Saturday, September 23, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 7, 1445 H
scattered clouds
30°C / 30°C

Patrolling the Summit of the Valley


The following is my English translation of excerpts from “A Soldier from Oman: Memory’s Nectar” by (ret.) Inspector-General Said bin Rashid Al Kalbani:

We were given three vans, but were not allowed to sit in them. The drivers were given orders not to operate the engines or even the lights, so that we wouldn’t come to be noticed. Accordingly, we pushed the vans with as much strength as we could muster from the runway to the town of Salalah. The aim was to arrest a number of men wanted by the authorities. We were divided into groups and were ordered to go to different sites. At dawn we were fired at, but being ready, we dealt with the situation with all determination and courage. We arrested 35 people, and handed them over to the authorities.

After drinking tea in the morning in the same place, we returned to our location in the station, where we had lunch. In the evening we went towards Wadi Adonab, the exit to Resut Port. The vans left us at the end of the valley to patrol the mountain the following day. We then returned to the headquarters in Jarbeeb, top of Awqad, the gateway to Wadi Resham. The vans were supposed to return in the evening to the same point where they left us, bringing us our lunch.

In the morning of the following day, we went out to patrol the summit of the valley. We arrived 6 at the spot where Said bin Najeeh, a well-known Dhofari revolutionary, may Allah have mercy upon him, got injured. (He then surrendered to the government, and was later employed in the Political Section, military intelligence, as a guide to the armed forces). We also saw the water gathering at the foot of the mount in the north. Divided into two groups, some of us got down to fill the water containers, while the others went on guard.

I remember a number of women nearby giving water to their cattle. Corp. Doshambeh took the initiative and asked them if he could buy one of their cattle. The women, however, gracefully offered a sheep to him free of charge. We said to him that the sheep was unpalatable, and perhaps, diseased. He, nonetheless, carried it till we reached the site. Because the van supposed to bring us food didn’t come, Doshambeh slaughtered the sheep and barbecued it. Some of us were forced to eat it despite what they had said earlier about it.

With the sunset we received a telegraph stating that the van to bring us food had been hit in a mine explosion in the middle of Wadi Adonab. It had broken down, and the food in it had gone bad; consequently, we had to spend our night in the site.

In the morning, all those who had eaten the mutton began to complain of stomach pain; some even vomited. The arrival of food in a vehicle later made us forget all that, however. We had our brunch and then went back on the same van to the camp in Jarbeeb, where we spent ten days, carrying out patrols, keeping the guard, climbing the mountain in daylight and carrying out ambushes at night.

arrow up
home icon