By: Mir M.Hosseini
After Iranians secured Greater Khorasan, the Ottomans were on alert because they feared a possible attack from Iran to free occupied Greater Azerbaijan. Spies reported that Ali Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Azerbaijan took off on a mission to suppress uprisings in Salmas on May, 1603.
Shah Abbas the Great started his Azerbaijan Campaign against the Ottoman Empire on Aug, 15, 1603 but he let his spies spread the news that he was going to Mazandaran. At the same time, he informed his commander Allahverdi Khan to be prepared for an assault on Baghdad. Only a few in king's close circles were aware of his true intensions when they arrived in Kashan on September, 17th. He sent a courier to Zolfaghar Khan Karamanloo, the Iranian governor of Azerbaijan asking him to mobilize his 3,000 units to join the main army at the Ojan border on September, 27th.
As soon as the people of Tabriz heard the news of Shah Abbas approaching they started fighting against the Ottoman occupiers and after brief encounters, the Iranian army liberated Tabriz on Sep, 28, 1603.
Unfortunately, Tabriz was in ruins and Shah Abbas proceeded to Haji Harami and set a camp for an inevitable encounter with Ali Pasha. During the battle that ensued on Sep, 29th, many high ranking Ottoman commanders were killed but Ali Pasha was captured alive. When he was brought before the Shah, he pleaded for forgiveness. Shah spared lives of Ali Pasha and his family.
However, the Castle of Tabriz did not surrender until Oct, 24th. The military booty from this campaign was considerable specially 400 cannons that changed the power balance in Safavid favor.
The restless Shah Abbas was determined to free all of Iran.