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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Remains of soldier discovered in Erbil 3 decades after Iran-Iraq war

By Bextiyar Qadir 17/8/2018
Officials from the KRG’s Ministry of Martyrs’ and Anfal Affairs exhume the body of Iraqi soldier Ishaq Wardi, whose remains were discovered 30 years after the Iran-Iraq war ended. Photo: Rudaw TV
Officials from the KRG’s Ministry of Martyrs’ and Anfal Affairs exhume the body of Iraqi soldier Ishaq Wardi, whose remains were discovered 30 years after the Iran-Iraq war ended. Photo: Rudaw TV

HAJI OMARAN, Kurdistan Region — Remains of an Iraqi soldier who was killed sometime during the Iraq-Iran war were found in the Kurdistan Region. Tehran and Baghdad have also formed a committee to search for other missing soldiers that works with the KRG.


“We were informed. The identity was known, so we exhumed. We need the support of people so we can continue such work,” Bakhtiyar Faraj, the head of mass graves within the KRG martyrs’ ministry, told Rudaw.

A team from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the KRG’s Ministry of Martyrs’ and Anfal Affairs excavated the area and found the remains of a Christian Iraqi soldier, Ishaq Wardi, who was identified through his ID. A number of bullets and Iraqi currency from the era were also found.


Wardi was from Alqosh town in the Nineveh Plains. 

Speaking to Rudaw via phone from Australia, Ila Wardi, the brother of Ishaq, said they were previously first informed by locals about his brother’s remains.

“My brother joined Iraqi Army in 1979, but we lost his whereabouts in 1983 until some people from Choman town informed us few days ago that they have found the ID and remains of my brother,” he said.


A committee has been formed by Iran and Iraq to search for lost soldiers. An estimated 1 million total fighters died during the war which lasted from 1980-1988.


Abbas Fazeel, the head of Iraqi Ministry of Defense’s Department for the Lost, told Rudaw that the mission of the committee is to “search for [the remains] of those who were killed during Iraq-Iran war throughout the borders of both countries.”

The area where the body was found is highly contaminated by mines, so access wasn’t easy.

KRG officials are advising people to inform them if they find human humans rather than acting independently.

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