|637||Capture of Aleppo||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||The Arabs captured the city of Aleppo marching into Byzantine territory||July–October 637|
|War & Enemy:||
Arab Conquest of Syria
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Modern Aleppo or Halab in Northern Syria
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Heraclius)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Joachim||Abu Ubaidah & Khalid ibn al-Walid|
|Background story:||The Muslim army captured Damascus (635) and Jerusalem (638), and later 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 marched to Aleppo, where a strong garrison under a general named Joachim held the fort. Aleppo (modern Halab, the largest city in Syria, at the border between Syria and Turkey) is one of the oldest cities in the world (since perhaps the 6th millennium BC). Its Greek name was Beroia. It has been a strategic trading point between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia, hence its long history. It was also the end point of the Silk Road.|
Aleppo consisted of a large walled city and a smaller but virtually impregnable fort outside the city atop a hill.
When the Arabs arrived, the Byzantine commander, Joachim, chose to fight the Muslim army in the open, outside the fort. He was defeated and hastily retreated inside the walls. In the following months he attempted 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). So, around October 637, the Greeks surrendered on terms according to which the soldiers of the garrison were allowed to depart in peace.
|Noteworthy:||According to Muslim sources, Joachim converted to Islam along with his 4000 Greek soldiers. He proved himself a remarkably able and brave officer.|
|Aftermath:||The Arabs continued their march. After Aleppo they took Azaz (to ensure no Roman forces were left around ) and then moved towards Antioch.|