Battle of Ain Darra

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The Battle of Ain Dara took place in the town of Ain Dara in 1711 between the Qaysi and Yemeni Druze, with the Qaysis victorious.

Background[edit]

Traditionally there had been two Druze socio-political branches living in the Jabal ash-Shuf region: the Yemeni were headed by the Hamdan and [Al-Atrash] families and the Qaysi by the Jumblatt and Arslan families. This continued 1100 years of Yemeni-Qaysi conflict in Tunisia, Sicily and Spain, which climaxed in the Battle of Ayn Dara.

In 1711, the Qaysis launched a surprise attack on the Yemenis, who were waiting for reinforcement from the Wali of Damascus and the wali of Akka. They were able to diminish Yemeni power in Lebanon and force them to settle Jabal ad-Duruz, in the Hauran region of Syria. The Hamdan family, became the first Druze rulers of Hauran.

The History Of The Battle[edit]


Professor Stefan Winter mention the Battle when he said in his thesis: [1] "The Harfushes do not seem to have joined the Hamadas who had already been at war with the vali of Tripoli for nearly a year. Instead, they gave the emir Haydar al-Shihabi refuge when it became clear that the state intended to replace him with a rival Druze household, and provided 2500 troops to enable him to crush his enemies and establish the Shihabi as the sole tribal ruler ship of Sidon."


And The Consul of France in Sidon, Estelle mentoined in a report sent to the Secretary of State "Pont Chartrain" , dated in 23 th of May in 1711 saying:


"L’Emir Aydar a demandé la protection d’un cheik très puissant de Balbek qui la lui a accordée, et lui a donné environ deux mille cinq cents hommes de bonnes troupes pour ce pays .Il a pris cette petite armée vers le Chouf ou `le nombre a bien augmente’ par les druses de la bannière rouge qui l’on rejoint. En très peu de jours il a eu sous son ordre quatre milles hommes"[2]

Effects on the future of Lebanon[edit]

Until that time, Lebanon was a feudal region ruled by families that controlled tribes and maintained a power balance. After the defeat of the Yemenis and their banishment to Jabal ad-Duruz, they became more dependent on the Ottoman Empire for support. Conversely, the Qaysis became heavily dependent on their strategic alliance with the Maronite Christians to fight for the Qaysi cause.

The Yemeni Druze eventually lost power in the region with the Young Turks Revolt and World War I, paving the way for the creation of the concept of the Greater Lebanon and the complete influence of the Qaysis over the Lebanese Druze community.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ THE SHIITE EMIRATES OF OTTOMAN SYRIA (MID-17m -MID-18m CENTURY), STEFAN HELMUT WINTER, THE UNlVERSIlY OF CHICAGO, CHICAGO, ILUNOIS AUGUST 2002,pages 225:226.
  2. ^ Documents Diplomatiques. Adel Ismail 1M95’

Sources[edit]

  • Almaqhafi, Awwad: Qabayl Wa Biton Al-Arab
  • Almsaodi, Abdulaziz: Tarikh Qabayl Al-Arab