Shia Insurrection in Saudi Arabia; The Battle for Awamiya

By thomas mountain

Since May, 2017 an ongoing insurgency has been raging in the Shia

heartland town of Awamiya in eastern Saudi Arabia and its only thanks

to the BBC being allowed to enter the area and film the destruction

that the world can see how the House of Saud’s war against the Shia

population of Yemeni has now expanded to include the Shia population

of eastern Saudi Arabia.
The BBC World report shown on Wednesday, August 16, seemed to have

come from Syria, with al-Zara, the ancient Shia capital of the Persian

province of Bahrain and the rest the town of Awamiya showing a level

of devastation resembling that in Syria or to the Kurdish cities

destroyed recently by Erdogan Ottoman’s Janissarris.

Block by block destruction of the Old City with no visible signs of

the Shia people who once lived here for millenia with almost 500

buildings destroyed and over 20,000 driven from their homes by Saudi

airstrikes, artillery and mortar fire.
The BBC crew was only allowed there in armored vehicles, filming

through bullet proof windows while traveling as a part of an armored

convoy. The one time they were allowed to stop and step outside the

battlewagons they were riding, firing could by heard and they were

quickly ordered to return to their vehicles so they could escape.

This short view of an almost unknown urban war in the midst of the

Saudi oilfields, with 2 million barrels a day being pumped via Awamiya

alone (20% of total Saudi exports) with the House of Saud, after

Russia, being the 2nd largest oil producer worldwide, should be

sending shivers down the spines of those occupying the seats of power

both east and west.
How long the Shia rebellion in eastern Saudi Arabia, home to almost

all Saudi oil reserves, will be able to maintain an armed resistance

to the Saudi military assault is the 10 million barrel a day question.

The excuse given by the House of Saud royal family mouthpieces is they

were driving the Shia from their ancient homeland for “urban renewal”

purposes. Never mind the “renewing” would destroy world heritage sites

such as the ancient town of al-Zara, capital of the Shia, Persian

province of Bahrain for millenia past and sacred to the Shia

population and in the process “relocate” the Shia population as far a

possible from the Saudi oil fields.
Wahabi is as Wahabi does with the crimes committed in the name of

Sunni Islam in Yemen now being carried out next door to their cousins,

the Saudi Shia. Only the silence of the media lambs internationally

alongside the UN, allows this to go unnoticed, for a double standard

has long existed when it comes to condemning the crimes of the House

of Saud. After the latest round of beheadings of Shia leaders protests

turned to gunfire in Awamiya and the fires of armed revolution have

been lit for the first time in Saudi Arabia.
The Shia of eastern Saudi Arabia are cousins to their rather

unorthodox Houthi neighbors in Yemen with a long history of

intermarriage and commerce. The flood of small arms that has plagued

Yemen for decades past have over the years made its way into the hands

of the Shia population in the midst of the House of Saud’s oil fields.

While many waited in vain for the armed struggle to break out in

Bahrain instead it exploded in the cultural heartland of this once

Persian province and in a much more strategically critical location,

in Awamiya and ancient al-Zara.
While still early, for almost 4 months now the armed resistance in

Awamiya appears to have fought the Saudi army into a stalemate,

surviving heavy air and artillery bombardment, with shots still

ringing whenever the armed might of the House of Saud ventures within

range of their small arms. If this very first armed uprising is able

to maintain their determination to see an end to their oppression by

their Wahabi occupiers similar to the relentless fight being waged by

the mainly Houthi based resistance in Yemen then all hell could break

Losing control of their oil fields would inevitably bring down the

Royal House of Saud, in power since their installation by the British

after WWI.
If this armed uprising survives the Saudi Army onslaught and can

spread to villages and towns throughout Shia eastern Saudi Arabia and

the over 3 million strong Shia people take up arms against the regime

similar to their cousins in Yemen those shivers running down the

spines of the lords of power east and west could quickly grow to be

migraine headaches as a major portion of the worlds oil supplies could

be threatened if not cut off.
Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea, living and

reporting from here since 2006. See thomascmountain on Facebook or

best contact him at thomascmountain at g mail dot com