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The First Arabian War (also known as the War of the Tribes due to its origin or the War against Medina in Medinan Christian territories) was a conflict in the Middle East between 685 and . The war is known as being one of the first truly pan-Middle Eastern wars (with the other one being the Byzantine-Sassanid War of 635-650, although with the small amount of nations back then it was easier for the whole region to be in a war).
Zainab bin Muhammad's Expulsion of the Tribes of 679, which attempted to create the religious unity of the Medinan Empire, proved to be a mistake. The tribes (especially large ones such as the Quaraysh, the 'Anisa, the Hanifah and the Wali) proved to be a strain in the local empires (mostly Axumite Saba and southern Aram) as their influence and nomadic customs made it hard for markets to supply the tribes to a full extent. Besides, the largest tribes soon set up competence with the Ghassanid and Lakhmid tribes, already living out of Medina in the north, and the 'Ans and Yafi', Saban tribes, in the south. Soon, brawls and small-scale battles happened between the clans, destroying regular life in the Arabian provinces of the surrounding nations. The exception to this was Sassanid Persia, where the expulsed tribes soon assimilated to the Perso-Arab collective in some areas of the country.
Realizing they would be permanently a problem in the local states, the states of Aram, Byzantium and Axum requested Zainab bin Muhammad to allow the Pagan tribes back to Arabia, reportedly stating that "they would be sooner Christianized in your nation than in ours". Zainab, a military extremist, said no (according to some sources, in extremely blunt and insulting words) and declared that as long as she lived, "not a single person not following Muhammad's faith will be allowed in Arabia". Not only did this worsened relations with the three nations, but it also alienated the remaining pagans in Arabia, which soon fled and worsened the refugee crisis.
A diplomatic stand-off then started in which the Middle East nations (excepting Khazaria) begun an arm-up and the creation of defensive pacts with the other sides. The Perso-Arabic Alliance was finally cemented in this time, for example. Even the Caucasian states of Khazaria, Armenia and Udistan armed up, fearful a war would start and they would be caught in the middle.
The situation came into full-out war when, in 685, Christian (non-Medinan) Arabic tribes presented to Konstantinos IV (Byzantine Emperor), Konstantinos of Axum and Nestorius II, Emperor of Aram, requesting that Medina "be punished for it's sinful actions". While Konstantinos IV decided not to go to war yet, claiming that it would be more of a problem to the Empire, Nestorius and Konstantinos of Axum declared their intentions to agree, and soon afterwards declared war on Medina.
First Years; Medinan Advnace
Zainab bin Muhammad, already too old to command an army, left it under command of her son Ali. A brilliant strategist, Ali was able to defeat incompetent Nestorius II in several battles, while he decided to retreat to Mesopotamia where he'd have a strategic advantage due to the rivers' protection.