Series S-1918 - Military: Operations: significant

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Military: Operations: significant


  • 1977 - 1991 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

No. of Boxes: 73

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The records in S-1918 document the military operations of the United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG) which was established through the United Nations Security Council Resolution 619 on 9 August 1988. The function of S-1918 is derived from PKO.MIL005 of the Peacekeeping and Political Operations Retention Schedule (PORS) through the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support, dated 1 August 2011. S-1918 records date primarily from August 1988 to February 1991, however there are materials referenced that fall outside this date range. Most notable is the 1975 Algiers Agreement signed by Iran and Iraq on 6 March 1975 that settled previous border disputes.

UNIIMOG was established along with an agreed upon ceasefire between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq in August 1988, ending almost eight years of war. UNIIMOG was mandated in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 598 dated 20 July 1987, “to verify, confirm and supervise the ceasefire and withdrawal of the forces to the Internationally Recognized Boundary (IRB) and the cooperation of Iran and Iraq in mediation efforts to achieve a peace settlement.”

UNIIMOG’s area of operations were along the ceasefire lines (CFLs) in Iran and Iraq, in No Man’s Land (NML) between the CFLs, and as far into each country as was necessary to monitor the ceasefire. UNIIMOG was headquartered in Tehran, Iran and Baghdad, Iraq. For the purpose of UNIIMOG’s military operations, each country was divided into sectors along the IRB. Each sector was responsible for a number of team sites located closer to the IRB where observations were made. Iran was divided into four sectors from north to south: Saqqez, Bakhtaran, Dezful and Ahwaz. Each of these sectors controlled four team sites except Dezful which controlled three. Iraq was divided into three sectors from north to south: the Northern/Sulaymaniyah, the Central/Ba‘qubah (which moved to Mansuriyah on 27 September 1990), and the Southern/Basra Sector. It appears these sectors controlled their own team sites as well.

S-198 contains Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which outline the structure, operations, and administrative functions of UNIIMOG. The SOPs give job descriptions for staff, locations of UNIIMOG facilities, define acronyms, and give insight towards the overall functioning of UNIIMOG.

Major-General Slavko Jovic (Yugoslavia) was appointed Chief Military Observer (CMO) and served in this position until November 1990. Upon his departure, Brigadier-General S. Anam Khan (Bangladesh) took command of UNIIMOG as the Acting Chief Military Observer (A/CMO). The CMO and the senior staff spent alternate weeks at each UNIIMOG headquarters. An Assistant Chief Military Observer (ACMO) was permanently stationed in each capital and directed UNIIMOG's operations in each country, under the overall command of the CMO.
S-1918 records contain concise monthly reports by the CMO sent to Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs Marrack Goulding in UNHQ. The CMO records also include monthly mandate reports, general monthly reports and briefings of UNIIMOG operations.

The Chief Military Logistics Officer (CMLO) was responsible for consolidating, coordinating, projecting, and developing logistical support requirements of sectors and military branches with the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and civilian staff. In addition the CMLO acted as liaison between the sectors, military branches and civilian staff on important issues. The records of the CMLO, documented through cables, memoranda, faxes and reports; include the reorganization of UNIIMOG headquarters, sectors and team sites, logistical planning, deployment of staff, sector commander’s conferences, inspection reports and meeting summaries between UNIIMOG and the Iranian and Iraqi governments.

In addition, S-1918 contains UNIIMOG Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which outlined the CMO’s directives, military operations, and administrative arrangements. The SOPs include guidelines for general concepts and conduct, as well as instructions for reporting, meetings, training, awarding of UN medals, and other administrative issues.

The records also comprise of patrol reports, situation reports (SITREPS), violation records, major incidents, and monthly reports. Patrol reports were daily observations recorded by United Nations Military Observers (UNMOs) and were the first step in a series of reporting on ceasefire compliance. Patrol reports contained: sector name; team site name; patrol route; new violations observed; old violations investigated or closed; and special observations which included flooding, mines, and refugee interviews. Patrol reports also covered any restrictions of movement and/or denial of access of UNMOs by Iran and Iraq.

SITREPs were daily reports created to inform the next higher level Headquarters (HQ) about the operational situation, new violations, progress on old violations, administrative and civil matters, communications state, and any other matter requiring the attention of the next higher HQ. For example, a sector HQ would forward a SITREP to their UNIIMOG HQ (Tehran or Baghdad, for example), while the UNIIMOG HQ would forward a SITREP to United Nations HQ.

Violation records documented allegations of ceasefire violations which were classified into nine categories: firing; new defences; activities in the NML; kidnapping, abductions, defectors or hostages; engineering works; additional weapons; improvement of defences; reinforcements; and miscellaneous. Examples of violation records include the construction of bunkers, roads, walls, and defensive positions, as well as Iranian or Iraqi armed forces participating in firing practice too close to the CFL, planting mines, filming the opposing side, conducting night patrols, insurgent attacks, and digging trenches.

Major incidents are defined as violations that are of a serious nature and include: live firing, reinforcement or construction at forward defensive locality; activity in NML; deliberate flooding on the CFL; flights across the CFL; taking captives; deliberate destruction of economic assets of the other party; and road building in the other’s occupied territory. Records relating to major incidents are documented in cables, faxes and reports.

Monthly reports containing collected patrol reports, situation reports, violation records and major incidents, were used to highlight issues and track progress over the course of UNIIMOG. Monthly reports were created by both UNIIMOG headquarters and included summaries of: general situations in each sector; operational matters such as withdrawal or advancement to the IRB; patrols deployed; flag or border meetings; incidents and allegations; restrictions of movement; repatriation of refugees; prisoners of war and the war dead; disputed positions communications; administration summary reports; and personnel summary or strength reports. The purpose of a monthly report was to summarize the operational and administrative activities of each sector in order to report back to the United Nations Headquarters in New York (UNHQ), and to initiate necessary follow up action at UNIIMOG HQs.

S-1918 records also document flag meetings which took place in NML. Members of UNIIMOG, Military Organization for the Implementation of Resolution 598 (MOIR), and the Cease Fire Committee (CC) participated in flag meetings and covered subjects such as: the resolution of issues from the previous flag meeting, communication problems, visa issues, planning future meetings (including the location, date and time of the next meeting), allegations of violations, confirmed violations, accidents, road work, repatriation of war dead, deaths, redeployment, refugees, patrols, restriction of movements, logistics, radios, transportation, and the coordination of liaison officers.

MOIR consisted of members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who were liaisons between UNIIMOG and the Iranian government. S-1918 contains records that document MOIR’s involvement in UNIIMOG meetings to discuss UN directives, violations, allegations, and progress.

The CC was the Iraqi organization that acted as the liaison between UNIIMOG and the Iraqi government. The CC attended meetings, addressed issues and negotiated terms between the Iraqi government and UNIIMOG. The records describe meetings that the CC attended and contains reports on violations, allegations, troop movements, forward defensive lines and the CFL.

The records of S-1918 document a number of lines regarding the border between Iran and Iraq including defensive lines, CFLs and the IRB. Defensive lines detail where troops are located and changed over the course of UNIIMOG with troop movements, generally away from the IRB. They included New Defensive Lines (NDL), Forward Defensive Lines (FDL), Areas of Separation (AOS), and the Separation of Forces (SOF). The CFLs were mutually agreed upon by Iran and Iraq and constituted the temporary border until complete resolution could be achieved. There are two CFLs, one for each country, which runs along the forward edge of manned defences on each side at the ceasefire agreement of 20 August 1988. Lastly, the IRB was established by the Algiers Agreement of 6 March 1975 and was used to settle border disputes and conflicts between the two sides. These lines and boundaries were discussed in flag meetings via cables, faxes and reports by UNIIMOG, CC, and the MOIR.

S-1918 also contains records coordinating the repatriation of war dead and captures discussions pertaining to logistics and ceremonies for performing the repatriation which allowed war dead to be repatriated to their homeland so they could be buried in accordance with local and national customs. Communications occurred through cables and faxes and at flag meetings, where the repatriations took place.

The general operations correspondence in S-1918 contains cables, memoranda and faxes and was between UNIIMOG headquarters and sectors, as well as direct correspondence between the sectors. Records in the general operations correspondence discuss sector commanders’ conferences, monthly reports, visits, logistical issues, coordinating the delivery of maps, identifying the IRB, and other issues related to situation reports.

The Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs Marrack Goulding visited UNIIMOG twice, first from 13-21 May 1989 and second from 14-22 September 1989. During these visits, Goulding travelled through the UNIIMOG territory and held meetings with high level officials to discuss the mission of UNIIMOG. There are briefings, reports and visit coordination documents in S-1918 for the trips. Visit documentation also includes information about arrangements, itineraries, agendas and schedules.

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  • Arabic, English

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