Battle of the Defile

The Battle of the Defile or Battle of the Pass (Arabic: وقعة الشعب, romanized: Waqʿat al-Shʿib) was fought in the (in modern Uzbekistan) between a large army of the Umayyad Caliphate and the Turkic Türgesh khaganate over three days in July 731 CE. The Türgesh had been besieging Samarkand and its commander, Sawra ibn al-Hurr al-Abani, had sent a request for relief to the newly appointed governor of Khurasan, Junayd ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Murri. Junayd’s 28,000-strong army was attacked by the Türgesh in the pass, and although the Umayyad army managed to extricate itself and reach Samarkand, it suffered enormous casualties; Sawra’s 12,000 men, who had been commanded to attack the Türgesh from the rear in a relief effort, were almost annihilated.