The Saracens refers to the Sunni Muslim armies, led by Salāḥ ad-Dīn, who were involved in the Crusades in the Middle Ages. During the Third Crusade, Saracens defended the Holy Land from the Christian Crusaders, who wanted to reclaim it in the name of Jesus Christ.
Although the Crusaders had achieved some victories, most notably the retaking of Acre, most of the Holy Land was still held by Saracens. The lands to the east and south-east were Saracen strongholds, and they occupied and held the cities of Damascus and Jerusalem.
In terms of combat, Saracen soldiers were similar to the Crusaders, and wore Lamellar armor. They also had the ability to speak Arabic and Turkish.
The most common Saracen soldier, which were of low ranking, could not grab nor perform counterattacks. The weakest foe, they would easily fall to a single counterattack from Altaïr, and as such, these types of soldiers tended to be frightened the most in battle, fleeing if a few of their comrades were killed.
High-ranking soldiers of the Saracen army had much more armor and skill, though they were uncommon in appearance. In contrast to their lower ranked counterparts, these soldiers could perform both counterattacks and grabs. Also, while Altaïr could counter their attacks, it would only push them down, not kill them outright. However, if they were countered by using the Hidden Blade, it would immediately kill them.
The Saracens had spread 100 Saracen flags across the city of Damascus. In 1191, Altaïr collected all of them.