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The Battle of Gaugamela took place in 331 BC in what is now Iraqi Kurdistan, possibly near Erbil, and resulted in a decisive victory for the Macedonians. After the Siege of Gaza, Alexander advanced from Syria towards the heart of the Persian empire, crossing both the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers without any opposition. Darius was building up a massive army, drawing men from the far reaches of his empire, and planned to use sheer numbers to crush Alexander. Though Alexander had conquered part of the Persian empire, it was still vast in area and in manpower reserves, and Darius could recruit more men than Alexander could dream of. Also present in the Persian army, a sign that the Persians were still very powerful, were the feared war elephants. While Darius had a significant advantage in a number of soldiers, most of his troops weren't as organized as Alexander's. As Result, Alexander gained Babylon, half of Persia, and all other parts of Mesopotamia.
Nabonidus fled to Borsippa, and on 12 October, after Cyrus' engineers had diverted the waters of the Euphrates, the soldiers of Cyrus entered Babylon without the need for a battle. Nabonidus surrendered and was deported. Gutian guards were placed at the gates of the great temple of Marduk, where the services continued without interruption.
The Anglo–Iraqi War occurred from 2 to 31 May 1941, was a British-led Allied military campaign against Iraq under Rashid Ali, who had seized power during the Second World War with assistance from Germany and Italy. The campaign resulted in the downfall of Ali's government, the re-occupation of Iraq by the United Kingdom, and the return to power of the Regent of Iraq, Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, an ally to the United Kingdom.
The chain of events began with the death of Mostafa Khomeini, chief aide and eldest son of Ruhollah Khomeini. He mysteriously died at midnight on 23 October 1977 in Najaf, Iraq. SAVAK and Iraqi government declared heart attack as the cause of death, though many believed his death was attributed to SAVAK. Khomeini remained silent after the incident, but in Iran with the spread of the news there was a wave of protest in several cities and mourning ceremonies in major cities were held.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called on Iraqis to overthrow the Ba'ath government, which was received with considerable anger in Baghdad. On 17 July 1979, despite Khomeini's call, Saddam gave a speech praising the Iranian Revolution and called for an Iraqi-Iranian friendship based on non-interference in each other's internal affairs. When Khomeini rejected Saddam's overture by calling for Islamic revolution in Iraq, Saddam was alarmed.
on 17 September 1980, Iraq suddenly abrogated the Algiers Protocol following the Iranian revolution. Saddam Hussein claimed that the Islamic Republic of Iran refused to abide by the stipulations of the Algiers Protocol and, therefore, Iraq considered the Protocol null and void. Five days later, the Iraqi army crossed the border.
The next day, Iraq launched a ground invasion along a front measuring 644 km (400 mi) in three simultaneous attacks. The invasion's purpose, according to Saddam, was to blunt the edge of Khomeini's movement and to thwart his attempts to export his Islamic revolution to Iraq and the Persian Gulf states.
Though the Iraqi air invasion surprised the Iranians, the Iranian air force retaliated the day after with a large-scale attack against Iraqi air bases and infrastructure in Operation Kaman 99. Groups of F-4 Phantom and F-5 Tiger fighter jets attacked targets throughout Iraq, such as oil facilities, dams, petrochemical plants, and oil refineries, and included Mosul Airbase, Baghdad, and the Kirkuk oil refinery.
On 24 September, the Iranian Navy attacked Basra, Iraq, destroying two oil terminals near the Iraqi port Faw, which reduced Iraq's ability to export oil. The Iranian ground forces (primarily consisting of the Revolutionary Guard) retreated to the cities, where they set up defences against the invaders.
The Iraqi Air Force, badly damaged by the Iranians, was moved to the H-3 Airbase in Western Iraq, near the Jordanian border and away from Iran. However, on 3 April 1981, the Iranian air force used eight F-4 Phantom fighter bombers, four F-14 Tomcats, three Boeing 707 refuelling tankers, and one Boeing 747 command plane to launch a surprise attack on H3, destroying 27–50 Iraqi fighter jets and bombers.
On June 20, 1982, Saddam announced that he wanted to sue for peace and proposed an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal from Iranian territory within two weeks. Khomeini responded by saying the war would not end until a new government was installed in Iraq and reparations paid. He proclaimed that Iran would invade Iraq and would not stop until the Ba'ath regime was replaced by an Islamic republic.
On 16 July, Iran tried again further north and managed to push the Iraqis back. However, only 13 km (8.1 mi) from Basra, the poorly equipped Iranian forces were surrounded on three sides by Iraqis with heavy weaponry. Some were captured, while many were killed. Only a last-minute attack by Iranian AH-1 Cobra helicopters stopped the Iraqis from routing the Iranians.They were successful in defeating the Iranian breakthroughs, but suffered heavy losses.
After Iran's failure in Operation Ramadan, they carried out only a few smaller attacks. During Operation Muslim ibn Aqil (1–7 October), Iran recovered 150 km2 (58 sq mi) of disputed territory straddling the international border and reached the outskirts of Mandali before being stopped by Iraqi helicopter and armoured attacks.
In Operation Fajr al-Nasr (Before the Dawn/Dawn of Victory), launched 6 February 1983, the Iranians shifted focus from the southern to the central and northern sectors. Employing 200,000 "last reserve" Revolutionary Guard troops, Iran attacked along a 40 km (25 mi) stretch near al-Amarah, Iraq, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Baghdad, in an attempt to reach the highways connecting northern and southern Iraq. The attack was stalled by 60 km (37 mi) of hilly escarpments, forests, and river torrents blanketing the way to al-Amarah, but the Iraqis could not force the Iranians back. Iran directed artillery on Basra, Al Amarah, and Mandali.
By 27 February, they had captured the island, but suffered catastrophic helicopter losses to IRAF. On that day, a massive array of Iranian helicopters transporting Pasdaran troops were intercepted by Iraqi combat aircraft (MiGs, Mirages and Sukhois).
From early 1983–1984, Iran launched a series of four Valfajr (Dawn) Operations (that eventually numbered to 10). During Operation Dawn-1, in early February 1983, 50,000 Iranian forces attacked westward from Dezful and were confronted by 55,000 Iraqi forces. The Iranian objective was to cut off the road from Basra to Baghdad in the central sector. **place needs to be revised
During Operation Dawn-2, the Iranians directed insurgency operations by proxy in April 1983 by supporting the Kurds in the north. With Kurdish support, the Iranians attacked on 23 July 1983, capturing the Iraqi town of Haj Omran and maintaining it against an Iraqi poison gas counteroffensive. This operation incited Iraq to later conduct indiscriminate chemical attacks against the Kurds.
Operation Kheibar began on 24 February with Iranian infantrymen crossing the Hawizeh Marshes using motorboats and transport helicopters in an amphibious assault. The Iranians attacked the vital oil-producing Majnoon Island by landing troops via helicopters onto the islands and severing the communication lines between Amareh and Basra. They then continued the attack towards Qurna.
By 29 February, the Iranians had reached the outskirts of Qurna and were closing in on the Baghdad–Basra highway. They had broken out of the marshes and returned to open terrain, where they were confronted by conventional Iraqi weapons, including artillery, tanks, air power, and mustard gas. 1,200 Iranian soldiers were killed in the counter-attack. The Iranians retreated back to the marshes, though they still held onto them along with Majnoon Island.
The Iraqis attacked again on 28 January 1985; they were defeated, and the Iranians retaliated on 11 March 1985 with a major offensive directed against the Baghdad-Basra highway (one of the few major offensives conducted in 1985), codenamed Operation Badr (after the Battle of Badr, Muhammad's first military victory in Mecca).
The ferocity of the Iranian offensive broke through the Iraqi lines. The Revolutionary Guard, with the support of tanks and artillery, broke through north of Qurna on 14 March. That same night 3,000 Iranian troops reached and crossed the Tigris River using pontoon bridges and captured part of the Baghdad–Basra Highway 6, which they had failed to achieve in Operations Dawn 5 and 6.
On 6 January 1986, the Iraqis launched an offensive attempting to retake Majnoon Island. However, they were quickly bogged down into a stalemate against 200,000 Iranian infantrymen, reinforced by amphibious divisions. However, they managed to gain a foothold in the southern part of the island.
On the night of 10–11 February 1986, the Iranians launched Operation Dawn 8, in which 30,000 troops comprising five Army divisions and men from the Revolutionary Guard and Basij advanced in a two-pronged offensive to capture the al-Faw peninsula in southern Iraq, the only area touching the Persian Gulf. The capture of Al Faw and Umm Qasr was a major goal for Iran.
The sudden capture of al-Faw took the Iraqis by shock, since they had thought it impossible for the Iranians to cross the Shatt al-Arab. On 12 February 1986, the Iraqis began a counter-offensive to retake al-Faw, which failed after a week of heavy fighting.
On 24 February 1986, Saddam sent one of his best commanders, General Maher Abd al-Rashid, and the Republican Guard to begin a new offensive to recapture al-Faw. A new round of heavy fighting took place. However, their attempts again ended in failure, costing them many tanks and aircraft: their 15th mechanised division was almost completely wiped out.
On 25 December 1986, Iran launched Operation Karbala-4 (Karbala referring to Hussein ibn Ali's Battle of Karbala). According to Iraqi General Ra'ad al-Hamdani, this was a diversionary attack. The Iranians launched an amphibious assault against the Iraqi island of Umm al-Rassas in the Shatt-Al-Arab river, parallel to Khoramshahr. They then set up a pontoon bridge and continued the attack, eventually capturing the island in a costly success but failing to advance further; the Iranians had 60,000 casualties, while the Iraqis 9,500.
The Siege of Basra, code-named Operation Karbala-5, was an offensive operation carried out by Iran in an effort to capture the Iraqi port city of Basra in early 1987. This battle, known for its extensive casualties and ferocious conditions, was the biggest battle of the war and proved to be the beginning of the end of the Iran–Iraq War. While Iranian forces crossed the border and captured east part of Basra Governorate, the operation ended in a stalemate.
On 17 April 1988, Iraq launched Operation Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan), a surprise attack against the 15,000 Basij troops on the peninsula, and within 48 hours, all of the Iranian forces had been killed or cleared from the al-Faw Peninsula.
On 25 May 1988, Iraq launched the first of five Tawakalna ala Allah (Trust in God) Operations, consisting of one of the largest artillery barrages in history, coupled with chemical weapons. The marshes had been dried by drought, allowing the Iraqis to use tanks to bypass Iranian field fortifications, expelling the Iranians from the border town of Shalamcheh after less than 10 hours of combat.
Faced with such losses, Khomeini appointed the cleric Hashemi Rafsanjani as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, though he had in actuality occupied that position for months. Rafsanjani ordered a last desperate counter-attack into Iraq, which was launched 13 June 1988. The Iranians infiltrated through the Iraqi trenches and moved 10 km (6.2 mi) into Iraq and managed to strike Saddam's presidential palace in Baghdad using fighter aircraft. After three days of fighting, the decimated Iranians were driven back to their original positions again.
On 25 June, Iraq launched the second Tawakal ala Allah operation against the Iranians on Majnoon Island. Iraqi commandos used amphibious craft to block the Iranian rear, then used hundreds of tanks with massed conventional and chemical artillery barrages to recapture the island after 8 hours of combat.
Under the threat of a new and even more powerful invasion, Commander-in-Chief Rafsanjani ordered the Iranians to retreat from Haj Omran, Kurdistan on 14 July. The Iranians did not publicly describe this as a retreat, instead calling it a "temporary withdrawal".
Iraq spent the rest of August and early September clearing the Kurdish resistance. Using 60,000 troops along with helicopter gunships, chemical weapons (poison gas), and mass executions, Iraq hit 15 villages, killing rebels and civilians, and forced tens of thousands of Kurds to relocate to settlements. Many Kurdish civilians fled to Iran. By 3 September 1988, the anti-Kurd campaign ended, and all resistance had been crushed.
On 8 March 1980, Iran announced it was withdrawing its ambassador from Iraq, downgraded its diplomatic ties to the charge d'affaires level, and demanded that Iraq do the same. The following day, Iraq declared Iran's ambassador persona non-grata, and demanded his withdrawal from Iraq by 15 March.
On 15 July 1990, Saddam's government laid out its combined objections to the Arab League, including that policy moves were costing Iraq $1 billion a year, that Kuwait was still using the Rumaila oil field, that loans made by the UAE and Kuwait could not be considered debts to its "Arab brothers".
On 6 August, Resolution 661 placed economic sanctions on Iraq. Resolution 665 followed soon after, which authorized a naval blockade to enforce the sanctions. It said the "use of measures commensurate to the specific circumstances as may be necessary ... to halt all inward and outward maritime shipping in order to inspect and verify their cargoes and destinations and to ensure strict implementation of resolution 661".
On 23 August, Saddam appeared on state television with Western hostages to whom he had refused exit visas. In the video, he asks a young British boy, Stuart Lockwood, whether he is getting his milk, and goes on to say, through his interpreter, "We hope your presence as guests here will not be for too long. Your presence here, and in other places, is meant to prevent the scourge of war".
A series of UN Security Council resolutions and Arab League resolutions were passed regarding Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. One of the most important was Resolution 678, passed on 29 November 1990, which gave Iraq a withdrawal deadline until 15 January 1991, and authorized "all necessary means to uphold and implement Resolution 660", and a diplomatic formulation authorizing the use of force if Iraq failed to comply.
On 22 February 1991, Iraq agreed to a Soviet-proposed ceasefire agreement. The agreement called for Iraq to withdraw troops to pre-invasion positions within six weeks following a total ceasefire, and called for monitoring of the ceasefire and withdrawal to be overseen by the UN Security Council.
On 24 February, British and American armored forces crossed the Iraq–Kuwait border and entered Iraq in large numbers, taking hundreds of prisoners. Iraqi resistance was light, and four Americans were killed.
Shortly afterwards, the US VII Corps, in full strength and spearheaded by the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, launched an armored attack into Iraq early on 24 February, just to the west of Kuwait, taking Iraqi forces by surprise. Simultaneously, the US XVIII Airborne Corps launched a sweeping "left-hook" attack across southern Iraq's largely undefended desert, led by the US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 24th Infantry Division.