Friday, August 15, 2014

Ottoman-Druse War (1631–1635)

Ottoman-Druse War (1631–1635)


PRINCIPAL COMBATANTS: Ottoman Empire vs. the Druse

PRINCIPAL THEATER(S): Lebanon

DECLARATION: None

MAJOR ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES: Suppression of the Druse

OUTCOME: The Druse were defeated, and their leader,
Fakhr ad-Din, executed.

APPROXIMATE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF MEN UNDER ARMS:
Ottoman forces, 80,000; Druse, 25,000

CASUALTIES: Unknown

TREATIES: None

Exiled to Tuscany after the OTTOMAN-DRUSE WAR
(1611–1613), Fakhr ad-Din II (1572–1635) returned to
Lebanon in 1618, then continued a program of territorial
expansion and opposition to the Sublime Porte (the government
of the Ottoman Empire). Armed exchanges were
taking place by 1631, and, in 1633, Sultan Murad IV
(1609–40) sent a major amphibious expedition against
the Druse. While Murad’s fleet blockaded the coast of
Lebanon, an 80,000-man army (made up of Syrians and
Egyptians) defeated a Druse army numbering 25,000 men
(and consisting of Maronites and mercenary troops in
addition to the Druse). Fakhr fled the field and took
refuge in the mountains. One of his sons was immediately
captured and executed, and Fakhr was captured in 1634
and executed the following year, as were two more of his
sons. This brought an end to the war, but not to the Druse
presence and influence in the region. As a ruling dynasty
(called the Ma’n), the line of Fakhr ad-Din ended in 1697.

See also TURKO-PERSIAN WAR (1623–1638).

Further reading: M. A. Cook, ed., A History of the
Ottoman Empire to 1730 (Cambridge, England: Cambridge
University Press, 1976); Jason Goodwin, Lords of the Hori-
zon: A History of the Ottoman Empire (New York: Picador,
2003); Colin Imber, Ottoman Empire: 1300–1650 (London:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

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