War of the Cities

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The War of the Cities was five series of air raids, missile attacks and artillery shellings on urban areas with the aim of disrupting the morale of the enemy during the Iran-Iraq war. The first strikes were undertaken by the Iraqi Air Force, after which the Iranian Armed Forces retaliated with similar strikes. The aim of disrupting the morale of the enemy proved impossible though, as the strikes only caused greater support and patriotism in the struck areas.

Air raids[edit]

Five series of systematic air raids were conducted over eight years.

The first series, initiated by the Iraqi Army, lasted from February 7 to 22, 1984, and was conducted in response to the Iranian refusal to observe a ceasefire.

The second series was conducted from March 22 to April 8, 1985 and was in response to Iranian Operation Badr. This series involved attacking many Iranian urban areas in western Iran, including Tehran, Tabriz, Shiraz, and Isfahan.

The third series was lasted from January 17 to 25, 1987, and was conducted in response to Iranian Operation Dawn 6.

The fourth series was conducted for three consecutive months from February to April, 1987.

The fifth series was the most intensive, and was conducted by Iraq once the Iranian front lines showed elements of weakening.[1] It was conducted in February 1985, and involved missile attacks to some Iranian cities.[2]


  1. ^ Efraim Karsh (2002). The Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-371-2. 
  2. ^ Perrimond, Guy (2002). "1944–2001: The threat of theatre ballistic missiles" TTU Online.