The Ogaden War, or the Ethio-Somali war (Somali: Dagaalkii Xoraynta Soomaali Galbeed), was a Somali military offensive between July 1977 and March 1978 over the disputed Ethiopian region of Ogaden, which began with the Somali invasion of Ethiopia.
The Soviet Union disapproved of the invasion and ceased its support of Somalia, instead starting to support Ethiopia. Ethiopia was saved from a major defeat and a permanent loss of territory through a massive airlift of military supplies (worth $7 billion), the arrival of 16,000 Cuban troops, 1,500 Soviet advisors and two brigades from South Yemen, also airlifted to reinforce Harar.
The Ethiopians prevailed at Harar, Dire Dawa and Jijiga, and began to push the Somalis systematically out of the Ogaden. By March 1978, the Ethiopians had captured almost all of the Ogaden, prompting the defeated Somalis to give up their claim to the region.
A third of the initial Somali National Army invasion force was killed, and half of the Somali Airforce destroyed; the war left Somalia with a disorganized and demoralized army and an angry population. All of these conditions led to a revolt in the army which eventually spiraled into a civil war and Somalia’s current situation.