Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 17 February 1832 (First Egyptian-Ottoman War): In return for assisting the Ottoman Empire in Greece (Greek War of Independence), Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali (Muhammad Ali of Egypt)—nominally an Ottoman governor—demanded he be given Syria. When the Ottomans refused, the Egyptians invaded, easily conquering Syria and defeating the two Ottoman armies sent to expel them (Egyptian-Ottoman War (1831-33)).