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01 October 2019


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different clue

I found a map of Najran and area which permits zooming in or out and also permits moving around some. It does not show any relief the way your map does. The little I have looked at it doesn't seem to show watercourses marked "as" watercourses, though maybe it does and I just don't know how to see them.

Anyway, in case useful, here is the link.

different clue

( I have tried a little bit looking at online maps and stuff and haven't yet been able to answer my own question. I did find a photo of the kind of "water-harvesting" agriculture I was thinking of. This article about an experiment in terrace-building doesn't say anything about ephemeral flash-flood watercourses, but the photo shows the men standing in what looks to me like a little dry flash-flood watercourse.)

Terence Gore

interesting interview by scott horton with a yemeni blogger


nasser arrabyee alleges

1) surrendering forces were mostly yemeni, including many adolescents paid by KSA and poorly if at all trained
2) time line of battle needs to be moved back to prior to bombing of prison
3) KSA bombed prison in retribution of troops surrendering

a little difficult to listen to. Prison bombing link

JP Billen

Different Clue,

Google maps in Satellite Imagery mode shows some green fields on both sides of the Wadi Najran. Not sure if those are the results of flash-flood water-harvesting agriculture or wells. The sharp edges of the river basin seem to have berms to prevent flash flooding.


Robert  Waddell

On Google Earth at location: N17d 24' 28", E44d 00' 51" shows a moderate size 250m wide dam on the Wadi Najran; most likely water storage. It's right on the border between SA and Yemen. A gravel road 9km connects it to the western side of Najran town via two tunnels. Not enough resolution to see any accompanying water pipe and no sign of downstream water treatment plant. The dam is empty, and looking at the vegetation on the high side of the dam has been for some time.

different clue

Thank you for this. It is much better for showing the actual look of the land than the schematic-diagram map I found. Of course I don't know how to interpret much of what I see.

I also think I saw the berms on either side. I couldn't see anything that looks like flowing water diversion and capture. So I guess the farms are well/pump watered. I wonder what percent of the water that runs down the wadi eventually soaks in and down as against what percent eventually just evaporates.

JP Billen

Saudi whistleblower?

al-Manar TV in Lebanon reports bin-Salman has delayed or abandoned his planned trip to Najran. They cite the whistleblower to be a Saudi twitter account labeled #mujtahid.

Does bin-Salman fear the Houthis will attack him? Or does he fear an assassination attempt by steamed up Saudi soldiers? Apparently there has been problems with logistical support and morale with the troops at the Yemeni border.



JP Billen

Najran river has been known to flash flood in the past when it rains hard in the mountains. That was probably before the dam was built that Robert Wadell mentioned above. This particular google image must have been taken in the dry season, or when the dam was not releasing water. I would bet they use some percolation techniques in the riverbed or other methods for aquifer recharge. The people there are not dummies about water, they have been living in dry country for millennia,

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