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The Battle of Azaz was fought in 1030 in northern Syria between the Byzantine army, led by Emperor Romanos III Argyros, and the Mirdasid forces of the Emirate of Aleppo, under the personal command of Shibl al-Dawla Nasr. Romanos aimed to conquer Aleppo, long a flashpoint between Byzantium and its Arab neighbours. At the head of a large army and confident of success, the Emperor rejected Mirdasid peace offers, as well as his generals' advice to avoid action in the hot and dry Syrian summer. After the Byzantines camped near Azaz, the considerably smaller Mirdasid army, mostly Bedouin light cavalry, harassed the imperial camp and kept the heavier Byzantine troops from foraging. Romanos ordered his hungry and thirsty army to withdraw to Antioch, but the retreat soon collapsed into chaos, and the Byzantines were routed by the Arabs. Humiliated, Romanos returned to Constantinople, but his generals later managed to restore the Byzantine position, and Nasr concluded a treaty with Byzantium. (Full article...)
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