The Military Campaign of Domesticus Mleeh in the Euphrates Basin (Dhul Hijjah 361 AH. / October, 972 AD)

Mahmoud M. al-Rowaydi


Seeking to take advantage of Islamic conflict and sectarian disorder in the Euphrates Basin and in Bilad Al-Sham, the Byzantine Empire tried to realize its longstanding ambitions to occupy the region and to exploit its wealth and resources. On Dhul Hijjah 361H/1 October 972 AD, the Byzantine Emporer Zinisces entrusted an Armenian general, Domesticus Mleeh, with the task of leading a military expedition to the Basin, with the objectives of exterminating much of the indigenous population, taking hostages of those who survived, and looting and plundering its towns and villages. A mass exodus ensued, during which many sought the aid and support of their caliphates, imploring them not to forget their obligations towards fellow Muslims. The army of Domesticus was eventually defeated by a Muslim alliance at the city of al-Musel, Domesticus and his subordinate commanders were captured, and the ambitions of Zinisces were thwarted. To seek revenge on the Muslim coalition, Zinisces organized another military campaign, this time portraying it as a holy crusade under the emblem of the Christian cross.


Military campaign, Domesticus Mleeh, Euphrates Basin, Byzantine-Muslim

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