|The unprovoked attack on Omani fort at Habrut on the 5th
of May by troops from PDRY elicited an almost immediate
response from the Sultanate when SOAF bombed the Yemeni
fort on the PDRY side of the border the next day.
The sultan came to the conclusion that more had to be done both in retaliation for the attack on his fort and also to draw global attention to what was happening on the Omani/PDRY border. Op SIMBA at Sarfait had been noted internationally but had not quite had the desired impact. It had also not been completely successful in strangling the adoo supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh trail. The obvious target would be the adoo infrastructure in the town of Hauf just across the border from Safrait. This vipers nest was the main adoo supply base in PDRY but unfortunately did have some AAA (ZU23) protection.
The sensitive issue was of 'seconded' or contract 'pilots' crossing the border to attack a town in PDRY. International knowledge that they had done so was bad enough but the consequences if they were shot down and captured were unthinkable.
The Sultan discussed his intentions with CSAF and with the British Ambassador who passed on the news to London. In turn those intentions were reviewed by the DOE in Whitehall
|The matter was discussed in cabinet and a great deal of care was taken to ensure that blatantly obvious British involvement was difficult to identify. Some pressure was applied to minimise such involvement even though it was blindingly obvious that it was happening.|
|Hawf was attacked on the 25th of May both by SOAF and by
SAF artillery. A certain amount of damage was done in
the town but four of the Strikemasters were damaged.
One, Peter Hulme's was badly damaged, the other three
were repaired fairly soon.
|One of the first bits of advice to HMG following the attack came from one of Nasser's advisers, Hassan Sabrhi Al Kholi, to the British Ambassador, Sir Richard Beaumont.|
|The Omani representative to the UN Sayid Faisal had only been in place since the 21st of April when he presented his credentials to Kurt Waldheim and now he was landed with his first big crisis.|
Sayid Faisal al Said
|It looks as if his immediate reaction was to return to Muscat to be debriefed.|
|Was the attack a success ? Some buildings and supply dumps were damaged. PDRY complained bitterly to the UN and Oman briskly defended their actions and so raised the profile of the war in Dhofar.|
|Some commented that the letter had a curiosly Chinese flavour to it and HMG's government did not intend to become much exercised by it.|
|The Documents above are from the PRO at Kew and are reproduced under the OGL conditions. relating to Crown Copyright|