Iraqi Khanaqin cemetery remembered
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s embassy in Baghdad has released photos of a former burial ground of WWII-era Polish soldiers in Khanaqin, an area under threat by ISIS jihadists in north east Iraq.
The cemetery was set up in 1942 after Polish servicemen who had been prisoners of war in Russia made the long trek south to join up with British and Commonwealth fighters in Iraq.
Many died form illness after the long march and hundred of Poles were buried at Khanaqin, north east of Baghdad and close to the Iranian border and the area now controlled by Kurdish Iraqis.
Together with the 3rd Carpathian Division already in the Middle East, the men formed the Polish Army in the East and remained in the Khanaqin area for some time, organising, training and assembling equipment.
After the war, the cemetery became difficult to maintain and in 1965, it was decided to construct a memorial in Baghdad’s North Gate Cemetery to commemorate the 104 Commonwealth and 439 Polish servicemen buried in Khanaqin.
The Polish Embassy in Iraq has released photos, taken in July this year, of the cemetery, at a time when the area has become a battlefield, with ISIS jihadist insurgents fighting Kurdish Peshmerge troops and Shia militia close to Baquba, the regions capital. (pg)