Umayyad Caliphate

Battle of Aksu
©Angus McBride
717 Jan 1

Battle of Aksu

Aksu City, Aksu Prefecture, Xi

The Battle of Aksu was fought between Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate and their Turgesh and Tibetan Empire allies against the Tang dynasty of China. In 717 AD, the Arabs, guided by their Turgesh allies, besieged Buat-ɦuɑn (Aksu) and Dai-dʑiᴇk-dʑiᴇŋ (Uqturpan) in the Aksu region of Xinjiang. Tang troops backed by their protectorates in the region attacked and routed the besieging Arabs forcing them to retreat.

As a result of the battle, the Arabs were expelled from Northern Transoxiana. The Turgesh submitted to the Tang and subsequently attacked the Arabs in Ferghana. For their loyalty, the Tang emperor conferred imperial titles on the Turgesh khagan Suluk and awarded him the city of Suyab. With Chinese backing, the Turgesh launched punitive attacks into Arab territory eventually wresting all of Ferghana from the Arabs with the exception of a few forts.