Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

Iraqi soldier's remains, missing for decades, found after flash floods

Abdul Amir Al Jadri’s family say they never gave up on finding his body

Floods uncover body of Iraqi soldier who died during war with Iran. The remains of Abdul Amir Al-Gharibawi were found by a farmer in Maysan city, a security official said.
Floods uncover body of Iraqi soldier who died during war with Iran. The remains of Abdul Amir Al-Gharibawi were found by a farmer in Maysan city, a security official said.

The remains of a missing Iraqi soldier, who fought during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, have finally been put to rest as flash floods uncovered his body this week.

A local farmer discovered Abdul Amir Al Jadri’s remains in the Iraqi province of Maysan, a large, oil-rich but poor province bordering Iran.

Mr Al Jadri’s body had a military necklace wrapped around his neck, which enabled authorities to identify him, local media reported.

A criminal court ordered his remains to be sent to a forensic lab in Baghdad for examination.

“Our hearts are now filled with joy and sadness after all these years my father is back. My mother waited for his return and never lost hope,” Mr Al Jadri said.

He was declared missing in 1982 and was among the special tasks that “stormed the Iranian city of Dezful” close to the Iraqi border, his son, Haider Abdul Amir Al Jadri, said.

He expressed deep regret for growing up without a father and for all the lives that were lost during the war.

A funeral ceremony was held for Mr Al Jadri in the southern province of Dhi Qar this week.

Heavy seasonal rains have caused flooding and damage in several Iraq governorates for the last month.

Central and southern areas of Iraq were most impacted, as well as some northern areas through which the Tigris River runs and western areas adjacent to Iran, according to the UN.

Over 4,000 families were impacted by the flooding, the UN said, especially as villagers were forced to evacuate their homes in the south.

More than 8,000 hectares of agriculture have been flooded in the small village of Huweidi in Basra province alone, according to its mayor Mohammad Nasseh.

Hundreds of families were displaced in the southern province of Maysan, with another 2,000 possibly forced to flee soon, the UN said earlier this month.

The international organisation was forced to deliver humanitarian aid by boat in some areas due to flooding.

The weeks of rain have almost filled Iraq's four main reservoirs and swelled the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Iraqi authorities warned of the likelihood of a catastrophic collapse of the country’s largest hydroelectric dam in Mosul due to the torrential rainfall.

If the dam fell, it would unleash a wave of water almost 90 metres high, experts said.

Several Iranian provinces, which border eastern Iraq, were profoundly affected by the severe weather.

Officials in Tehran ordered scores of villages to be evacuated as the effects of severe flooding spread further across the country, impacting 20 of its 31 provinces.

Iraq and Iran fought for eight long years, which was described as the Middle East’s longest armed conflict in modern times.

Baghdad accused Tehran of shelling an Iraqi border town from territory belonging to it under the 1975 Algiers accord on the frontlines of the conflict and the Shatt Al Arab waterway.

Former dictator Saddam Hussein tore up the accord and ordered his troops to invade Iran.

The battle ended with a UN-sponsored ceasefire after one million people were killed in a conflict that involved trench warfare, chemical attacks and mass Iranian frontal assaults.

Updated: April 25, 2019 06:02 PM

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