Meaning of 'AYN JALUT, BATTLE OF in English

'AYN JALUT, BATTLE OF

'Ayn Jalut also spelled Ain Jalut (Sept. 3, 1260), decisive victory of the Mamluks of Egypt over the invading Mongols, which saved Egypt and Islam and halted the westward expansion of the Mongol empire. Baghdad, the capital city of the 'Abbasid caliphate, had fallen to the Mongols under the Il-Khan Hleg in 1258, and the last 'Abbasid caliph had been put to death. In 1259 the Mongol army, led by the Christian Turk Kitbuga, moved into Syria, took Damascus and Aleppo, and reached the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The Mongols then sent an envoy to Cairo in 1260 to demand the submission of Qutuz, the Mamluk sultan, whose reply was the execution of the envoy. The two powers then prepared for battle. Kitbuga and his Mongol army of about 10,000 men were lured into a trap at 'Ayn Jalut (Spring of Goliath), near Nazareth, in Palestine, by a Mamluk force of 120,000 men commanded by Baybars. The Mongols were completely destroyed, and Kitbuga was captured and killed. The Mamluk victory was followed up by Muslim Syria, which then drove out its Mongol garrisons. Hleg was unable to take reprisals, as he was preoccupied with an internal struggle for power within the Mongol empire, forcing him and much of his army to return to inner Asia. The Mongol empire was thus contained in Iran and Mesopotamia, leaving Egypt secure in Muslim Mamluk hands.

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