Iraqi War Veteran: Saddam Ordered Us to Kill All Iranians in Khorramshahr

Iraqi Colonel Khalid Salman Mahmoud Kazemi, a ranking officer in the Iraqi-imposed war in the 1980s, has published his memoirs of the bloody war, including the operation to seize Iran’s strategic port city of Khorramshahr.

IFP has translated excerpts from his book Fire and Blood in Khorramshahr, his memories of the acts they committed against Iranian people, as reported by Fars.


On September 22, 1980, we were ordered to move towards the Iranian border and enter their territory. It was written in the order, “Set fire to everything; kill everyone; there is no need for taking prisoners; destroy their houses; uproot the trees, and burn all the farms.” […]

A commander told me, “We were ordered to shell the city and not to wait for any further notice. Based on the orders we received, no one was to consider ethical or humanitarian issues. For example, we were not to be influenced by a child crying, a woman begging, or the presence of the elderly. According to the order, we had to attack all of them, and we were supposed to fully carry out these orders.” […]

“We were faced with an army of angels. Although we outnumbered them, we were terrified; we thought we could seize the city in one hour, but in fact, we witnessed the killing of many of our soldiers for a few metres of ground,” he said in his book.


IFP: On May 24, 1982, Iranian people liberated Khorramshahr after 575 days. See photos of the liberation here and read more about today’s celebrations here.