The Great Arab Jamahiriya is a transcontinental country spanning from the Atlantic ocean to Persia, making it an Afro-Asiatic country via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. The country is ruled by Muammar Gaddafi who established the Jamahiriya over a period from 1969 and 1977, becoming the most powerful ruler in the Middle East.

Establishment of the Federation of Arab Republics (1971)

In 1971, Gaddafi opened negotiations with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria in order to create a United Arab state. Three simultaneous referenda were held in each country on 1 September 1971, resulting in a 98.6% approval in Libya, 99.9% approval in Egypt, and 96.4% approval in Syria. On 1 January 1972, the three countries merged to become the Federation of Arab Republics. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became President of the Federation, whilst Syrian President Hafez al-Assad became Vice-President and Gaddafi became Prime Minister.

The Great Arab Purge (1972)

Having successfully united Libya, Egypt and Syria, Gaddafi now sought to eliminate all treats to his political power. He began on 21 March, 1972, in a speech to the Federal Congress in Cairo in which he called for the return of the land lost to Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967. In response President Sadat, declared that if Israel committed itself to "withdrawal of its armed forces from Sinai and the Gaza Strip", to "achievement of a just settlement for the refugee problem", to "the withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces from all the territories occupied since June 5, 1967", and to implementation of other provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 242 as requested by Jarring, Egypt would then "be ready to enter into a peace agreement with Israel". Israel responded that it would not withdraw to the pre-June 5, 1967 lines and spent $500 million fortifying its positions on the both the Sinai and the Golan Heights, a chain of fortifications and gigantic earthworks.

Gaddafi met with President Sadat and Vice-President Assad to discuss how they should respond to the Israeli Question. President Sadat hoped that by inflicting a limited defeat on the Israelis, they could force them to negotiate. Vice-President Assad however had little interest in negotiation and favored a purely military option. Gaddafi himself held a very radical opinion, he noted the greater strength of the Arab Federal Army and the division of the Federation's territory by the existence of Israel. He called for the all out conquest of Israel, something rejected by both Sadat and Assad as unfeasible. This worked in Gaddafi's favor as he had secretly recorded the conversation and took the conversation back to Congress and showed it to the Federal Congress. Angered by this, Congress voted no-confidence for both President Sadat and Vice-President Assad and voted Gaddafi to take these roles.

Having now secured altimate power, Gaddafi ordered the arrest of former President Anwar Sadat and former Vice-President Hafez al-Assad. Afterwards, he periodically purged any political rivals or perceived threats including a number of high officials.

Yom Kippur War (1973)


Gaddafi's popularity had been shaken following his purge of political rivals. A military victory would give him the popularity he needed remain in power. Many of the Federation's population, most prominently university students who launched wide protests, strongly desired a war to reclaim the Sinai and the Golan Heights. The other Arab states showed much more reluctance to fully commit to a new war. Lebanon, which shared a border with Israel, was not expected to join the Arab war effort because of its small army and already evident instability. The months before the war saw Gaddafi engage in a diplomatic offensive to try to win support for the war. By the fall of 1973, he claimed the backing of more than a hundred states. These were most of the countries of the Arab League, Non-Aligned Movement, and Organization of African Unity. Gaddafi had also worked to curry favour in Europe and had some success before the war. Britain and France for the first time sided with the Arab powers against Israel on the United Nations Security Council.

Events leading up to the war

Gaddafi declared that the Federation was prepared to "sacrifice a million Arab soldiers" to recover its lost territory. From the end of 1972, Gaddafi began a concentrated effort to build up his forces, receiving MiG-21 jet fighters, SA-2, SA-3, SA-6 and SA-7 antiaircraft missiles, T-55 and T-62 tanks, RPG-7 antitank weapons, and the AT-3 Sagger anti-tank guided missile from the Soviet Union and improving its military tactics, based on Soviet battlefield doctrines. Political generals, who had in large part been responsible for the rout in 1967, were replaced with competent ones.

To be Continued...

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