The Iraq-Iran War: Memoirs of a Fighter

24 May, 2014

Former Iraqi Chief-of-Staff General Nizar al-Khazraji has chosen the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies to be the first publisher of his memoirs of the Iran-Iraq war, an eight-year conflict in which General Khazraji played a crucial role. The Iraq-Iran War: Memoirs of a Fighter (ISBN: 978-9953-0-2904-7) records the role played by one of contemporary Iraq’s most significant military officers in a conflict that continues to shape the region. Khazraji’s memoirs, totaling 638 pages, are the first record of a senior-ranking Iraqi officer’s participation in the Iran-Iraq War to be made public.

Following an introduction by ACRPS researcher and former Iraqi naval officer Dr. Abdulwahab al-Qassab, the book turns to Khazraji’s early life and upbringing in a military family in Mosul, and continues by covering his military career, beginning in 1973. Khazraji covers the entire period of the war in meticulous detail, beginning with its outbreak in 1980 and ending with the ceasefire in 1988. The author is perhaps uniquely well placed to tell this story as he went from being the commander of an infantry unit to becoming Iraq’s highest-ranking military officer over those eight years. Khazraji and other Iraqi officers, were convinced that what began as a series of border skirmishes would escalate into a full-fledged conflict, and were proven right. With the forcefulness and conviction of a frontline commander, he argued passionately about the preparedness of units tasked with internal security in the north of the country, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.   

The book also pays special attention to specific military engagements that were pivotal in the conflict across the Gulf, including the liberation of Faw and the Majnoon Islands, revealing details that challenge the popular narratives, and provides a better understanding of the events that forced Iraq into war and the special role the military has played in Iraqi life.

The Iraq-Iran War 1980-1988: Memoirs of a Fighter is the second in a series of personal memoirs published by the ACRPS.

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