Second Battle of Al Faw - Aftermath


Within 35 hours of the battle, Iraq's flag flew above the town of Faw. Within 48 hours, all of the Iranian forces had been killed or cleared from the al-Faw Peninsula, most retreating via a single pontoon bridge remaining. The day was celebrated in Iraq as Faw Liberation Day throughout Saddam's rule. The Iraqis had planned the offensive well. Prior to the attack the Iraqi soldiers gave themselves poison gas antidotes to shield themselves from the effect of the saturation of gas. The heavy and well executed use of chemical weapons was the decisive factor in the Iraqi victory. Iraqi losses were a little more than 1,000. The Iranians eventually managed to halt the Iraqi drive as they pushed towards Khuzestan. The Iraqi performance, while carried out well, was not as impressive however in light of the fact that they had outnumbered an almost entirely infantry army almost 6:1 and had failed to defeat them for the previous 8 years. Despite that, the Iraqis were finally managing to do that.

The attack coincided the same day as the US (unofficially allied with Iraq at that time) launched Operation Praying Mantis on Iran, destroying their navy. The double blows had a severe effect on Iran.

To the shock of the Iranians, rather than breaking off the offensive, the Iraqis kept up their drive, and a new force attacked the Iranian positions around Basra. Following this, the Iraqis launched a sustained drive to clear the Iranians out of all of southern Iraq.:264

One of the most successful Iraqi tactics was the "one-two punch" attack using chemical weapons. Using artillery, they would saturate the Iranian front line with rapidly dispersing cyanide and nerve gas, while longer-lasting mustard gas was launched via fighter-bombers and rockets against the Iranian rear, creating a "chemical wall" that blocked reinforcement.

This battle was the beginning of the end of the Iran-Iraq War. By the end of the war, while Iraq demonstrated that it could not successfully invade Iran once again, they had managed to cause major defeats among the Iranian forces inside of Iraq. The Iranian leadership realized that the war had become unwinnable for them, and that they had suffered many economic and material losses, and accepted the ceasefire.

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