The Spanish army composed of 36,000 soldiers, with 41 ships, and 65 artillery, and ready to fight the Moroccans. The Prime Minister of Spain, Leopoldo ODonnell, grouped the soldiers into three forces under the command of Generals Juan Zavala, Antonio Ros, and Segundo Diaz (8). The Spanish and Morocco Hostile relations started on 17th December 1859 after the column commanded by Zavala occupied the Sierra de Bullones. Echague captured the Palacio Del Serrallo and Odonnel commanded a force that landed at a place called Ceuta on 21st December and they waited for to attack.
Spain took advantage of its defeat in Morocco during the Eisley war in the year 1844, occupied the Islands-1848, and then waited for another opportunity to get more from the Moroccan territory. The Moroccan Sultan, Moulay Abderrahman lived the last days when the Spanish army stationed in Ceuta building, in a military center attacked, and destroyed the Angara tribes (Bennis, Samir 10). The Moroccans army also brought down the Spanish flag down and splattered it in the dirt. The Spanish consul demanded harsher punishment by people he considered responsible for the incident and declined to hand them over to the Spanish military authority for execution. The given Moroccans were accused of doing to Ceuta as punishment for its inhabitants and its garrison.Morocco tried to have access to Spain for the right to build fortifications, as it deemed necessary for the security of Ceuta. Morocco was granted ten days before Spain declared war and called their armies on the Moroccan soil.The Royal Prosecutor under the Sultan stated that the responsibility was borne by the Governor of Ceuta who ordered the firing of guns against the Moroccans, and he requested an extension because of the deteriorating health of the Sultan.
During the Sultans death, Said Moulay Abderrahmane swore the allegiance to his son Sidi Mohammed of Morocco (Ellwood 41). In Spain, these events were seen as