iranian iraqi
On 6 January 1986, the Iraqis launched an offensive attempting to retake Majnoon Island. [113][161] Saddam appeared live on Iraqi television to "lead" the charge against the Iranians. Even if before the outbreak of the conflict there had been some encroachment by Iran on Iraqi territory, such encroachment did not justify Iraq's aggression against Iran—which was followed by Iraq's continuous occupation of Iranian territory during the conflict—in violation of the prohibition of the use of force, which is regarded as one of the rules of jus cogens...On one occasion I had to note with deep regret the experts' conclusion that "chemical weapons ha[d] been used against Iranian civilians in an area adjacent to an urban center lacking any protection against that kind of attack. Prior to the attack, Iranian commandos on helicopters had landed behind Iraqi lines and destroyed Iraqi artillery. They had led the way, running over fields of mines to clear the ground for the Iranian ground assault. [220], U.S. government support for Iraq was not a secret and was frequently discussed in open sessions of the Senate and House of Representatives. [88] In February 1988, Saddam began the fifth and most deadly "war of the cities". [182], Most historians and analysts consider the war to be a stalemate. Iran sees Iraq as a possible route to bypass U.S. sanctions that President Donald Trump reimposed on Tehran in 2018, after pulling America out of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. [27]:185, 187, 188, 192–193, Iraq also made extensive use of front companies, middlemen, secret ownership of all or part of companies all over the world, forged end-user certificates, and other methods to hide what it was acquiring. Each squad was assigned a specific objective. [182] Iran, in response, refused to release 70,000 Iraqi prisoners of war (compared to 40,000 Iranian prisoners of war held by Iraq). [127], On 16 July, Iran tried again further north and managed to push the Iraqis back. [78] In particular, General Shirazi and Zahirnejad were both opposed to the invasion of Iraq on logistical grounds, and stated they would consider resigning if "unqualified people continued to meddle with the conduct of the war". [75], The decision to invade Iraq was taken after much debate within the Iranian government. Much of the oil industry in both countries was damaged in air raids. [113], Though the Iranians advanced to within sight of Dukan and captured around 1,040 km2 (400 sq mi) and 4,000 Iraqi troops, the offensive failed due to the Iraqi use of chemical warfare. “The only reason to put three members of the IWA on trial is due to their activities in advocating freedom of expression, and because of their opposition to censorship,” the statement read. [78] Israeli historian Efraim Karsh points to the decline in morale in 1987–88 as being a major factor in Iran's decision to accept the ceasefire of 1988. The Iranians retreated back to the marshes, though they still held onto them along with Majnoon Island. [75] After Operation Karbala-5, Iraq only had 100 qualified fighter pilots remaining; therefore, Iraq began to invest in recruiting foreign pilots from countries such as Belgium, South Africa, Pakistan, East Germany and the Soviet Union. [27]:119, 198–199 The Soviet Union hoped to use the threat of reducing arms supplies to Iraq as leverage for forming a Soviet-Iranian alliance.[27]:197. The Iranians retreated back to the Hoveyzeh marshes while being attacked by helicopters,[75] and the highway was recaptured by the Iraqis. [127], Over 100,000 Revolutionary Guards and Basij volunteer forces charged towards the Iraqi lines. For the first time since early 1980, Saddam launched new offensives. The Iraqi Air Force was replenished with Soviet, Chinese, and French fighter jets and attack/transport helicopters. [75][page needed], The Iranians built up their forces on the heights surrounding Mehran. [75][78]:44, The Battle of the Marshes saw an Iraqi defence that had been under continuous strain since 15 February; they were relieved by their use of chemical weapons and defence-in-depth, where they layered defensive lines: even if the Iranians broke through the first line, they were usually unable to break through the second due to exhaustion and heavy losses.

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