Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arabian Gulf

The Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arabian Gulf (Arabic: الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير الخليج العربي المحتل, abbreviated PFLOAG), later renamed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman and the Arabian Gulf (Arabic: الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير عُمان والخليج العربي), was a Marxist and Arab nationalist revolutionary organisation active in an armed struggle against the Arab monarchies in the Arabian Peninsula. The organization was dedicated to overthrow all monarchies in Arabia[1] culminating in the Dhofar Rebellion against the Sultanate of Oman.[2]

Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arabian Gulf
الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير الخليج العربي المحتل
Dates of operation1968–1974
Active regionsDhofar Governorate, Oman
IdeologyArab nationalism
Allies South Yemen
Opponents Oman
 United Arab Emirates
 United Kingdom
Battles and warsDhofar Rebellion
Organization(s)Arab Nationalist Movement

The PFLOAG was organized in 1968 as the successor to the Dhofar Liberation Front. The program adopted was strongly tinged with communism. Its aim was to establish a "democratic people's republic" and to expel the British army from Oman. The Front sought to establish a constitution, abolish martial law, restore freedom of the press and expression and ensure the rights of minorities. On economic issues, it intends to nationalize the oil companies, develop industries and implement land reform. The Front calls for more social justice and affirms its support for all Asian, African and Latin American liberation movements. References are also made to the Palestinian struggle. The rebels open schools to which both boys and girls have access (girls' education was forbidden in Oman until 1970). Tribalism was fought against and social relations tended to evolve, with a specific place given to women, including in the armed struggle.[3]

Having close relations to the government of South Yemen, the PFLOAG opened an office there. With South Yemeni support, PFLOAG guerrillas were able to seize control over large sections of western Dhofar. In August 1969 PFLOAG captured the town of Rakhyut.[4][5]

The PFLO leadership pledged to continue on the “trail of struggle”, as Al-Ghassani[note 1] put it in an address on June 9, 1978, that marked the thirteenth anniversary of the revolution:

We are committing ourselves to fight alongside our Omani people in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula against the ambitions of imperialism and Iranian expansion[7]

In 1974 the organization was divided into two separate bodies: the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Bahrain.[8]


  1. ^ Muhammad ibn Ahamad Al-Ghassani was one of the leading commanders in the PFLOAG and their spokesperson, later he returned to Muscat in the 1980’s when the Sultan of Oman decided to pardon the PFLOAG members.[6]


  1. ^ Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume E–9, Part 2, Documents on the Middle East Region, 1973–1976.
  2. ^ Kazem, Yousef (2018). ثورة ظفار دراسة في المواقف العربية والدولية. مجلة دراسات في التاريخ والتراث والأثار.
  3. ^ Calvin H. Allen, Jr, W. Lynn Rigsbee II, Oman under Qaboos, From Coup to Constitution 1970-1996, London, Frank Cass Publishers, 2000.
  4. ^ Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arabian Gulf, Malcolm C. Peck, entry in: Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, Gale Group, Inc., retrieved from Answers.com.
  5. ^ John Peterson, Defending Arabia, 1986, Taylor & Francis, p 100.
  6. ^ Al-Nuumani, Shamisa. الخطاب الصحفي في حرب ظفار. Alfalq. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  7. ^ Thibault, George (1984). The Art and Practice of Military Strategy. National Defense University. p. 837.
  8. ^ Halliday, Fred. Revolution and Foreign Policy: The Case of South Yemen, 1967–1987. Cambridge Middle East library, 21. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. p. 144.