On April 19th they occupied the ridge at Al Khubn, within a mile and a half of the enemy’s trenches at Istabulat station. Standing on the ancient Median wall, the Staff could see the battlefield spread out before them, with the ruins of old Istabulat, nothing more than a series of mounds on the sky line. South of the canal one company of the 28th Punjabis advanced in line with the 21st Brigade. The first battle of Istabulat was a stubbornly fought action. The fighting was stiff all along the line, but the Turks hung on to the Dujail Redoubt as though their continued existence in Asia depended on it. The 18th Corps retired to another position in front of the Samarrah railway station, which they had prepared to hold. The position ran along a ridge of pebbly ground which commanded the open plain, and more severe fighting was necessary to capture it.