Beginning in 1110 and lasting until 1115, the Seljuk Sultan Muhammad I in Baghdad launched annual invasions of the Crusader states. The first year's attack on Edessa was repelled. Prodded by the pleas of some citizens of Aleppo and spurred by the Byzantines, the Sultan ordered a major offensive against the Frankish possessions in northern Syria for the year 1111. The Sultan appointed Mawdud ibn Altuntash, governor of Mosul, to command the army. The composite force included contingents from Diyarbakir and Ahlat under Sökmen al-Qutbi, from Hamadan led by
Bursuq bin Bursuq and from Mesopotamia under Ahmadil and other emirs.