By: Mir M.Hosseini
In 1592 Shah Abbas took off for his first campaign with his reformed army against the Uzbek tribes who had seized Khorasan and were ravaging the province. Without a serious engagement, Shah Abbas returned from Neishabour due to unprecedented cold.
In 1595 Shah Abbas started his second Khorasan campaign but revolts in Gilan, Mazandaran and Lorestan prevented him from proceeding further away from Sabzevar.
In April, 1599 he went on his third campaign. This time, Shah Abbas was more determined and engaged the garrisons of Fars and Kerman. Much of the Uzbek tribes fled when they heard that Shah Abbas was approaching. The Iranian army reached Mashhad facing insignificant resistance. Time was on the side of Shah Abbas and Mashhad, was easily liberated on July, 19, 1599 after the Uzbek chief Abdolmomen Khan was dead.
Meanwhile, Din Mohammad Khan in Herat, Pir Mohammad Khan in Bukhara and Abdolamin Khan in Balkh each proclaimed Uzbek king.
After spending three days in Mashhad, Shah Abbas took off towards Herat. About 25 km to Herat, the Persians were caught in an ambush. Uzbeks engaged in a bloody battle in which the Iranian commander and most of his forces were killed. While the Uzbeks were celebrating their victory, Shah Abbas with his remaining forces stormed their camp and killed Din Mohammad Khan.
Another account states that Shah Abbas managed to lure the Uzbek army out of the fortified city of Herat by faking a retreat. After a bloody battle; in the course of which the Uzbek khan was wounded and his troops retreated, the khan was murdered by his own men. Either way, Herat was liberated on August, 9 1599.
In 1602, Shah Abbas attempted to capture Balkh but a cholera epidemic among his soldiers made him retreat from the Balkh city walls.
After that time, Greater Khorasan was safe and Shah Abbas could look towards the Ottoman Empire.