An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub—better known in the West as Saladin—would emerge as the greatest of all the Muslim warlords of the Crusades. He began his career as a Kurdish officer in the service of Nur al-Din. In 1169, he seized power in Egypt and overthrew the Fatimid Caliphate. Then, following the fortuitous death of Nur al-Din in 1174, he began the conquest of Syria. In time, he would construct an empire that extended from North Africa to Mesopotamia. He would also become the champion of the jihad against the Crusader States and engage in fierce wars against the forces of the Kingdom of Jerusalem led by the Leper King Baldwin IV and Prince Reynald de Chatillon.