|634||Battle of Dathin (Wadi al-Arabah)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||A minor battle but, officially, the first Muslim victory against Byzantium||4 February 634|
|War & Enemy:||
Arab Conquest of Syria
|The Battlefield|| Location:
In the Jordan Rift Valley not far from the Dead Sea
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Heraclius)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Sergius||Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan|
|Forces:||perhaps 5,000||more than 1,000|
|Losses:||at least 4,000|
|Background story:||After the unification of the Arabian Peninsula under Islam by the first caliph, Abu Bakr (632–634), the Arab Muslims into new directions. The caliph summoned the faithful to a holy war (jihad) and dispatched three detachments of about 3,000 (later increased to about 7,500) men each to start operations in southern and southeastern Syria. That was the starting point of the Islamic conquests.
The right wing of the Muslim offensive under Amr ibn al-As advanced via Arava (or Wadi al-Arabah, a valley south of the Dead Sea) in the coastal region of Palestine. The first battle took place at Wadi Al-Arabah, where the Byzantine defenders were defeated and retreated toward Gaza. The Byzantine regional commander (dux and candidatus) Sergius led a small cavalry unit of 300 men from his base at Caesarea to the vicinity of Gaza (distance of 125 kilometers). The Byzantine force that was gathered there was perhaps around 5,000, including Samaritan Jews and the troops in retreat from Wadi Al-Arabah. The Arab force was at least one thousand strong, commanded by Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan.
The opposing forces met at the village of Dathin on February 4, 634 AD, not far from Gaza. The Byzantine were defeated and the candidatus Sergius was abandoned by his men and was killed. His army was almost annihilated. Facing renewed Byzantine resistance, Caliph Abu Bakr recalled Khalid ibn al-Walid from Mesopotamia for victory at Ajnadin .
|Noteworthy:||Not a major battle but it became very famous in the literature of the period.|
|Aftermath:||It was the first battle and the first victory of the Muslims in their holy war and in the new era of Islamic conquests.|