The caliph sent against them Mahommed al-Qommi, who subdued them in 856 and brought their king Ali Baba to Samarra before Motawakkil, on condition that he should be restored to his kingdom.
A little south of Samarra the stony plateau of Mesopotamia ends, and the alluvial plain of Irak, ancient Babylonia, begins.
Between the Euphrates and the Arabian plateau lie the sacred cities of Kerbela or Meshed-Hosain, and Nejef or Meshed Ali, with a population of 20,000 to 60,000 each, while a number of towns, varying in population from 3000 to 10,000, are found along the Euphrates (Anah, Hit, Ramadieh, Musseyib, Hilla, Diwanieh and Samawa) and the Tigris (Tekrit, Samarra and Kut elAmara).
A little south of Samarra are found remains of the Median Wall, which stretched south-west towards the Euphrates near Sahlawych, marking the edge of the Babylonian alluvial plain.
Above Bagdad there are no steamers on the Tigris, but sailing vessels of 30 tons and more navigate the river to Samarra and beyond.