|Battle of Ni?riya|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Tud?alia IV||Sulmanu-a?ared I|
When Hittite king ?uppiluliuma I (r. c. 1344-1322 BC) conquered Mitanni, he created two provinces (Aleppo and Carchemish), and distributed the large part of territories of this kingdom between his allies. The rest of what had been the empire of Mitanni retained its independence as a Hittite vassal state called ?anigalbat. During the reign of the Hittite king Mursili III (better known as Ur?i-Te?ub), ?anigalbat was conquered by the Assyria Empire and the Assyrians controlled the East bank of the Euphrates. When ?attusili III ousted his nephew Ur?i-Te?ub and seized the Hittite throne, he had to be content with the permanent loss of ?anigalbat to the Assyrians despite its former status as a Hittite vassal state.
The Assyrian involvement in Syria continued under the command of king Sulmanu-a?ared I and precipitated a crisis with ?atti. The Hittites considered Assyrian involvement to be a clear attack on the frontiers of their empire and went into battle under their king: Tud?alia IV, ?attusili's son and successor. This led to a major battle which is known today as the Battle of Ni?riya. A letter (RS 34.265) giving details of the campaign and its outcome was sent by Sulmanu-a?ared to Ugarit.
In addition, information within Hittite document KBo IV 14 has been interpreted to show that the battle must have occurred around the 20th year of Sulmanu-a?ared's reign.
The former idea that Ni?riya was to be equated with Na'iri, along the Upper Tigris, has been shown to be wrong. As per the Mari and Dur-Katlimmu letters, Ni?riya was located in the Upper Balih region.
The conflict between the two great powers took place in the neighborhood of Nihriya, with the Assyrians gaining a decisive victory. The Assyrian victory shook the Hittite state to its foundations as its king Tudhaliya IV faced several internal revolts against his reign. Tudhaliya IV would ultimately overcome all these challenges to his authority and retain the kingship of Hatti. Hostilities between Assyria and ?atti continued for some five years before a peace was negotiated and maintained.