Unification of Saudi Arabia

The Unification of Saudi Arabia was a military and political campaign in which the various tribes, sheikhdoms, city-states, emirates, and kingdoms of most of the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by the House of Saud, or Al Saud. Unification started in 1902 and continued until 1932, when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed under the leadership of King Abdulaziz, creating what is sometimes referred to as the Third Saudi State, to differentiate it from the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State and the Emirate of Nejd, the Second Saudi State, also House of Saud states.

Unification of the Saudi-ruled Arabia
Part of the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I (1914–1918)

Present Saudi state (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi takeover of central and northern parts of Arabia:


Third Saudi State
( Emirate of Riyadh 1902–1913)
( Emirate of Nejd and Hasa 1913–1921)
( Sultanate of Nejd 1921–1926)
( Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd 1926–1932)
( Saudi Arabia after 1932)

Supported by:
 Soviet Union[1][2]
British Empire (from 1927)[4][5]

Hejaz (1916–1925)

Supported by:
British Empire

Ottoman Empire (until 1919)
Jabal Shammar
Supported by:
Kingdom of Yemen
Supported by:
Commanders and leaders
Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman
Saud bin Abdulaziz[8]
Faisal bin Abdulaziz[9][10]
Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman[10][11]
Sultan bin Bajad
Faisal al-Duwaish
Eqab bin Mohaya
Khaled bin Luai
Hussein bin Ali
Ali bin Hussein
Fakhri Pasha
Abdulaziz bin Mitab 
Saud bin Abdulaziz
Ajlan bin Mohammed Al Ajlan 
Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din
Ahmad bin Yahya
Hundred of thousands 38,000[citation needed] 23,000[12][verification needed] 37,000[13]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown
18,000+ killed in total[A][14]

The Al-Saud had been in exile in the British-protected Emirate of Kuwait since 1893, after their second episode of removal from power and dissolution of their polity, this time by the Al Rashid Emirate of Ha'il. In 1902, Abdulaziz Al Saud recaptured Riyadh, the Al Saud dynasty's former capital. He went on to subdue the rest of Nejd, al-Hasa, Jebel Shammar, Asir, and Hejaz (the location of the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina) between 1913 and 1926. The resultant polity was named the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz from 1927 until it was further consolidated with al-Hasa into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

It has often been claimed that this process caused some 400,000 to 800,000 casualties. However recent research suggests that though bloody, the number of deaths and injuries was significantly lower.[15]

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