Battle of Bosra
The Battle of Bosra was fought in 634 between the Rashidun Caliphate army and the Byzantine Empire for the possession of Bosra, in Syria. The city capital of the Ghassanid kingdom, a Byzantine vassal, was the first important one to be captured by the Islamic forces; the siege lasted between June and July 634. Caliph Abu Bakr sent his four corps under Amr ibn al-A'as, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, Shurahbil ibn Hasana and Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan and appointed for them different districts of Syria to capture, they were unable to get significant success in their goals and were in great pressure because of concentration of the Byzantine army at Ajnadayn. Abu Bakr therefore decided to send Khalid ibn Walid,The conqueror of Iraq, to Syria to command the Rashidun army there. Khalid ibn Walid reached Syria and capturing town to town he reached the city of Bosra in June 634 A. C. According to his instructions Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah who had occupied the District of Hauran which lay north-east of the river Yarmuk, was to remain at his position until Khalid arrived at Bosra.
Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah had three corps of the Muslim army under his command - his own, Yazid's and Shurahbil's, but he had fought no battles and captured no towns. One place which worried him a great deal was Bosra, a large town, the capital of the Ghassanid Kingdom, it was garrisoned by a strong force of Byzantine and Christian Arabs under the command of Roman officers. While Khalid was clearing the region of Eastern Syria, Abu Ubaidah came to know that he would come under Khalid's command upon the latter's arrival, he decided to take Bosra quickly. He therefore sent Shurahbil with 4,000 men to capture Bosra. Shurahbil marched to Bosra, the garrison of which withdrew into the fortified town as soon as the Muslims appeared in sight; this garrison consisted of 4,000 soldiers, but expecting that more Muslim forces would soon arrive and that Shurahbil's detachment was only an advance guard, it remained within the walls of the fort. Shurahbil camped on the western side of the town, positioned groups of his men all round the fort.
For two days nothing happened. The following day, as Khalid ibn al-Walid set out on the last day of his march to Bosra, the garrison of the town came out to give battle to the Muslims outside the city. Both forces formed up for battle; the Byzantines vainly chose the sword, in the middle of the morning the battle began. For the first two hours or so the fighting continued at a steady pace with neither side making any headway; the Romans were able to move forces around both Muslim flanks, the fighting increased in intensity. The temper of the Muslims became suicidal as the real danger of their position became evident and they fought ferociously to avoid encirclement, which appeared to be the Roman design. By early afternoon the Roman wings had moved further forward, the encirclement of Shurahbil's force became a virtual certainty; the combatants became aware of a powerful force of cavalry galloping in mass towards the battlefield from the northwest. Khalid was about a mile from Bosra, he ordered the men to horse, as soon as the cavalry was ready, led it a gallop towards the battlefield.
But Khalid and the Romans never met. As soon as the Romans discovered the arrival of the Muslim cavalry, they broke contact from Shurahbil and withdrew hastily into the fort; the Muslims under Shurahbil came to regard this occurrence as a miracle: the Khalid had been sent to save them from destruction! The next morning, the Byzantine garrison again came out of the fort to give battle; the shock of Khalid's arrival the previous day had now worn off, seeing that the combined strength of the Muslims was about the same as their own, the Romans decided to try their luck again. They hoped to fight and defeat the Muslims before they could get a rest after their march; the two armies formed up for battle on the plain outside the town. Khalid kept the center of the Rashidun army under his own command, appointing Rafay bin Umayr as the commander of the right wing and Dharar bin Al Azwar as the commander of the left wing. In front of the center, he placed a thin screen under Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr. At the start of the battle, Abdur-Rahman dueled with the Roman army commander and defeated him.
As the Roman general fled to the safety of the Roman ranks, Khalid launched a general attack along the entire front. For some time the Romans resisted bravely, while the commanders of the Muslim wings played havoc with the opposing wings Dharar, who now established a personal tradition which would make him famous in Syria - adored by the Muslims, dreaded by the Romans; because of the heat of the day, he took off his coat of mail. He took off his shirt and became naked above the waist; this made him feel lighter and happier. In this half naked condition Dharar launched his assaults against the Romans and slaughtered all who faced him in single combat. Within a week, stories of the Naked Champion would spread over Syria, only the bravest of Romans would feel inclined to face him in combat. After some fighting, the Byzantine army withdrew into the fort. At this time Khalid was fighting on foot in front of his centre; as he turned to give orders for the commencement of the siege, he saw a horseman approaching through the ranks of the Muslims.
It was Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah and with him was a yellow standard and is believed to have
Anatolia known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Armenian Highlands to the east and the Aegean Sea to the west; the Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean Seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland. The eastern border of Anatolia is traditionally held to be a line between the Gulf of Alexandretta and the Black Sea, bounded by the Armenian Highland to the east and Mesopotamia to the southeast. Thus, traditionally Anatolia is the territory that comprises the western two-thirds of the Asian part of Turkey. Nowadays, Anatolia is often considered to be synonymous with Asian Turkey, which comprises the entire country. By some definitions, the area called the Armenian highlands lies beyond the boundary of the Anatolian plateau.
The official name of this inland region is the Eastern Anatolia Region. The ancient inhabitants of Anatolia spoke the now-extinct Anatolian languages, which were replaced by the Greek language starting from classical antiquity and during the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. Major Anatolian languages included Hittite and Lydian among other more poorly attested relatives; the Turkification of Anatolia began under the Seljuk Empire in the late 11th century and continued under the Ottoman Empire between the late 13th and early 20th centuries. However, various non-Turkic languages continue to be spoken by minorities in Anatolia today, including Kurdish, Neo-Aramaic, Arabic, Laz and Greek. Other ancient peoples in the region included Galatians, Assyrians, Cimmerians, as well as Ionian and Aeolian Greeks. Traditionally, Anatolia is considered to extend in the east to an indefinite line running from the Gulf of Alexandretta to the Black Sea, coterminous with the Anatolian Plateau; this traditional geographical definition is used, for example, in the latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, Under this definition, Anatolia is bounded to the east by the Armenian Highlands, the Euphrates before that river bends to the southeast to enter Mesopotamia.
To the southeast, it is bounded by the ranges that separate it from the Orontes valley in Syria and the Mesopotamian plain. Following the Armenian genocide, Ottoman Armenia was renamed "Eastern Anatolia" by the newly established Turkish government. Vazken Davidian terms the expanded use of "Anatolia" to apply to territory referred to as Armenia an "ahistorical imposition", notes that a growing body of literature is uncomfortable with referring to the Ottoman East as "Eastern Anatolia". Most archeological sources consider the boundary of Anatolia to be Turkey's eastern border; the highest mountains in "Eastern Anatolia" are Mount Ararat. The Euphrates, Araxes and Murat rivers connect the Armenian plateau to the South Caucasus and the Upper Euphrates Valley. Along with the Çoruh, these rivers are the longest in "Eastern Anatolia"; the oldest known reference to Anatolia – as “Land of the Hatti” – appears on Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets from the period of the Akkadian Empire. The first recorded name the Greeks used for the Anatolian peninsula, Ἀσία echoed the name of the Assuwa league in western Anatolia.
As the name "Asia" broadened its scope to apply to other areas east of the Mediterranean, Greeks in Late Antiquity came to use the name Μικρὰ Ἀσία or Asia Minor, meaning "Lesser Asia" to refer to present-day Anatolia. The English-language name Anatolia itself derives from the Greek ἀνατολή meaning “the East” or more “sunrise”; the precise reference of this term has varied over time originally referring to the Aeolian and Dorian colonies on the west coast of Asia Minor. In the Byzantine Empire, the Anatolic Theme was a theme covering the western and central parts of Turkey's present-day Central Anatolia Region; the term "Anatolia" is Medieval Latin. The modern Turkish form of Anatolia, derives from the Greek name Aνατολή; the Russian male name Anatoly and the French Anatole share the same linguistic origin. The term "Anatolia" referred to a northwestern Byzantine province. By the 12th century Europeans had started referring to Anatolia as Turchia, it has also been called "Asia Minor". In earlier times, it was called" Rûm" by the Seljuqs.
During the era of the Ottoman Empire mapmakers outside the Empire referred to the mountainous plateau in eastern Anatolia as Armenia. Other contemporary sources called the same area Kurdistan. Geographers have variously used the terms east Anatolian plateau and Armenian plateau to refer to the region, although the territory encompassed by each term overlaps with the other. According to archaeologist Lori Khatchadourian this difference in terminology "primarily result from the shifting political fortunes and cultural trajectories of the region since the nineteenth century."Turkey's First Geography Congress in 1941 created two regions to the east of the Gulf of Iskenderun-Black Sea line named the Eastern Anatolia Region and the Southeastern Anatolia Region, the former corresponding to the weste
Battle of Yarmouk
The Battle of Yarmouk was a major battle between the army of the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim forces of the Rashidun Caliphate. The battle consisted of a series of engagements that lasted for six days in August 636, near the Yarmouk River, along what today are the borders of Syria–Jordan and Syria–Israel, east of the Sea of Galilee; the result of the battle was a complete Muslim victory. The Battle of Yarmouk is regarded as one of the most decisive battles in military history, it marked the first great wave of early Muslim conquests after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, heralding the rapid advance of Islam into the Christian Levant. In order to check the Arab advance and to recover lost territory, Emperor Heraclius had sent a massive expedition to the Levant in May 636; as the Byzantine army approached, the Arabs tactically withdrew from Syria and regrouped all their forces at the Yarmouk plains close to the Arabian Peninsula, after being reinforced, they defeated the numerically superior Byzantine army.
The battle is considered to be one of Khalid ibn al-Walid's greatest military victories. It cemented his reputation as one of the greatest tacticians and cavalry commanders in history. In 610, during the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, Heraclius became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire, after overthrowing Phocas. Meanwhile, the Sasanian Empire conquered Mesopotamia and in 611 they overran Syria and entered Anatolia, occupying Caesarea Mazaca. Heraclius, in 612, managed to expel the Persians from Anatolia, but was decisively defeated in 613 when he launched a major offensive in Syria against the Persians. Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Egypt. Meanwhile, Heraclius rebuilt his army. Nine years in 622, Heraclius launched his offensive. After his overwhelming victories over the Persians and their allies in the Caucasus and Armenia, Heraclius, in 627, launched a winter offensive against the Persians in Mesopotamia, winning a decisive victory at the Battle of Nineveh thus threatening the Persian capital city of Ctesiphon.
Discredited by these series of disasters, Khosrow II was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories of the Byzantine Empire. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629. Meanwhile, there had been rapid political development in the Arabian Peninsula, where Muhammad had been preaching Islam and by 630, he had united most of Arabia under a single political authority; when Muhammad died in June 632, Abu Bakr was elected his political successor. Troubles emerged soon after Abu Bakr's succession, when several Arab tribes revolted against Abu Bakr, who declared war against the rebels. In what became known as the Ridda wars of 632–633, Abu Bakr managed to unite Arabia under the central authority of the Caliph at Medina. Once the rebels had been subdued, Abu Bakr began a war of conquest, beginning with Iraq. Sending his most brilliant general, Khalid ibn al-Walid, Iraq was conquered in a series of successful campaigns against the Sassanid Persians.
Abu Bakr's confidence grew, once Khalid established his stronghold in Iraq, Abu Bakr issued a call to arms for the invasion of Syria in February 634. The Muslim invasion of Syria was a series of planned and well coordinated military operations that employed strategy instead of pure strength to deal with Byzantine defensive measures; the Muslim armies, however soon proved to be too small to handle the Byzantine response, their commanders called for reinforcements. Khalid was sent by Abu Bakr from Iraq to lead the invasion. In July 634, the Byzantines were decisively defeated at Ajnadayn. Damascus fell in September 634, followed by the Battle of Fahl where the last significant garrison of Palestine was defeated and routed. Caliph Abu Bakr died in 634, his successor, was determined to continue the Caliphate Empire's expansion deeper into Syria. Though previous campaigns led by Khalid were successful, he was replaced by Abu Ubaidah. Having secured southern Palestine, Muslim forces now advanced up the trade route, where Tiberias and Baalbek fell without much struggle, conquered Emesa early in 636.
From thereon, the Muslims continued their conquest across the Levant. Having seized Emesa, the Muslims were just a march away from Aleppo, a Byzantine stronghold, Antioch, where Heraclius resided. Alarmed by the series of setbacks, Heraclius prepared for a counterattack to reacquire the lost regions. In 635 Yazdegerd III, the Emperor of Persia, sought an alliance with the Byzantine Emperor. Heraclius married off his daughter Manyanh to Yazdegerd III. While Heraclius prepared for a major offensive in the Levant, Yazdegerd was to mount a simultaneous counterattack in Iraq, in what was meant to be a well-coordinated effort; when Heraclius launched his offensive in May 636, Yazdegerd could not coordinate with the maneuver—probably owing to the exhausted condition of his government—and what would have been a decisive plan missed the mark. Byzantine preparations began in late 635 and by May 636 Heraclius had a large force concentrated at Antioch in Northern Syria; the assembled Byzantine army contingents consisted of, Franks, Georgians and Christian Arabs.
This force was organized into five armies, the joint leader of, Theodore Trithyrius. Vahan, an Armenian and the former garrison commander of Emesa, was made the overall field commander, had under his command a purely Armenian army. Buccinator, a Slavic prince, commanded the Slavs and Jabalah ibn al
Siege of Constantinople (717–718)
The Second Arab siege of Constantinople in 717–718 was a combined land and sea offensive by the Muslim Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate against the capital city of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople. The campaign marked the culmination of twenty years of attacks and progressive Arab occupation of the Byzantine borderlands, while Byzantine strength was sapped by prolonged internal turmoil. In 716, after years of preparations, the Arabs, led by Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik, invaded Byzantine Asia Minor; the Arabs hoped to exploit Byzantine civil strife and made common cause with the general Leo III the Isaurian, who had risen up against Emperor Theodosius III. Leo, tricked them and secured the Byzantine throne for himself. After wintering in the western coastlands of Asia Minor, the Arab army crossed into Thrace in early summer 717 and built siege lines to blockade the city, protected by the massive Theodosian Walls; the Arab fleet, which accompanied the land army and was meant to complete the city's blockade by sea, was neutralized soon after its arrival by the Byzantine navy through the use of Greek fire.
This allowed Constantinople to be resupplied by sea, while the Arab army was crippled by famine and disease during the unusually hard winter that followed. In spring 718, two Arab fleets sent as reinforcements were destroyed by the Byzantines after their Christian crews defected, an additional army sent overland through Asia Minor was ambushed and defeated. Coupled with attacks by the Bulgars on their rear, the Arabs were forced to lift the siege on 15 August 718. On its return journey, the Arab fleet was completely destroyed by natural disasters and Byzantine attacks; the siege's failure had wide-ranging repercussions. The rescue of Constantinople ensured the continued survival of Byzantium, while the Caliphate's strategic outlook was altered: although regular attacks on Byzantine territories continued, the goal of outright conquest was abandoned. Historians consider the siege to be one of history's most important battles, as its failure postponed the Muslim advance into Southeastern Europe for centuries.
Following the first Arab siege of Constantinople, the Arabs and Byzantines experienced a period of peace. After 680, the Umayyad Caliphate was in the throes of the Second Muslim Civil War and the consequent Byzantine ascendancy in the East enabled the emperors to extract huge amounts of tribute from the Umayyad government in Damascus. In 692, as the Umayyads emerged as victors from the Muslim Civil War, Emperor Justinian II re-opened hostilities; the result was a series of Arab victories that led to the loss of Byzantine control over Armenia and the Caucasian principalities, a gradual encroachment upon Byzantine borderlands. Year by year, the Caliphate's generals members of the Umayyad family, launched raids into Byzantine territory and captured fortresses and towns. After 712, the Byzantine defensive system began to show signs of collapse: Arab raids penetrated further and further into Asia Minor, border fortresses were attacked and sacked, references to Byzantine reaction in the sources become more and more scarce.
In this, the Arabs were aided by the prolonged period of internal instability that followed the first deposition of Justinian II in 695, in which the Byzantine throne changed hands seven times in violent coups. In the words of the Byzantinist Warren Treadgold, "the Arab attacks would in any case have intensified after the end of their own civil war... With far more men and wealth than Byzantium, the Arabs had begun to concentrate all their strength against it. Now they threatened to extinguish the empire by capturing its capital." The information available on the siege comes from sources composed in dates, which are mutually contradictory. The main Byzantine source is the extensive and detailed account of the Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor and secondarily the brief account in the Breviarium of Patriarch Nikephoros I of Constantinople, which shows small differences chronological, from Theophanes's version. For the events of the siege, both authors appear to have used a primary account composed during the reign of Leo III the Isaurian which therefore contains a favourable depiction of the latter, while Theophanes relies on an unknown biography of Leo for the events of 716.
The 8th-century chronicler Theophilus of Edessa records the years leading up to the siege and the siege itself in some detail, paying particular attention to the diplomacy between Maslama and Leo III. The Arab sources the 11th-century Kitab al-'Uyun and the more concise narrative in the History of the Prophets and Kings by al-Tabari, rely on primary accounts by early 9th-century Arab writers, but are more confused and contain several legendary elements; the Syriac language accounts are based on Agapius of Hierapolis, who drew from the same primary source as Theophanes, but are far briefer. The Arab successes opened the way for a second assault on Constantinople, an undertaking initiated under Caliph al-Walid I. Following his death, his brother and successor Sulayman took up the project with increased vigour, according to Arab accounts because of a prophecy that a Caliph bearing the name of a prophet would capture Constantinople. According to Syriac sources, the new Caliph swore "to not stop fighting against Constantinople before having exhausted the country of the Arabs or to have taken the city".
The Umayyad forces began assembling at the plain of Dabiq north of Aleppo, under the direct supervision of the Caliph. As Sulayman was too sick to campaign h
The Rashidun Caliphate was the first of the four major caliphates established after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was ruled by the first four successive caliphs of Muhammad after his death in 632 CE; these caliphs are collectively known in Sunni Islam as the Rashidun. This term is not used in Shia Islam as Shia Muslims do not consider the rule of the first three caliphs as legitimate; the Rashidun Caliphate is characterized by a twenty-five year period of rapid military expansion, followed by a five-year period of internal strife. The Rashidun Army at its peak numbered more than 100,000 men. By the 650s, the caliphate in addition to the Arabian Peninsula had subjugated the Levant, to the Transcaucasus in the north; the caliphate arose out of the death of Muhammad in 632 CE and the subsequent debate over the succession to his leadership. Abu Bakr, a close companion of Muhammad from the Banu Taym clan, was elected the first Rashidun leader and began the conquest of the Arabian Peninsula.
He ruled from 632 to his death in 634. Abu Bakr was succeeded by Umar, his appointed successor from the Banu Adi clan, who began the conquest of Persia from 642 to 651, leading to the defeat of the Sassanid Empire. Umar was assassinated in 644 and was succeeded by Uthman, elected by a six-person committee arranged by Umar. Under Uthman began the conquest of Armenia and Khorasan. Uthman was assassinated in 656 and succeeded by Ali, who presided over the civil war known as the First Fitna; the war was between those who supported Uthman's cousin and governor of the Levant and those who supported the caliph Ali. The civil war permanently consolidated the divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims, with Shia Muslims believing Ali to be the first rightful caliph and Imam after Muhammad. A third faction in the war supported the governor of Egypt; the war was decided in favour of the faction of Muawiyah, who established the Umayyad Caliphate in 661. After Muhammad's death in 632 CE, his Medinan companions debated which of them should succeed him in running the affairs of the Muslims while Muhammad's household was busy with his burial.
Umar and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah pledged their loyalty to Abu Bakr, with the Ansar and the Quraysh soon following suit. Abu Bakr thus became the first Khalīfaṫu Rasūli l-Lāh, or Caliph, embarked on campaigns to propagate Islam. First he would have to subdue the Arabian tribes which had claimed that although they pledged allegiance to Muhammad and accepted Islam, they owed nothing to Abu Bakr; as a caliph, Abu Bakr never claimed such a title. Rather, their election and leadership were based upon merit. Notably, according to Sunnis, all four Rashidun Caliphs were connected to Muhammad through marriage, were early converts to Islam, were among ten who were explicitly promised paradise, were his closest companions by association and support and were highly praised by Muhammad and delegated roles of leadership within the nascent Muslim community. According to Sunni Muslims, the term Rashidun Caliphate is derived from a famous hadith of Muhammad, where he foretold that the caliphate after him would last for 30 years and would be followed by kingship.
Furthermore, according to other hadiths in Sunan Abu Dawood and Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, towards the end times, the Rightly Guided Caliphate will be restored once again by God. Shortly before his death, Muhammad called all the Muslims who had accompanied him on the final Hajj to gather around at a place known as Ghadir Khumm. Muhammad gave a long sermon; the Muslims responded, "Allah and His messenger." Muhammad said: Behold! Whosoever I am his master, this Ali is his master. O Allah! Stay firm in supporting those who stay firm in following him, be hostile to those who are hostile to him, help those who help him, forsake those who forsake him. O people! This Ali is my brother, the executor of my, the container of my knowledge, my successor over my nation, over the interpretation the Book of Allah, the mighty and the majestic, the true inviter to its, he is the one who acts according to what pleases Him, fights His enemies, causes to adhere to His obedience, advises against His disobedience. He is the successor of the Messenger of Allah, the commander of the believers, the guiding Imam, the killer of the oath breakers, the transgressors, the apostates.
I speak by the authority of Allah. The word with me shall not be changed; this event has been narrated by both Shia and Sunni sources. Further, after the sermon, Abu Bakr and Uthman are all said to have given their allegiance to Ali, a fact, reported by both Shia and Sunni sources. In Medina, after the Farewell Pilgrimage and the event of Ghadir Khumm, Muhammad ordered an army to be mustered under the command of Usama bin Zayd, he commanded all the companions, except for his family, to go with Usama to Syria to avenge the Muslims’ defeat at the Battle of Mu'tah. Muhammad gave Usama the banner of Islam on the 18th day of the Islamic month of Safar in the year 11 A. H. Abu Bakr and Umar were among those. However, Abu Bakr and Umar resisted going under the command of Usama because they thought that he
Siege of Damascus (634)
The Siege of Damascus lasted from 21 August to 19 September 634 AD before the city fell to the Rashidun Caliphate. Damascus was the first major city of the Eastern Roman Empire to fall in the Muslim conquest of Syria; the last of the Roman-Persian Wars ended in 628, after Heraclius concluded a successful campaign against the Persians in Mesopotamia. At the same time, Mohammad united the Arabs under the banner of Islam. After his death in 632, Abu Bakr succeeded him as the first Rashidun Caliph. Suppressing several internal revolts, Abu Bakr sought to expand the empire beyond the confines of the Arabian Peninsula. In April 634, Abu Bakr invaded the Byzantine Empire in the Levant and decisively defeated a Byzantine army at the Battle of Ajnadayn; the Muslim armies laid siege to Damascus. The city was taken after a monophysite bishop informed Khalid ibn al-Walid, the Muslim commander in chief, that it was possible to breach city walls by attacking a position only defended at night. While Khalid entered the city by assault from the Eastern gate, commander of the Byzantine garrison, negotiated a peaceful surrender at the Jabiyah gate with Abu Ubaidah, Khalid's second in command.
After the surrender of the city, the commanders disputed the terms of the peace agreement. The commanders agreed that the peace terms given by Abu Ubaidah would be met; the peace terms included an assurance that no pursuit will be undertaken by Muslims against the departing Roman convoy for three days. Having acquiesced to the peace terms, it was three days after the surrender of the city that Khalid set out after the Damascan refugees towards Antioch and defeated them in battle six days near present day Al Jayyad. In 610, during the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, Heraclius became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire after overthrowing Phocas. While Heraclius focused his attention on the internal affairs of his empire, the Sassanid Persians conquered Mesopotamia, overran Syria in 611, entered Anatolia to occupy Caesarea Mazaca. In 612, Heraclius expelled the Persians from Anatolia. In 613, he was decisively defeated. Over the next decade, the Persians conquered Palestine and Egypt and Heraclius rebuilt his army, preparing for a new offensive, which he launched in 622.
He achieved substantial victories over their allies in the Caucasus and Armenia. In 627, he launched a daring winter offensive against Persia in Mesopotamia, won a decisive victory at the Battle of Nineveh; this victory threatened the Persian capital city of Ctesiphon. Discredited by this series of disasters, Khosrau II was killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories of the Byzantine empire. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with an elaborate ceremony in 629. In Arabia, the Prophet Mohammad had united most of Arabia under a single religious and political authority; when Mohammed died in June 632, Abu Bakr was elected to the newly formed office of Caliph, becoming Mohammad's political and religious successor. Several Arabic tribes revolted against Abu Bakr. In the Ridda wars, Abu Bakr quelled the revolt. By 633, Arabia was united under the central authority of the Caliph in Medina. In 633, Abu Bakr initiated a war of conquest against the neighboring Sassanian and Byzantine empires.
After a successful conquest of the Persian province of Iraq, Abu Bakr's confidence grew and in April 634 his armies invaded the Byzantine Levant from four different routes. These armies proved to be too small for the task, necessitating reinforcements from Iraq, led by Abu Bakr's capable general Khalid ibn Walid Crossing the desert, Khalid ibn Walid entered Syria from an unexpected route in a bold move, he attacked and overthrew the Byzantine defenses of Levant and captured the Ghassanid capital city of Bosra. In July 634, the Muslim army under Khalid's command defeated another Byzantine army in the Battle of Ajnadayn. After clearing their southern flank, the Muslims laid siege to Damascus. Strategically located, Damascus attracted merchants from all over the world; the city was known as the paradise of Syria. The fortifications matched its importance; the main part of the city was enclosed by a massive 11 m high wall. The fortified city was 1,500 m long and 800 m wide; the wall had six gates: The East Gate The Gate of Thomas The Jabiya Gate The Gate of Paradise The Keisan Gate The Small Gate Although the River Barada ran along the north wall of Damascas, it was too shallow to be of defensive importance.
At the time of the Syrian campaign, the Byzantine Commander of Damascus was Thomas, son-in-law of Emperor Heraclius. A devout Christian, he was known for his courage and skill at command, for his intelligence and learning. Seventh-century Muslim armies had no siege equipment, employed siege tactics only when there were no other options. Without the necessary siege equipment, armies of the early Muslim expansion would surround a city, denying it supplies until the city's defenders surrendered. Meanwhile any chance of breaking into the city would be availed, if possible, using stealth and espionage. Muslim armies would isolate the city from the rest of the region and deploy scouts along vital routes. To isolate Damascus, Khalid cut the lines of communication to northern Syria. To the west, a detachment of cavalry at Fahal occupied the attention of the Byzantine garrison; this detachment protected the Muslim supply lines to Medina. Thus this cavalry detachment functioned as the rearguard of the Muslim forces on the Syrian front.
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan. The name was used by ancient Greek writers, it was used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin; the region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel, the Holy Land or Promised Land. It has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, ash-Sham, the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites and Judeans, Babylonians, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Parthians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates, Ayyubids, Mongols, the British, modern Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians.
The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth; the term "Peleset" is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, the last known is 300 years on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BCE through to a treaty made by Esarhaddon more than a century later. Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term; the first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BCE Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.
A century Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias used the term to refer to the same region, followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus; the term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form "Syria Palaestina". There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, but the precise date is not certain and the assertion of some scholars that the name change was intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea" is disputed; the term is accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet. The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel.
The term is used in the Septuagint, which used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē. The Septuagint instead used the term "allophuloi" throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel, such that the term "Philistines" has been interpreted to mean "non-Israelites of the Promised Land" when used in the context of Samson and David, Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis. During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration continued to be used in Arabic; the use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel, the Promised Land, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Retenu, Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Israelites, Babylonians, Ancient Greeks, Parthians, Sasa