The Sharif family in Mecca, however, was another story. The Wahhabis had long borne a grudge against the Sharif because of their traditional opposition to Wahhabism. The ruler, Hussein, had made the situation worse by forbidding the Ikhwan to make the pilgrimage and then seeking non-Muslim, British help against the Muslim Ottomans.
In the end, Abd al Aziz was largely successful in balancing the Ikhwan's interests with his own limitations. In 1919 the Ikhwan completely destroyed an army that Hussein had sent against them near the town of Turabah, which lay on the border between the Hijaz and Najd. The Ikhwan so completely decimated the Sharif's troops that there were no forces left to defend the Hijaz, and the entire area cowered under the threat of a Wahhabi attack.
In 1919, however, he struck his first blow, against Sharif Husayn ibn 'Ali of the Hejaz, whose army was annihilated by the Ikhwan.