Carnage in the desert

Dictator massacring his own people, unprotected child soldiers, and more than one million war dead. These were the major consequences of a war launched by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against Iran on September 22, 1980. Hussein expected a quick victory, but the conflict dragged on for nearly eight years. Although a border dispute was regarded as a direct cause of the war, in actual fact, the Iraqi leader wanted to prevent the Iranian export of the Islamic revolution and mostly to acquire the oil-rich, primarily Arab-populated, Iranian-controlled Khuzestan Province in order to strengthen his country’s leadership role in the region.

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