But although the forces that would eventually split the empire apart were unleashed in 1251, in 1260 the whole thing still looked mostly like one big family enterprise. Upon his succession, Möngke had ordered major new military expeditions into southern China and the Middle East. He put one of his brothers, Hulagu, in charge of the Middle Eastern expedition and put another brother, Kubilai, in charge of the China campaign–though Möngke went with him and was directly involved in that offensive. Hulagu swept through Iran and into Iraq, sacking the Assassin base at Alamut in 1256 and Baghdad, where he executed the last widely-accepted Abbasid Caliph, in 1258. By September 1260 his armies were in Syria, having taken Aleppo and Damascus, and were poised to push south into Egypt. Hulagu sent envoys to Cairo demanding Egypt’s surrender, but the envoys’ heads were later seen decorating Cairo’s city walls.