhan mentioned above seems to have done
some successful raiding and to have recrossed the frontier with looted camels but
to have doubled back again into Hejaz-Nejd and to have left some of the loot at
Aiaga^isbef^^dmp^smg^iod foUowing the defeat of lbn Rif a da a fair number of
stragglers made good their escape into Transjordan. According to a telegram
from Transjordan, dated the 31st August, there were, including women, 103 at
Aqaba and forty-seven at Maan. . . , , . •
1 244 It has been said that the Akhwan were the principal element m the
forces called up to cope with the rebellion. At first mention was made only of a
concentration at A1 Ula, to consist of some 5,000 or , f ^ 00 / r ^ 1 t ^ e dfYulv^if
of Neid It is not certain how many actually assembled. It looked m July as it
there might have been some lack of response to the call to arms. This in its turn
suggested the possibility of disaffection among part of thebhammar. According
to^o^emmentpublications after the Battle of Jebel Shar and miscel aneous
■sources of information, there was, in fact, no serious manifestation of disloyalty.
On the contrary, the Akhwan spirit was roused all over the country to an extent
embarrassing to the King. Large numbers of them came at his summons to Taif,
fLp of emero-ency elsewhere, more especially m Asn. Sheikh Yussut iasin pur
the number ft 10,000, and another official mentioned as many as 15,000 a day or
two later The numbers may have been exaggerated, but there wet e cei tainly
teas than 4 000 early in August, largely Ateyba, whose presence was a fair y
conclusive refutation of previous rumours of disaffection in the region round Taif
itself. Fuad Bey spoke to Sir A. Ryan of other assemblages all the way from e

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Content

The file contains intelligence reports on the Kingdom of Hejaz, Najd and its Dependencies (after September 1932, Saudi Arabia) written by the British Legation at Jeddah.

Between July 1931 and December 1932 the reports are issued every two months, with the exception of the January-March 1932 and April 1932 reports. From January 1933 the reports are sent on a monthly basis.

Between July 1931 and December 1932, each report is divided into sections, numbered with Roman numerals from I to IX, as follows: Internal Affairs; Frontier Questions; Relations with States outside Arabia; Air Matters; Military Matters; Naval Matters; Pilgrimage; Slavery; and Miscellaneous. Each section is then further divided into parts relating to a particular matter or place, under a sub-heading. Some reports contain an annex.

From January 1933, when the reports become monthly, they take a new format. Each is divided into sections, as follows: Internal Affairs; Frontier Questions and Foreign Relations in Arabia; Relations with Powers Outside Arabia; Miscellaneous (often containing information on slavery and the pilgrimage).

Most reports are preceded by the covering letters from the Government of India, who distributed them to Political Offices in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. and elsewhere, and the original covering letter from the Jeddah Legation, who would send them to the Government of India and Government departments in London. From May 1933, most reports were sent directly to the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain from Jeddah.

Up until January 1933, each report began with an index giving a breakdown of the sections with references to the corresponding paragraph number. From January 1933 onwards no index is included.

Extent and format
1 file (266 folios)
Arrangement

The file is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover and terminates at the back cover; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional incomplete foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 6-11; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in the same position as the main sequence.

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English in Latin script
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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎68v] (136/536), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/295, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100025543724.0x000089> [accessed 19 November 2019]

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