The Iran-Iraq war was a devastating eight-year war fought between the two countries between September 1980 and August 1988. The war started with a simultaneous air and land Iraqi offensive onto Iran which caught the Iranians off guard (with Iran still reeling from the chaos caused via their revolution).
|Iraqi gains (between 1980-82) and Iranian gains (1982-88)|
|Armed Iranian woman in Khorramshar during the siege|
|Oil wells on fire, outside Abadan, Iran.|
|Iraqi artillery battalion.|
|Iraqi soldiers posing after a victory|
|Trench warfare was common, as in WWI.|
|Iraqi army and militia positions in the war (from HealingIraq.blogspot.com)|
|The war saw the mass recruitment of child soldiers|
|Child soldiers on the Iranian frontier|
|Sudanese volunteers marching. They joined the Iraqi Army in 1983.|
|Iraqi tank and soldiers cross beyond the Karun river|
|Iraqi soldiers in combat.|
|Iranian soldier wears a gas mask and takes cover in a trench|
|Locations of the use of chemical weapons|
|Iranian soldiers equipped with gas masks. It helped them survive.|
|Victims of the gas attack at the Kurdish village of Halabja, Iraq. 5,000 died at least.|
|Kuwait was attacked by Iran in an airstrike over their support for Iraq|
|Iranian Revolutionary Guard mounting an Anti-Air gun in Iran|
|Iranian children lie dead after a school was bombed in 1987|
The conflict spilled into the Persian Gulf; both countries produced large amounts of oil and it was viewed that attacking and disabling oil installations in the combatant's country would damage their economy and eventually bankrupt them. However, this mini-war caused the US navy (a navy stronger than both Iran's and Iraq's combined) to escort Gulf oil tankers; there were still incidents. Iraq 'accidentally' bombed a US warship and Iran's practice of laying mines in the sea (which had damaged a US frigate) caused an American strike on the Iranian navy, taking out five Iranian naval vessels.
|Oil tanker scuttled in the Shatt al Arab waterway on Saddam's orders to prevent sea access to southern Iraq|
|The USS Stark after being hit by an Iraqi fighter plane|
|Iranian boats like these littered the Gulf.|
|Oil tanker in flames after being hit by an Iranian missile.|
As in WWI and WWII, the war brought in the massive pouring of military volunteers and aid to each country's armed forces.
|Iranian children offer their spare savings to the war-front.|
|Military volunteers en route to the front-lines.|
|Most were never seen of again.|
|Iranian volunteers took up arms by the busloads (literally)|
|Iranian volunteers marching to the front-line.|
|Iranians from across the country joined the army|
|Civilians stock up supplies in a mosque along the frontline in Iran|
|Iran's first president, Banisadr, visiting an injured soldier.|
|Azadi sports stadium in Tehran was a focal recruitment area|
The UN deployed several observers to Iran to assess if chemical weapons were used and to report on how much were used.
|UN weapons inspectors at work.|
|Taking photos of artillery shells|
|And of children... (???)|
|UN observers assess the level of chemicals used.|
The war left a million dead, and hundreds of thousands injured.
Peace was achieved in 1988. 100,000+ civilians killed on both sides, 320,000–720,000 Iraqi soldiers and militia killed and 150,000–375,000 Iranian soldiers and militia killed. Over a trillion dollars in damages occurred. This was the longest conventional war of the 20th century and one of the most brutal.
Iraq erected 101 statues with pointing fingers towards Iran, six miles away from the border, in memory of Iraqis killed during the Iran-Iraq War. The statues were destroyed by the British on March 31, 2003.