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973 Siege of Amida ★ ★ ★ ★
Outcome: The Byzantines besieged the city of Amida but suffered a serious defeat 4 July 973
War  &  Enemy: Enemy:
Arabs (of Mosul)
Later Byzantine-Muslim Wars
Battle Type:
The Battlefield Amida Location:
Modern Diyarbakir in South-Eastern Asia Minor
Modern Country:
  The Byzantines(emperor:  John I Tzimiskes) The Enemies
Commander: General Melias (or Mleh) Unknown
Forces: Unknown Unknown
Background story: In 972, Emperor John Tzimisces turned against the Abbasid Empire and its vassals, beginning with an invasion of Upper Mesopotamia and the Emirate of Mosul, which laid just across the Euphrates from Byzantine territory. The Byzantines, advancing into enemy territory, sacked and burned Nisibis and besieged Martyropolis. Since this fortress held out, Tzimisces returned to Constantinople, leaving Melias (or Mleh), his domestic of the East, on the frontier to continue the operations.
The Battle:
The following spring, Melias continued the campaign successfully and reached Melitene. After taking the city, he moved against Amida. Melias defeated the Arabs outside the walls and began to lay siege to the city. After a few days, a violent wind rose up and a thick dust spread over the Byzantine camp. Covered by the dust, men and beast were blinded. When the Arabs saw the disarray in the enemy camp, attacked. The confused Byzantines, unable to react, were routed. Most of them were slaughtered and some, including Melias, were taken prisoners. Previous Byzantine gains in the area were lost. The wounded Melias died next year in captivity.
Noteworthy: Tzimisces was determined to destroy Amida, but he was persuaded not to attack it by the city’ s ruler who was an ex-lover of his and sister of Hamdan, the Muslim Emir. He extracted an annual tribute, nevertheless.
Aftermath: Tzimisces came back to revenge and invaded the Emirate of Mosul once more. Ravaging and plundering widely, he pushed back the Arabs and forced the Emir to pay an annual tribute. In 975, he invaded Syria capturing many cities.