During the 8 year war between both countries many other 3rd party countries were involved too, in both supplying arms and experts, but I'm faced with claims of a major number of foreign soldiers being active in the field from ground troops to pilots and a number of them being captivated as POW.

I couldn't find a source on this and need to know the nationality and number of any major 3rd party troops in that war.

  • I'm not mentioning any side since I'm interested to find out about both side's possible foreign troops.
  • This question is not asking about a small number of foreign involvement (Tech or Intel people), I'm looking for hundreds of soldiers.

I've searched already list of POW's by both sides, and the Wikipedia page of supporters and the sources on the page but couldn't find a mention of any foreigners in a reliable source. The Iranian documentary that got me interested in finding out about the matter claimed POW's from 17 other countries both voluntary and commissioned. The mentioned list was,

Somali, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Morocco, Yemen, Oman

Well the documentary didn't mention a source and just showed some photos, I can guess from the propaganda of Saddam in the time many Arab nations would support him against a none Arab and Shia 1 country, So that some small number of people would voluntarily take part in the war both to get paid and for religious aims. But has that number gone up to hundreds?

Interesting: A friend also told me of French pilots bombing Iran and one of them being taken as POW, take a look at this video.

1 one of two major sects of Islam popular in Iran and the other being Sunni popular in Arab world.

  • Your faced with claims by whom? If they're making these claims can't you ask them for proof? Oct 10, 2015 at 10:19
  • 2
    Actually this seems to be considered like a fact in internal media of Iran, I was confronted with it in a TV documentary and tried to find info
    – azerafati
    Oct 10, 2015 at 10:54
  • 7
    @TylerDurden maybe it makes you feel old, but the Iran-Iraq war is not a current event; it did ended more than 25 years ago.
    – SJuan76
    Oct 10, 2015 at 17:01
  • 3
    FWIW I think there is a valid question, but you could supply some more information from the documentations (there's an edit buttoin under the question): Where there (supposedly) only foreign troops on Iraqs side? Where they mercenaries? What role? Did Iran make some of them POW? On this site, it is generally expected that you do your own research, and ask questions when you get stuck.
    – mart
    Oct 10, 2015 at 20:06
  • 1
    @NSNoob, any sources for your claim?
    – azerafati
    Dec 10, 2015 at 10:03

1 Answer 1


AFAIK no country supplied troops in anything approaching an official capacity.

Of course that doesn't mean they weren't there, but if they were there it would not be something the countries in question would want to be known so it's highly unlikely you're going to find official sources to corroborate any claims.
More likely is that some international mercenary companies signed up with one combatant or the other (or even both) to provide specialty services and staff. That too would not be documented anywhere in public view. Those groups are rather secretive by nature (of course) and so are the parties hiring them.

I seriously doubt that either channel would lead to a large number of foreigners from any one country serving on either side.

  • 1
    So are they all mercs or are they like the Americans who served in the Spanish Civil-War?
    – Tevo77777
    Oct 13, 2015 at 0:19

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