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SYRIA: Khalid ibn al-Walid, a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Noted for his military tactics and prowess, commanding the forces of Medina under Muhammad and the forces of his immediate successors, Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab. Under his military leadership, Arabia, for the first time in history, was united under a single political entity, the Caliphate. Strategic achievements include the conquest of Arabia, Persian Mesopotamia and Roman Syria within several years from 632-636.