The Battle of Ain Jalut
Compiled by: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On September 3, in 1260 AD, the Mamluks of Egypt decisively defeated the Iran-based Ilkhanid Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut in Palestine, thus turning the tide against these savage invaders from the steppes of Central Asia. The battle marked the high-water point of Mongol conquests, and was the first time a Mongol army had ever been permanently beaten back in direct combat on the battlefield.
After previous battlefield defeats, the Mongols had always returned and avenged their loss, ultimately defeating their enemies. The Battle of Ain Jalut marked the first time they were unable to do so. The Mongol Ilkhanate leader Hulagu Khan was not able to advance into Egypt, and the Khanate he established in Iran was only able to defeat the Mamluks once in subsequent expeditions, briefly reoccupying Syria and parts of Galilee for a few months in 1300.
The Mongols were decisively defeated by Egyptian Mamluk Sultan Saif od-Din Qutuz and his able general, Baibars (the next Sultan). This victory over Hulagu Khan's famous Christian Turkish general, Kitbuqa Noyan, ended the threat to Egypt and North Africa, a few years after the Mongol sack of Baghdad and the subjugation of Syria, which included the turning of Omayyad Mosque of Damascus into a cathedral.