- Battle of Iron bridge
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Iron Bridge
Khalid ibn al-Walid
Orontes, Antioch, the battle was fought near this river .
date=October 637 AD
Antiochcaptured by Rashidun Caliphate.
Byzantine Empire, Christian Arabs
Khalid ibn al-Walid, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah
strength1=17,000cite book |first=A.I. last=Akram |title=The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin al-Waleed, His Life and Campaigns, chapter 36 |publisher=Nat. Publishing. House, Rawalpindi |year=1970 |isbn=0-71010-104-X ]
The Battle of Iron Bridge was fought between the
Rashidun armyand the Byzantine army, near an "Iron bridge" spanning the River Orontesin 637 A.D, from which the battle takes its name. The campaigns in Anatoliawere undertaken after the decisive Rashidun Caliphatevictory at the Battle of Yarmouk.
After the decisive victory at the
Battle of Yarmouk, the Muslim army regained control of the Levant, then Jerusalem was conquered shortly after. Afterwards, Muslim forces marched north, conquering other portions of the Levant. They penetrated into Anatoliawith the objective to capture Antiochthe capital of the Asian part of the Byzantine empireand to secure Syria from any possible threat from the north. After the conquest of Aleppo, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrahsent a column under Malik al-Ashtarto capture Azazin southern Anatolia, east of the Taurus Mountains. The capture and clearance of Azaz was essential to ensure that no large Byzantine forces remained north of Aleppo, from where they could strike at the flank and rear of the Muslim army during the operation against Antioch. As soon as Malik rejoined the army, Abu Ubaidah marched westwards to capture Antioch, with Khalid ibn Walidleading the advance guard with his Mobile guard. The army marched westward direct from Aleppo via Harimand approached Antioch from the east. [al-Tabari, Muhammad ibn Jarir. " History of the Prophets and Kings", Vol. 3, p. 98.]
Twelve miles from the city, near modern day "Mahruba", a bridge of iron spanned the River
Orontes. It was here that the battle was fought between the Muslim army and the Byzantine garrison, the defenders of Antioch. A major battle was fought, the details of which are not recorded. Khalid bin Walidagain played a prominent role with his Mobile guard, as he had done so in the Battle of Yarmouk. The Byzantine forces were defeated with heavy losses. With the exception of Battle of Ajnadaynand Battle of Yarmouk, the Byzantine army's casualties here are believed to have been the highest during the Muslim conquest of Syria. [al-Tabari, Muhammad Ibn Jarir. " History of the Prophets and Kings", Vol. 3, pp.: 99-100.] The remnants of Byzantine army fled to Antioch. The Muslims' army moved up and laid siege to Antioch. The city surrendered to the Muslims on October 30, 637A.D. According to the pact, the defeated Byzantine soldiers were allowed to depart in peace.
Following the surrender of Antioch, Muslim army columns moved south along the
Mediterraneancoast and captured Latakia, Jablahand Tartus("Syria"), thus clearing most of north-western Syriaof the enemy. Other columns were sent to subdue what remained of northern Syria. Khalid ibn Walidwas sent with his cavalry on a raid eastwards up to the Euphratesin the vicinity of Munbij, but found little opposition. In early January, 638 the campaign was over. After the defeat of pro-Byzantine Christian Arabs from Jazirawho laid the siege of Emessa in March 638 A.D, Abu Ubaidah sent more columns under Khalid ibn Walid and Ayadh ibn Ghanam to subdue Jaziranear the Syrian frontiers and in Anatolia, towards the north as far as the Ararat plainand west towards the Taurus Mountains. The Taurus Mountains in Turkeythus marked the westernmost frontiers of the Rashidun Caliphatein Anatolia. [cite book |first=A.I. last=Akram |title=The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin al-Waleed, His Life and Campaigns |publisher=Nat. Publishing. House, Rawalpindi |year=1970 |isbn=0-71010-104-X]
* [http://www.swordofallah.com/html/bookhome.htm A.I. Akram, "The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin al-Waleed, His Life and Campaigns" Lahore, 1969]
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