Sharif Hussein of Mecca is leading a revolt of the Arabs against their Turkish masters. With British help the rebels have secured much of the Hejaz region of western Arabia, but they have been unable to evict the Turks from Medina.
Now the Turks decide to strike back. Fahreddin Pasha, the tough Turkish commander of Medina, leads a strong force to attack the rebel held port of Yanbu. If he can defeat the rebels here he hopes to start rolling up their coastal positions, cutting them off from British assistance. Fahreddin hopes that a strong blow or two against the rebels will cause their less committed supporters to desert the cause and return home, leaving Sharif Hussein and his close associates to face the vengeance of the Ottoman Empire.