A report on Baghdad and Iran–Iraq War

Top-left to bottom-right: Iranian child soldier on the frontlines

Iranian soldier in a trench wearing a gas mask to guard against Iraqi chemical attacks

Port quarter view of the USS Stark listing to port after being mistakenly struck by an Iraqi warplane

Pro-Iraq MEK forces killed during Iran's Operation Mersad

Iraqi prisoners of war after the recapture of Khorramshahr by Iranian forces

ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun being used by the Iranian Army
Meeting of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Houari Boumédiène and Saddam Hussein (left to right) during the Algiers Agreement in 1975.
An 1808 picture of Baghdad from the print collection in Travels in Asia and Africa, etc. (ed. J. P. Berjew, British Library)
Ruhollah Khomeini rose to power after the Iranian Revolution.
An 1468 painting of Floods in Baghdad by Shirwan
Location of Khuzestan Province in Iran which Iraq planned to annex
The Round city of Baghdad between 767 and 912 AD
Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr, who was also commander-in-chief, on a Jeep-mounted 106mm recoilless anti-tank gun. Banisadr was impeached in June 1981.
Baghdad Museum is a local history museum. It features 70 scenes from different periods using lifesize models presenting Baghdad life
The Shatt al-Arab on the Iran–Iraq border
Courtyard of Mustansiriya madrasa, established by Al-Mustansir in 1227
Destroyed Iranian C-47 Skytrain
Khan Murjan, built in the 14th century as a caravanserai
Iranian F-14A Tomcats equipped with AIM-54A, AIM-7 and AIM-9 missiles.
Al Khulafa mosque retains an Abbasid-era minaret
Resistance of the outnumbered and outgunned Iranians in Khorramshahr slowed the Iraqis for a month.
Zumurrud Khatun Tomb in Baghdad (built in 1202 AD)
Iranian president Abulhassan Banisadr on the battlefront
Conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258 CE
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Massoud Rajavi, the leader of MEK and the National Resistance Council of Iran (NCRI) in 1988.
Central Asian Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur sacked the city and spared almost no one
The surprise attack on H-3 airbase is considered to be one of the most sophisticated air operations of the war.
The Shabandar Café in Baghdad, 1923
Iranian soldier holding an IV bag during the Iran–Iraq War
Manadotory Iraq, 1921
Iranian Northrop F-5 aircraft during Iran-Iraq war
Three Iraqi Levies, who volunteered in 1946 for service as ground crew with the Royal Air Force, look over the side of the ORBITA as it pulls into the docks at Liverpool. Left to right, they are: Sergeant Macko Shmos, Lance Corporal Adoniyo Odisho and Corporal Yoseph Odisho.
Iraqi T-62 tank wreckage in Khuzestan Province, Iran
Freedom Monument, Tahrir square in Downtown Baghdad
Iraqi soldiers surrendering after the Liberation of Khorramshahr
View of downtown Baghdad, March 2017
Saddam Hussein in 1982
Baghdad as seen from the International Space Station
An admonitory declaration issued from the Iraqi government in order to warn Iranian troops in the Iran–Iraq War. The statement says: "Hey Iranians! No one has been downtrodden in the country where Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib, Husayn ibn Ali and Abbas ibn Ali are buried. Iraq has undoubtedly been an honorable country. All refugees are precious. Anyone who wants to live in exile can choose Iraq freely. We, the Sons of Iraq, have been ambushing foreign aggressors. The enemies who plan to assault Iraq will be disfavoured by God in this world and the hereafter. Be careful of attacking Iraq and Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib! If you surrender, you might be in peace."
Al-Ma'mun's Telecommunication Center in downtown Baghdad
95,000 Iranian child soldiers were made casualties during the Iran–Iraq War, mostly between the ages of 16 and 17, with a few younger.
The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra performing in July 2007
Furthest ground gains
The National Ballet performing in 2007
Iranian POWs in 1983 near Tikrit, Iraq
Chaldean Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Sorrows
Iranian child soldier
The Baghdad Convention Center
Iraqi POW who was shot by Iranian troops after they conquered the Iraqi Majnoon oil field in October 1984
Qushla Square
Iranian troops fire 152 mm D-20 howitzer
Madina Stadium
Battle of the Marshes Iran front 1983 rest after exchange of fire 152 mm D-20 H
Al-Shaab Stadium
Operation Earnest Will: Tanker convoy No. 12 under US Navy escort (21 October 1987)
Baghdad Eyalet in 1609 CE.
A map indicating the attacks on civilian areas of Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait targeted during the "War of the Cities".
Baghdad Vilayet in 1900 CE.
Iraqi commanders discussing strategy on the battlefront (1986)
Souk in Baghdad, 1876 CE.
Iranian President Ali Khamenei on the battlefront during the Iran–Iraq War
Kadhimiya Mosque
Operation Dawn 8 during which Iran captured the Faw Peninsula.
Armenian Orthodox Church of Baghdad
Iranian soldier killed during the Iran–Iraq War with Rouhollah Khomeini's photo on his uniform
Saray Mosque
The People's Mujahedin of Iran, supported by Saddam, started a ten-day operation after both the Iranian and Iraqi governments accepted UN Resolution 598. Casualty estimates range from 2,000 to 10,000.
Khilani Mosque
Adnan Khairallah, Iraqi Defense Minister, meeting with Iraqi soldiers during the war
Baghdadi Museum
IRGC navy speedboats using swarm tactics
Iraq National Museum
An Iranian soldier wearing a gas mask during the Iran–Iraq War.
Al Zawra'a Park
The Iranian frigate IS Sahand burns after being hit by 20 U.S. air launched missiles and bombs, killing a third of the crew, April 1988
Al Salam Palace
Iranian soldiers captured during Iraq's 1988 offensives
Al Faw Palace
USS Vincennes in 1987 a year before it shot down Iran Air Flight 655
Abu Nawas Street
MEK Soldiers killed in Operation Mersad in 1988
Al-Shaheed Monument in Baghdad was erected to commemorate the fallen Iraqi soldiers during the war.
Iranian Martyr Cemetery in Isfahan
Iranian Martyrs Museum in Tehran
An Iranian soldier's funeral in Mashhad, 2013
An Iraqi Mil Mi-24 on display at the military museum of Sa'dabad Palace in Iran
President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush work in the Oval Office of the White House, 20 July 1984.
USS Stark (FFG-31) listing following two hits by Exocet missiles.
Victims of the 1987 chemical attack on Sardasht, West Azerbaijan, Iran
Damage to a mosque in Khoramshahr, Iran, the city that was invaded by Iraq in September 1980

Iran's new Islamic administration was regarded in Baghdad as an irrational, existential threat to the Ba'ath government, especially because the Ba'ath party, having a secular nature, discriminated against and posed a threat to the fundamentalist Shia movement in Iraq, whose clerics were Iran's allies within Iraq and whom Khomeini saw as oppressed.

- Iran–Iraq War

However, the Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s was a difficult time for the city, as money was diverted by Saddam Hussein to the army and thousands of residents were killed.

- Baghdad

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Country in Western Asia.

Country in Western Asia.

Inside the Shanidar Cave, where the remains of eight adults and two infant Neanderthals, dating from around 65,000–35,000 years ago were found.
Map of the Akkadian Empire and the directions in which military campaigns were conducted (yellow arrows). The Akkadian Empire was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer
Bronze head of an Akkadian ruler from Nineveh, presumably depicting either Sargon of Akkad, or Sargon's grandson Naram-Sin
Hammurabi, depicted as receiving his royal insignia from Shamash. Relief on the upper part of the stele of Hammurabi's code of laws.
Map of the Neo-Assyrian Empire under Shalmaneser III (dark green) and Esarhaddon (light green)
Jehu, king of Israel, bows before Shalmaneser III of Assyria, 825 BC.
Lamassu from the Assyrian gallery at the Iraq Museum, Baghdad
The Neo-Babylonian Empire under Nabonidus (r. 626–539 BC)
A partial view of the ruins of Babylon.
Roman amphitheater in Sulaymaniyah.
Al-Hariri of Basra was a poet, high government official and scholar of the Arabic language, He is known for his Maqamat al-Hariri (‘'Assemblies of Hariri'’), a collection of some 50 stories written in the Maqama style. Al-Hariri's best known work, Maqamat has been regarded as the greatest treasure in Arabic literature.
The siege of Baghdad by the Mongols.
Conquest of Mosul (Nineveh) by Mustafa Pasha in 1631, a Turkish soldier in the foreground holding a severed head. L., C. (Stecher) 1631 -1650
Crowning of King Faisal II of Iraq in the Council of Representatives, 1953
Nuri Said (1888 - 1958), contributed to the establishment of the Kingdom of Iraq and the armed forces while also served as the Prime minister of the state.
Iraq state emblem under nationalist Qasim was mostly based on Mesopotamian symbol of Shamash, and avoided pan-Arab symbolism by incorporating elements of Socialist heraldry.
The April 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue by US Army troops in Firdos Square in Baghdad shortly after the US-led invasion.
Destroyed Lion of Babylon tank on Highway 9 outside Najaf during US-led invasion in 2003.
An Iraqi Army Aviation Command aerial gunner prepares to test fire his M240 machine gun, Near Baghdad International Airport, 2011
Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, provides command and control of air power throughout Iraq and Syria.
Pro-independence rally in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2017. The Kurdistan Regional Government announced it would respect the Supreme Federal Court's ruling that no Iraqi province is allowed to secede.
Protest in Baghdad in November 2019. The protests were the largest incident of civil unrest Iraq has experienced since the 2003 invasion.
Cheekha Dar, highest point in Iraq.
Iraq Köppen climate classification map.
The Asiatic lion has remained a prominent symbol of the country throughout history.
Baghdad Convention Center, the current meeting place of the Council of Representatives of Iraq.
View over Green Zone, which contains governmental headquarters and the army, in addition to containing the headquarters of the American embassy and the headquarters of foreign organizations and agencies for other countries.
US President Donald Trump with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in 2017.
Administrative districts of Iraq
Historical GDP per capita development
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people.
Mosul Museum is the second largest museum in Iraq after the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. It contains ancient Mesopotamian artifacts.
Supertankers at the Basra Oil Terminal
Mosul Dam Lake
Lake Dukan
Children in a village in Sulaymaniyah.
Imam Hussein Shrine in Karbala
Mor Mattai Monastery (Dayro d-Mor Mattai) in, Bartella, Nineveh, Iraq. It is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence and is famous for its magnificent library and considerable collection of Syriac Christian manuscripts
Saddam Hussein Promoting women's literacy and education in the 1970s
University students in Iraq, 2016
Al-Mutanabi, regarded as one of the greatest, most prominent and influential poets in the Arabic language, much of his work has been translated into over 20 languages worldwide
Wasiti's illustrations served as an inspiration for the modern Baghdad art movement in the 20th-century.
Zaha Hadid (1950–2016), an acclaimed architect.
Facade of Temple at Hatra, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
The Queen's gold lyre from the Royal Cemetery at Ur. Iraq Museum, Baghdad.
Masgouf, a popular Iraqi dish.
Madina Stadium in Baghdad is Iraq's first-ever stadium solar power plant, and the second in the Middle East of its kind.
Iraq wall det 2003.
A partial view of the ruins of Babylon.
The siege of Baghdad by the Mongols.
Sunni Arabs
Shiite Arabs
Sunni Kurds

The capital and largest city is Baghdad.

In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, sparking a protracted war which would last for almost eight years, and end in a stalemate with devastating losses for both countries.


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Iraqi city located on the Shatt al-Arab.

Iraqi city located on the Shatt al-Arab.

View of Basra in circa 1695, by Dutch cartographer Isaak de Graaf
Ashar Creek and bazaar, c. 1915
Basra designed by the Portuguese at the end of the 16th century, according to the representation of the "Lyvro de plantaforma of the fortresses of India" codex of São julião da Barra
Purple - Portuguese in the Persian Gulf in the 16th and 17th century. Main cities, ports and routes.
Iraqi girls, c. 1917
Turkish prisoners passing along the bank of Ashar Creek, nearing Whiteley's Bridge, Basra 1917.
Shanasheel of the old part of Basra city, 1954
Model of Basra Dockyard
Basra at night
Basra Times square shopping centre
A Chaldean Catholic Church in Basra.
Ali Bin Abi Talib mosque
Shatt Al-Arab
Old Basrah
Muhhmad Baquir Al-Sadr Bridge
Al Basrah Oil Terminal.
Basra International Stadium in 2013
Old houses of Basra
Ali Bin Abi Talib mosque
Basra International Airport

The population declined during the Iran–Iraq War, being under 900,000 in the late 1980s, possibly reaching a low point of just over 400,000 during the worst of the war.

The city is located along the Shatt al-Arab waterway, 55 km from the Persian Gulf and 545 km from Baghdad, Iraq's capital and largest city.

Flag of Kurdistan


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Iranian ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria.

Iranian ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria.

Flag of Kurdistan
Kurdish-inhabited areas in the Middle East (1992)
Yazidi new year celebrations in Lalish, 18 April 2017
Faravahar (or Ferohar), one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism, believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi (guardian spirit)
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb, or Saladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty in the Middle East
Kurdish Warriors by Frank Feller
Karim Khan, the Laki ruler of the Zand Dynasty
Impression of a Kurdish man by American artist Antonio Zeno Shindle circa 1893
Provisions of the Treaty of Sèvres for an independent Kurdistan (in 1920)
Kurdish-inhabited areas of the Middle East and the Soviet Union in 1986, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Two Kurds From Constantinople 1899
Kurdish boys in Diyarbakir
Leyla Zana
Iranian Kurds celebrating Newroz, 20 March 2018
Qazi Muhammad, the President of the Republic of Kurdistan
The President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, meeting with U.S. officials in Baghdad, Iraq, on 26 April 2006
Kurdish girls in traditional Kurdish costume, Newroz picnic in Kirkuk
Pro-independence rally in Erbil in September 2017
Kurdish YPG and YPJ fighters in Syria
Tunar Rahmanoghly singing Kurdish song "Rinda Min". Khari Bulbul Music Festival
Protest in Berlin, Germany against Turkey's military offensive into north-eastern Syria on 10 October 2019
Hamdi Ulukaya, Kurdish-American billionaire, founder and CEO of Chobani
YPG's female fighters in Syria
The fox, a widely recurring character in Kurdish tales
Modern rug from Bijar
A Kurdish nobleman bearing a jambiya dagger
Kurdish woman with deq tattoo
Kurdish musicians, 1890
Bahman Ghobadi at the presentation of his film Nobody Knows About Persian Cats in San Sebastián, 2009
Eren Derdiyok, a Kurdish footballer, striker for the Swiss national football team
The Marwanid Dicle Bridge, Diyarbakir
The Citadel of Erbil
Mercier. Kurde (Asie) by Auguste Wahlen, 1843
Kurdish warriors by Amadeo Preziosi
Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish females in their traditional clothes, 1873
Zakho Kurds by Albert Kahn, 1910s
Kurdish Cavalry in the passes of the Caucasus mountains (The New York Times, January 24, 1915)
A Kurdish woman from Kirkuk, 1922
A Kurdish chief
A Kurdish woman from Piranshahr, Iran, Antoin Sevruguin
A Kurdish woman and a child from Bisaran, Eastern Kurdistan, 2017
A group of Kurdish men with traditional clothing, Hawraman
A Kurdish man wearing traditional clothes, Erbil
A Kurdish woman fighter from Rojava

During Iran–Iraq War, Tehran has provided support for Iraqi-based Kurdish groups like KDP or PUK, along with asylum for 1.4 million Iraqi refugees, mostly Kurds.

Kurds also have a presence in Kirkuk, Mosul, Khanaqin, and Baghdad.

Saddam in August 1998, preparing to deliver a speech for the 10th anniversary of the end of the Iran–Iraq War

Saddam Hussein

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Iraqi politician who served as the fifth president of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003.

Iraqi politician who served as the fifth president of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003.

Saddam in August 1998, preparing to deliver a speech for the 10th anniversary of the end of the Iran–Iraq War
Saddam in August 1998, preparing to deliver a speech for the 10th anniversary of the end of the Iran–Iraq War
Saddam in his youth as a shepherd in his village, near Tikrit
Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath Party student cell, Cairo, in the period 1959–1963
Promoting women's literacy and education in the 1970s
Saddam in 1974
Saddam talking to Michel Aflaq, the founder of Ba'athist thought, in 1988
Alexei Kosygin (left) and Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr signing the Iraqi–Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Co-Operation in 1972
Propaganda art to glorify Saddam after Iran–Iraq War, 1988.
Saddam Hussein and al-Bakr, de jure president of Iraq alongside Hafez al-Assad of Syria at an Arab Summit in Baghdad in November 1978
Saddam greeting Carlos Cardoen, a Chilean businessman who provided Iraq with weapons during the war in the 1980s
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie meets Saddam for an emergency meeting
Iraqi stamp about the Arab Cooperation Council (ACC), founded 1989 by Saleh of (North) Yemen, king Hussein of Jordan, Saddam Hussein and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt
Saddam in duty uniform
Saddam addresses state television, in January 2001
Saddam Hussein in 1996
Statue of Saddam being toppled in Firdos Square after the invasion
Saddam is discovered and interrogated by American soldiers, December 2003
Saddam Hussein shortly after capture
Hussein after being captured and shaven to confirm his identity
Saddam speaks in court
Saddam Hussein's family, mid-late 1980s
Saddam Hussein's sons Qusay and Uday were killed in a gun battle in Mosul on 22 July 2003.

He suppressed several movements, particularly Shi'a and Kurdish movements which sought to overthrow the government or gain independence, respectively, and maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War and the Gulf War.

At about age 10, Saddam fled the family and returned to live in Baghdad with his uncle Khairallah Talfah, who became a fatherly figure to Saddam.

The Swords of Qādisiyyah, Baghdad

Victory Arch

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The Swords of Qādisiyyah, Baghdad
The Swords of Qādisiyyah, Baghdad
Victory Arch (detail) The giant hands appear to be bursting from the ground, with helmets of fallen soldiers scattered on the ground.
A US soldier poses inside the hands of the Victory Arch in 2004
An American soldier poses with the Iranian helmets at the base of the Victory Arch

The Victory Arch (قوس النصر Qaws an-Naṣr), officially known as the Swords of Qādisīyah، and popularly called the Hands of Victory or the Crossed Swords, are a pair of triumphal arches in central Baghdad, Iraq.

The two arches mark the two entrances to Grand Festivities Square and the parade ground constructed to commemorate the Iran–Iraq War, started and led by then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The monument in 2014

Al-Shaheed Monument

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The monument in 2014
A badge that was worn on 1 December of every year, on the Martyr's day. It features the monument with a flower inside of it, and below, is written a quote of Saddam Hussein, "The Martyrs are better than all of us."

Martyr's Monument (نصب الشهيد), also known as the Martyr's Memorial, is a monument designed by Iraqi sculptor Ismail Fatah Al Turk and situated in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

It is dedicated to the Iraqi soldiers who died in the Iran–Iraq War.

Shiraz in a photo by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield from the ISS on 20 March 2013 (1392 Nowrooz).


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Fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of its Fars Province, which has been historically known as Pars and Persis.

Fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of its Fars Province, which has been historically known as Pars and Persis.

Shiraz in a photo by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield from the ISS on 20 March 2013 (1392 Nowrooz).
An illustration of Shiraz by French traveler Jean Chardin in 1670s while he was travelling through the Safavid empire
Narenjestan Qavam
Shiraz Garden Drives in the north has gardens predating the city's expansion
Sunset in Shiraz, with Derock Mountain in the background
The Qur'an Gate was a part of the great city wall built under the Buyid dynasty
Tomb of Hafez, in memory of the celebrated Persian poet Hafez.
Tiling in Atigh Mosque
An Iran Air Airbus A320 Approaching Shiraz International Airport (2011)
Shiraz Metro
Shiraz has the Iran's third Bus rapid transit
Shiraz Train Station
View of Shiraz roads and bridges in 2020
Pars Shiraz Stadium
Omid Norouzi. 2012 Olympic gold medalist.
Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi
Firouz Naderi
Karim Khan Zand
Panoramic view of Shiraz at night
Vakil Bazaar Dieulafoy 1881
Women from Shiraz Dieulafoy 1881
Shiraz, André D. Deslandes, 1671
Qur'an Gate, Harold F. Weston
Shiraz, Jean Struys, 1681
Lotf Ali Khan
Imamzadeh Ali ebn e Hamze
Delgosha Garden
Qavam House
Nasir ol Molk Mosque
Afif-Abad Garden (Arms Museum)
Eram Garden
Shapouri House
Tomb of Saadi
Khwaju Kermani's tomb
Shah Cheragh
Pars Museum
Atigh Mosque
Luna Park
Jahan Nama Garden
Saraye Moshir
Ghavam ol Molk Mansion
Zinat ol Molk Mansion
Saadat Mansion
Vakil Bazaar
Vakil Mosque
Water Museum
Vakil Bath
Stone Museum
Khan School
Mausoleum of Emir Ali
Margoon Waterfall
Shapur cave
Sangtarashan cave
Plain of Fritillaria imperialis, Sepidan County
Pooladkaf Ski Resort
Sassanid Palace at Sarvestan
Qal'eh Dokhtar

He left his native town at a young age for Baghdad to study Arabic literature and Islamic sciences at Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad.

Abbas Dowran, Skillful phantom and fighter jet pilot who died during the Iran–Iraq War