In 1789 a series of fights began between the Souliotes and Ali Pasha, the new Pasha of Ioannina, who had aspirations for a firmer grip on the area. The Community of Souliotes, who had developed into a powerful local center, hindered his plans. The experienced war-fighting Souliotes resisted vigorously during his first two expeditions, in 1789 and 1792, resulting in Pasha's defeat and the signing of a treaty. The help the Souliotes had from local pashas and beys who regarded Ali Pasha with hostility, played a particularly important role in the first victory. In the second attack, the wife of Lambros Tzavella, Mosho, who was in charge of the women of Souli, played a pivotal role. Despite his first defeats, in 1800, Ali Pasha attacked the Souliotes again, this time with a decree from the Sultan, and besieged Souli. The devastated Souliotes succumbed in 1803. They were forced to leave their villages and took refuge in the neighboring Ionian Islands.