The Islamic & Ottoman empires


In 636 AD Syria was again conquered, this time by the Arabs and became part of the fast-growing Islamic Empire. Damascus became the capital of the Umayyad dynastic empire, when it was the seat of several powerful Umayyad caliphs. Rule by another Muslim dynasty, the Abbasids, followed.

By the end of the 11th century, the Crusaders had arrived in the region and incorporated part of Syria into their Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem. When Salah al-Din (Saladin) defeated the Crusaders, he took Syria and overthrew the Kingdom of Jerusalem at the end of the 12th century.

The Mamelukes then ruled Syria and after 1516 it became part of the Ottoman Empire, which held fast until the beginning of the First World War. At that time,an alliance between Britain, France and the Arab people resulted in the expulsion of the Turks from Syria.

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