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Byzantine diplomatic policy towards the steppe peoples generally consisted of encouraging them to fight among themselves. The Pechenegs provided great assistance to the Byzantines in the 9th century in exchange for regular payments.  Byzantium also sought alliances with the Göktürks against common enemies: in the early 7th century, one such alliance was brokered with the Western Tűrks against the Persian Sasanians in the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 . The Byzantines called Khazaria Tourkía , and by the 9th century referred to the Khazars as 'Turks'.  During the period leading up to and after the siege of Constantinople in 626, Heraclius sought help via emissaries, and eventually personally, from a Göktürk chieftain  of the Western Tűrkic Qağanate , Tong Yabghu Qağan , in Tiflis , plying him with gifts and the promise of marriage to his daughter, Epiphania .  Tong Yabghu responded by sending a large force to ravage the Persian empire, marking the start of the Third Perso-Turkic War .  A joint Byzantine-Tűrk operation breached the Caspian gates and sacked Derbent in 627. Together they then besieged Tiflis , where the Byzantines may have deployed an early variety of traction trebuchets ( ἑλέπόλεις ) to breach the walls. After the campaign, Tong Yabghu is reported, perhaps with some exaggeration, to have left some 40,000 troops behind with Heraclius.  Though occasionally identified with Khazars, the Göktürk identification is more probable since the Khazars only emerged from that group after the fragmentation of the former sometime after 630.  Sasanian Persia never recovered from the devastating defeat wrought by this invasion.