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Siege of Aleppo (637)

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Coordinates: 36°11′53″N 37°09′48″E / 36.198133°N 37.16328°E / 36.198133; 37.16328

Siege of Aleppo.
Part of the Muslim conquest of Syria
(Arab–Byzantine Wars)
DateAugust–October 637 AD
LocationAleppo, Syria
Result Decisive Rashidun Caliphate victory
Belligerents
Rashidun Caliphate Simple Labarum2.svg Byzantine Empire
Ghassanids
Commanders and leaders
Khalid ibn al-Walid
Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
Joachim
Strength
17,000 Unknown
Casualties and losses
Minimal Unknown but more than Muslims

The Siege of Aleppo, the Byzantine stronghold and one of few remaining Byzantine castles in the northern Levant after the decisive Battle of Yarmouk, was laid between August and October 637.

Background

After the decisive Battle of Yarmouk, the Muslims marched northward deeper into Syria. After taking many small and large cities, both Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah and Khalid ibn al-Walid met at Qinnasarin, and they marched to Aleppo, where a strong garrison under a Roman general named Joachim held the fort. Aleppo consisted of a large walled city and a smaller but virtually impregnable fort outside the city atop a hill, a little more than a quarter of a mile across, surrounded by a wide moat.

The battle

The Byzantine commander at Aleppo, Joachim, met the Muslim army under the command of Khalid and Abu Ubaidah in the open outside the fort. He was defeated and hastily retreated to the fort. He boldly launched many sallies to break the siege but failed every time. Joachim received no signs of any help from the emperor Heraclius (who could indeed send none). Consequently, around October 637, the Romans surrendered on terms according to which the soldiers of the garrison were allowed to depart in peace.

Aftermath

Joachim converted to Islam along with his 4,000 Greek soldiers. He would prove himself a remarkably able and loyal officer to the caliphate and would fight gallantly under various Muslim generals.[1] Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah sent a column under Malik bin Ashtar to take Azaz on the route to 'Rome'. The region which the Muslims called Rome included the area which is now Southern Turkey east of the Taurus Mountains. Malik, assisted by Joachim, captured Azaz and signed a pact with the local inhabitants, whereafter he returned to Aleppo. The capture and clearance of Azaz was essential to ensure that no large Roman forces remained north of Aleppo, whence they could strike at the flank and rear of the Muslims as the next major operation was launched. As soon as Malik bin Ashtar rejoined the army, Abu Ubaidah marched westwards to capture Antioch, which was captured after the Battle of Iron bridge on October 30, 637.[1]

References

Sources

  • A.I. Akram, The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin al-Waleed, His Life and Campaigns, Nat. Publishing. House, Rawalpindi (1970) ISBN 0-7101-0104-X.

External links