First Battle of Homs
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|1st Battle of Homs|
|Ilkhanate of the Mongol Empire||Mamluk Sultanate|
- For other battles in the same area but in different years, see Battle of Homs.
After the historic Mamluk victory over the Ilkhanates at the Battle of Ain Jalut in September 1260, Hulagu Khan of the Ilkhanate had the Ayyubid Sultan of Damascus and other Ayyubid princes executed in revenge, thus effectively ending the dynasty in Syria. However, the defeat at Ain Jalut forced the Ilkhanate armies out of Syria and the Levant.
The main cities of Syria, Aleppo and Damascus were thus left open to Mamluk occupation. But Homs and Hama remained in the possession of minor Ayyubid princes. These princes, rather than the Mamluks of Cairo themselves, actually fought and won the First Battle of Homs.
Due to the open war between Hulagu and his cousin Berke of the Golden Horde during the civil war of the Mongol Empire, the Ilkhanate could only afford to send 6,000 troops back into Syria to retake control of the lands. This expedition was initiated by Ilkhanate generals such as Baidu who was forced to leave Gaza when the Mamluks advanced just before the battle of Ain Jalut. After quickly recapturing Aleppo, the force travelled southwards to Homs, but were decisively defeated. This ended the first campaign into Syria by the Ilkhanate, though there were several later incursions, none of which ended with conquests lasting more than a year.
- Holt, P. M. - "Mamluks", in Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill Online. http://www.brillonline.nl/subscriber/uid=1415/entry?entry=islam_COM-0658&authstatuscode=202
- Reuven Amitai-Preiss-Mongols and Mamluks: the Mamluk-Īlkhānid War, 1260-1281, p.43
- Nicolle, Warlords., p. 117
- J. J. Saunders, The Mongol Defeat at 'Ain Jalut, in. Muslims and Mongols, (ed. by G.W.Rice), p. 69.