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Siege of Baghdad (1258)

Siege of Baghdad (1258)
Part of the Mongol invasions
Hulagu's army besieging the walls of Baghdad
Date 29 January – 10 February 1258 (13 days)
Location Baghdad, modern-day Iraq
Result Decisive Mongol victory

Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Mongol Empire

Il-Khanate Flag.svg Ilkhanate
Rubenid Flag.svg Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
Georgia (country) Kingdom of Georgia
Armoiries Bohémond VI d'Antioche.svg Principality of Antioch
Mongolian China

Black flag.svg Abbasid Caliphate

Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Hulagu Khan
Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Arghun Aqa
Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Baiju
Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Buqa-Temür
Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Sunitai
Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Kitbuqa
Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Koke Ilge
Black flag.svg Al-Musta'sim Executed
Black flag.svg Mujaheduddin
Black flag.svg Sulaiman Shah Executed
Black flag.svg Qarasunqur
Flag of Ayyubid Dynasty.svg Al-Ashraf Musa
Units involved
40,000+ Mongols, mainly cavalry
12,000 Armenian cavalry
40,000 Armenian infantry
Georgian infantry
1,000 Chinese bombardiers and engineers
Turkic and Persian soldiers
120,000–150,000 50,000
Casualties and losses
Unknown but believed to be minimal 50,000 soldiers,
200,000–800,000 civilians (Western sources)
2,000,000 civilians (Arab sources)

Flag of the Mongol Empire.svg Mongol Empire

Black flag.svg Abbasid Caliphate

The Siege of Baghdad, which lasted from January 29 until February 10, 1258, entailed the investment, capture, and sack of Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, by Ilkhanate Mongol forces and allied troops. The Mongols were under the command of Hulagu Khan (or Hulegu Khan), brother of the khagan Möngke Khan, who had intended to further extend his rule into Mesopotamia but not to directly overthrow the Caliphate. Möngke, however, had instructed Hulagu to attack Baghdad if the Caliph Al-Musta'sim refused Mongol demands for his continued submission to the khagan and the payment of tribute in the form of military support for Mongol forces in Iran.

Hulagu began his campaign in Iran with several offensives against Nizari groups, including the Assassins, who lost their stronghold of Alamut. He then marched on Baghdad, demanding that Al-Musta'sim accede to the terms imposed by Möngke on the Abbasids. Although the Abbasids had failed to prepare for the invasion, the Caliph believed that Baghdad could not fall to invading forces and refused to surrender. Hulagu subsequently besieged the city, which surrendered after 12 days. During the next week, the Mongols sacked Baghdad, committing numerous atrocities and destroyed the Abbasids' vast libraries, including the House of Wisdom. The Mongols executed Al-Musta'sim and massacred many residents of the city, which was left greatly depopulated. The siege is considered to mark the end of the Islamic Golden Age, during which the caliphs had extended their rule from the Iberian Peninsula to Sindh, and which was also marked by many cultural achievements.


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