The day the Iran-Iraq War started – level 3

22-09-1980

The Iran-Iraq War began on September 22, 1980, when Iraq invaded neighboring Iran. Iraq wanted to annex Iran’s oil-rich areas.

Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of Iran’s chaotic political situation and expected a decisive victory, the Iraqi military only made progress for three months. By December 1980 the progress stopped. After some time the Iranian military started to gain momentum against the Iraqis, and Iran regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982, pushing the Iraqis back to the pre-war border lines. The war continued for six more years, ending on August 20, 1988, when a ceasefire was accepted.

In total, around 500,000 Iraqi and Iranian soldiers died over the course of the war, in addition to an estimated 100,000 civilians. The war resulted in no border changes.

Difficult words: annex (to take control of a country by force), decisive (very important for the final result), gain (to get), virtually (almost), ceasefire (a moment when enemies agree to stop fighting), civilian (a person who isn’t in the army).

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