|634||Battle of Firaz (Firadz)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||A heavy defeat by the Arabs of combined Byzantine and Persian forces||January 634|
|War & Enemy:||
Arab Conquest of Syria
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Firaz, Mesopotamia (Iraq), at the upper end of the Euphrates valley
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Heraclius)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Unknown||Khalid ibn al-Walid|
|Forces:||100,000 to 150,000, mostly Persians||15,000|
|Background story:||By the end of 633 C.E., the Muslims were the masters of the Euphrates valley. In this valley, Firaz at the outermost edge of the Persian Empire still had a Persian garrison. Khalid decided to drive away the Persians from there as well. He marched to Firaz with a Muslim force and arrived there in the first week of December 633.
Firaz was the frontier between the empires of Persia and Byzantium, and the garrisons of the Persians as well as the Byzantines were cantoned there. In the face of the Muslims, the Byzantine guard decided to come to the aid of the Persian garrison.
The united forces of the Persians, the Byzantines, and the Christian Arab auxiliary, were at least ten times the number of the Muslim force. Impressed by the imposing array of the coalition, the Byzantine general sent a haughty message to Khalid, demanding an unconditional surrender. Khalid replied that he would give reply on the battlefield…
Khalid let the enemy to cross the Euphrates and when this happened, attacked. The united forces of the Persians and the Byzantines had the river at their back . As the front ranks of both the forces committed themselves in the fighting, Khalid immobilized his enemy on either flank with the help of his rear wings. Making a swift lightning movement, the Muslims dashed for the bridge on the river, and succeeded in occupying it. The enemy was thus held in a pincer movement without the ability to take advantage of its size.
In the mortal conflict that ensued, the allies soon lost the ground. The withdrawing forces of the Persians and the Byzantines either jumped into the river in a state of panic and confusion or allowed themselves to be squeezed to death. It was a bloody battle, and over fifty thousand men of the enemy fell on the battleground. The battle was soon over and Firaz, the last stronghold of the Persians, fell to the Muslims.