stopping frequently to rest and eat, thus providing a significant strategic advantage to theMuslim troops.
-It was not possible for the Byzantine imperial army, to react promptly to Arab raids or invasions. Additionally, the army was often busy fighting in European fronts. For these reasons,the repulsion of the invaders was undertaken mainly by the local Thematic Byzantine troopswho almost
lacked in figures against the enemy. The Muslims used to keep gatheredtheir forces, thus maintaining the numerical advantage.The Byzantine strategy against them, initially involved the removal of civilians from the areaswhich were in the route of the invasion. The cities were usually safe from the invaders becauseof their walls. The Byzantine cavalry watched the movements of the Arabs/Iranians while theywere despoiled the countryside of Asia Minor, and often exterminated detached Muslim groups.At the same time, small Byzantine units were trying to lure parts of the Arab/Iranian army inambush in order to reduce its numerical strength. The Muslims entered the imperial territorythrough hilly or mountainous passes. During the course of their invasion they had to passthrough several such
Along with the aforementioned Byzantine defensive actions, a part of the Thematic infantry occupied these
in the back of the Arabs/Iranians inorder to cut off their escape route.The appropriate circumstances to attack the invaders, were when they were leaving for their territory, carrying large amounts of booty and captives which delayed them, or when theydiscovered that the passages in their rear were occupied by Byzantine forces and thus theywere forced to stop and negotiate their passage through them. The Byzantines preferred to attack the Muslim invaders during the night or in bad weather days, especially during thunderstorms or intense cold. The Muslims, originating overwhelmingly from the Middle East and the ArabianPeninsula, were not accustomed to such weather and suffering. In other cases the Arab/Iranianinvaders attempted to cross these
unaware that the Byzantine infantry had taken position on the nearby hills, or when they were in a desperate position. In such cases, theywere decimated by the arrows, spears and slingshots of the Byzantine skirmishers and then bythe swords and spears of the imperial soldiers who attacked and consummate the survivors (andcapturing many of them). Indeed, many of the Byzantine victories against the Muslims in AsiaMinor, were achieved by ambush in passes during the retreat of the invaders.