The Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), also known as Saddam's Qadisiyyah, the Holy Defense, and the Iraqi-Imposed War, had a devastating effect on both participants. The war features many attacks and counterattacks, though in the end, nothing changed. Some causes of the war include:
- Khuzestan Border Dispute
- Struggle for Middle Eastern Supremacy
- Sunni vs. Shiite Schism
- Shatt al-Arab Waterway Dispute
- Iranian-sponsored assassination attempt against Tariq Aziz (Iraqi minister)
Iraq's invasion of Iran went well at first. With technological and tactical superiority, the Iraqis were able to retake the waterway and much of Khuzestan. However, thanks to Iran's powerful air force and its motivated militias, the Iraqi offensive was stopped. In 1982, Operation Undeniable Victory took back much of what was lost for the Iranians. In fact, the Iranians even went on a counter-offensive and invaded Iraq. However, they were stopped at Basra thanks, in part, to chemical weapons. Then, the Iraqis counterattacked and pushed the Iranians back to pre-war borders. A ceasefire was agreed upon and the war ended.
Both sides had been supported by foreign powers, including the United States and the Soviet Union.
For more information, read: How to Make War by James Dunnigan
The Presidency of George Bush by John Robert Greene
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