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Iranians Conquer Baghdad

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January, 25, 1623 A.D.:
Iranians Conquer Baghdad

By: Mir M.Hosseini

Following the decisive Iranian victory at the Battle of Pol Shekasteh in 1618, the Ottomans did not have much choice but to sign the Sarab Peace Treaty in less favorable terms. In 1622, Sultan Osman Khan's failure to mobilize the Yenicheri army against Iran ended with a coup that toppled him. His uncle Sultan Mustafa was installed on the Ottoman throne. A while later Iranian spies informed Shah Abbas that Sultan Osman was killed. Consequently, the Ottomans faced difficulties in maintaining control over Baghdad. Hafez Ahmet Pasha was dispatched to suppress a revolt leaded by a Yenicheri officer named Bekir Subashi Pasha.
Bekir Subashi sent a messenger to Hossein Khan, the Safavid governor of Lorestan asking for help and offering obedience to Shah Abbas. Baghdad had been annexed by Ottomans in 1533 AD during the reign of Shah Tahmasp 1.
After returning from an expedition to Herat, Shah Abbas marched towards Baghdad. Upon hearing that Hasan Pasha from Mosul had joined the Hafez Ahmad Pasha's forces, Bekir Subashi changed sides again and was convinced that he could hold ground against the Iranian army with the coming reinforcements; a great miscalculation.
The Kizilbash army raided Baghdad from different directions and captured the city on Jan, 25, 1623 AD. Shah dispatched Qaraqchay Khan towards north. His army defeated the Ottoman commander Hasan Pasha in a brief battle and took Mosul. He then swiftly proceeded further north and cleared the area up to the vicinity of Diyarbakir. In May, 1623, he returned to Najaf and presented Shah Abbas precious booties from his Iraq campaign.
Before returning to Isfahan, Shah Abbas appointed his Hamedan governor Safi Gholi Khan as the Beylerbeygi in charge of Baghdad, Najaf, Kazemein and Karbala.
In the months to follow, the Ottomans deployed many armies trying to take back their lost territories all in vain. Kizilbash contingents raided them fiercely and stopped the invading Ottomans in northern Iraq.
Ahmet Pasha sent a peace envoy to Iran asking for a truce. Shah Abbas argued that Mesopotamia had been a piece of Iranian soil historically and they took it back rightfully. Many futile Battles between the two armies ensued. Finally the Ottoman army agreed to leave Iraq on the condition that the Safavid army stopped pursuing them on July, 15, 1625.
There was peace between the Safavid Empire and the Ottoman Empire until Shah Abbas passed away on Jan, 20, 1620.

KEY TERMS:Ahmet Pasha , Baghdad , Bekir Subashi Pasha , Bey , Beylerbeygi , Diyarbakir , Gholi , Gholi Khan , Hafez , Hafez Ahmet Pasha , Hamedan , Hasan Pasha , Herat , Hossein Khan , Iran , Iranian , Iraq , Isfahan , Karbala , Kazemein , Khan , Kizilbash , Lor , Lorestan , Mesopotamia , Mosul , Najaf , Ottoman , Ottoman Empire , Pol Shekasteh , Qaraqchay Khan , Safavi , Safavid , Safi , Sarab , Shah , Shah Abbas , Shah Tahmasp , Sultan , Sultan Mustafa , Sultan Osman , Tahmasp , Yenicheri

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