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Egyptian–Ottoman War (1831–33)

1831 Egyptian-Ottoman War
Date 1831–1833
Location Syria to Adana
Result Egyptian victory. The Syria Vilayet and Aleppo Vilayet are granted to the Egypt Eyalet.
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (also used in Egypt).svg Egypt Eyalet  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders

Flag of the Ottoman Empire (also used in Egypt).svg Muhammad Ali

Flag of the Ottoman Empire (also used in Egypt).svg Ibrahim Pasha

Ottoman flag alternative 2.svg Mahmud II

Ottoman flag alternative 2.svg Reşid Mehmed Pasha
100,000 145,000
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The First Egyptian-Ottoman War, First Turco-Egyptian War or First Syrian War (1831–1833) was a military conflict brought about by Muhammad Ali Pasha's demand to the Ottoman Empire for control of Greater Syria, as reward for his assistance in Crete against Greece. As a result, Muhammad Ali's forces temporarily gained control of Syria, and advanced as far north as Adana.


The Greek War of Independence was a prelude to the conflict in which, the state of Egypt, nominally under Ottoman control was requested to send naval ships to aid the fledgling Ottoman fleets. The Ottoman and Egyptian ships were subsequently defeated at the battle of Navarino by an Anglo-Russo-French fleet. The Ottomans were also defeated two years later by the Russians in 1829. Once more, Muhammad Ali was not given the promised reward for the aid he had given to Turkey during the war.

Invasion of Syria

Outraged, Ali sent his army into Syria under the command of his son Ibrahim Pasha, and his navy, under command of General Ibrahim Yakan, landed at Jaffa. The Egyptians rapidly occupied Jerusalem and the coastal regions of Palestine and Lebanon.

Several battles between the Egyptians and Ottomans ensued. At a village south of Homs on the Orontes, on April 14, 1832, the Egyptians under Ibrahim Pasha defeated an Ottoman force of 15,000 under Osman Pasha. After reducing Acre, the Egyptians occupied Damascus on June 14, 1832. A new Ottoman army under Mohammed Pasha advanced south to Homs, and a major battle took place on July 8, 1832 on the southern approaches to that city. The Ottomans were routed with large losses and the Egyptians occupied Homs on July 9; then Aleppo on July 17, and Antioch on July 28. On July 29 another major battle took place at the Pass of Beilan through the Nur Mountains, where the Egyptians defeated an Ottoman force of 45,000 equipped with 160 guns, under Hussein Pasha and captured 25 guns along with considerable war booty. The Egyptians occupied Beilan on July 30, then Tarsus and Adana on July 31. At this point the Egyptian army halted, having occupied the Arabic-speaking regions it had intended to annex to Egypt, and awaited instructions from Ibrahim's father, Muhammad Ali Pasha in Cairo.

In the ensuing lull, the Sultan recalled the Grand Vizier Reshid Pasha and organised a new army of 80,000 to repel the Egyptians. Anticipating a final major battle, Ibrahim set about to capture territory in Southern Turkey to secure his supply lines. On December 21, 1832, the Battle of Konya was fought, where the Ottomans were easily defeated and the Egyptians thereafter threatened Constantinople. In February of the following year, the Ottoman Empire entered a defensive alliance with Russia and received military assistance from Nicholas I of Russia.

Foreign pressure

The Egyptians were eventually forced to call off the invasion because of British and French pressure.[1] Although they initially backed the Pasha, they threatened military action against him if he did not halt his advance. They feared that if the Egyptians were to continue advancing, an already severely weakened Ottoman Empire, would collapse and leave a power vacuum, in which Russia could possibly take or gain advantage.


The war ended in 1833, and Egypt was left in control of Syria and much of Arabia. At the Convention of Kutahya, held in May 1833, Syria and Adana were ceded to Egypt, and Ibrahim became governor-general of the two provinces.[2] Later that same year, the Ottomans signed the Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi with Russia, in which both countries agreed to mutual assistance should either empire enter a military conflict.

But the settlement of the Peace Agreement of Kutahya was not satisfactory to either party, resulting in the Second Ottoman-Egyptian War (1839–1841).


  1. ^ Trevor N Dupuy (1993). The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History. HarperCollins Publishers. p. 851. 
  2. ^ "Convention of Kütahya". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-18.