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Throughout much of recorded history, the region has been a cultural and spiritual center, birthing the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - however, due to this, it has also been embroiled in countless wars and conflicts as different nations have attempted to control the land. The Third Crusade was one such conflict, taking place in the late 12th century.
The Levant was also home to one of the oldest branches of the Assassin Order: the Levantine Assassins. Based in Masyaf, Syria, the Assassins there were a public organization, openly fighting the Knights Templar in the Crusades before declining into obscurity after the Mongol siege of Masyaf in 1257. Notable members of the branch included Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, his wife Maria Thorpe, Malik Al-Sayf, Abbas Sofian, and the Mentor Rashid ad-Din Sinan.