Middle Easr

Development of the Arab revolt- The Arab Revolt (1916–1918) was initiated by the Sherif Hussein ibn Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen. The rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire goes back to 1821. Arab nationalism has its roots in the Mashreq (the Arabs lands east of Egypt), particularly in countries of Sham (the Levant). The political orientation of Arab nationalists in the years prior to the Great War was generally moderate. It is estimated that the Arab forces involved in the revolt numbered around 5,000 soldiers. This number however probably applies to the Arab Regulars who fought with Allenby's main army, and not the irregular forces under the direction of Lawrence and Feisal. On a few occasions, particularly during the final campaign into Syria, this number would grow significantly. Many Arabs joined the Revolt sporadically, often as a campaign was in progress or only when the fighting entered their home region. During the Aqaba raid, for instance, while the initial Arab force numbered only a few hundred, over a thousand more from local tribes joined them for the final assault on Aqaba. Estimates of Hussein's effective forces vary, but through most of 1918 at least, they may have numbered as high as 30,000 men.
It should also be noted that in the early days of the Revolt, Hussein's forces were largely made up of Bedouin and other nomadic desert tribes, who were only loosely allied, loyal more to their respective tribes than the overall cause. Feisal had hoped that he could convince Arab troops serving in the Turkish army to mutiny and join his cause; but the Turkish government sent most of its Arab troops to the front-lines of the war, and thus only a handful of deserters actually joined the Arab forces until later in the campaign.
The main contribution of the Arab Revolt to the war was to pin down tens of thousands of Turkish...
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