Uthman withdrew the restriction of naval warfare. He permitted Muawiyah to invade the island of Cypress. The island was captured by the Muslims. 'The success of the Cypress campaign set the stage for the undertaking of naval activities by the Government of Egypt as well. Abdullah b Sa'ad built a strong navy. He proved to be a good naval commander, and under him the Muslims won a number of naval victories.
The first naval clash between the Byzantine navy, and the Egyptian navy took place on the Egyptian coast in 651 C.E. In this naval action, the Byzantines who were the aggressors were repulsed with a heavy loss.