The Decline and Fall of The Zand Dynasty

- 20 - When the Persian forces disembarked on the west bank of Shatt al-Arab, they were met by a large force of 12,000-15,000 men led by Sheikh Thamer al-Saadun and Thwaini al-Saadun. In the encounter, the Arabs retreated towards their camp. Thinking the retreat was indicative of defeat, the Persian forces pushed their way forward, only to find out that this was just a hoax, a strategic retreat. The Arab forces launched a surprise attack on 11th September, 1778, forcing the Persian themselves to retreat. They ended at a sand strip between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, too far away from the ships they had come on. A battle ensued where the Persian troops were crushed. As Mohammad Ali Khan, son of King Karim Khan Zand, was not anywhere to be seen, rumours had it that he was killed. It was also said that he was captured by the Arabs. The fact of the matter was that he managed to flee to Persia. On 13th September, the eight ships of the Arabian bandars on the Persian coast carried the remaining Persian troops to Basra. It was said they were 300400 Persian soldiers, or no more than a thousand.