Iran-Iraq War - Dissimilarities From Other Conflicts

Dissimilarities From Other Conflicts

Iran's attack on the Osirak nuclear reactor in September 1980 was the first attack on a nuclear reactor and one of only three attacks on a nuclear facility in the history of the world. It was also the first instance of a pre-emptive attack on a nuclear reactor to forestall the development of a nuclear weapon, though it did not achieve its objective, as France repaired the reactor after the attack. It took a second pre-emptive strike by the Israeli Air Force to disable the reactor, killing a French engineer in the process and causing France to pull out of Osirak. The decommissioning of Osirak has been cited as causing a substantial delay to Iraqi acquisition of nuclear weapons.

The Iran–Iraq War was also the first and only conflict in the history of warfare in which both forces used ballistic missiles against each other. The war also saw the only confirmed air-to-air helicopter battles in the history of warfare, with Iraqi Mi-25s flying against Iranian AH-1J SeaCobras on numerous occasions. The first instance of these helicopter "dogfights" was on the starting day of the war (22 September 1980): two Iranian SeaCobras crept up on two Mi-25s and hit them with TOW, wire-guided anti-tank missiles. One Mi-25 went down immediately, the other was badly damaged and crashed before reaching base. The Iranians won a similar air battle on 24 April 1981, destroying two Mi-25s without incurring losses to themselves. According to unclassified documents, Iranian pilots achieved a 10 to 1 kill ratio over the Iraqi helicopter pilots during these engagements and even engaged Iraqi, fixed wing aircraft.

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