The Ottoman forces attacked on 21 May, driving towards Yerevan. They were opposed by Armenian forces under the command of Drastamat Kanayan. One prong of the three-pronged Ottoman attack, consisting of the 3rd Regiment of the 11th Caucasian Division, moved down from Hamamlu. They met an Armenian force of about 1000 riflemen under the command of Movses Silikyan at the defile of Bash Abaran, about a three-hour march from Yerevan. After three days of fierce fighting the Armenians launched a counter-attack against the Ottomans on 25 May. The Ottoman forces then retreated north back to Hamamlu on 29 May.