Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
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Veterans of Iraq's war with Iran in the 1980s are digging in on the strategic Faw peninsula at the head of the Gulf to meet another possible invading force -- this time American-led. "The occupiers have always tried to secure Faw first. The British and the Iranians did it. The Americans are likely to follow," Brigadier General Amer Jaafari told Reuters on Tuesday.
Faw, on the west bank of the Shatt al-Arab waterway marking Iraq's only outlet to the sea, acquired mythical status in the country's national ideology during the 1980-88 war with Iran. It was occupied by Iranian forces for more than two years before Iraqi troops retook it towards the end of the conflict, in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed on both sides.
The thalweg, the centre line of the main navigable channel of the Shatt al-Arab, officially divides Iraq and Iran. The waterway marks the confluence of the great Tigris and Euphrates rivers that enclose the fertile crescent of the ancient world.
Only the small gulf of Khor al-Amaya separates Faw from the Kuwaiti island of Bubiyan to the west, where Iraq believes thousands of U.S. troops are preparing to attack. Tens of thousands more U.S. and British forces are deployed in the rest of Kuwait and the Gulf.
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