INTRODUCTION: The New Year has brought little sign of any swift resolution to the four-month-old Gulf War.
GV PAN Massive crowd TO SV TO Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
BACK TO Crowd cheering and chanting BACK TO SV Hussein AND BACK TO crowd again (2 shots)
President Hussein and other officers inside hospital
CU PULL BACK TO SV Wounded Iraqi soldiers (2 shots)
SV President Hussein with another soldier, then picks up little girl (2 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The New Year has brought little sign of any swift resolution to the four-month-old Gulf War. Both Iran and Iraq seem resigned to a period of stock-taking with prolonged artillery duels and frequent, but limited, skirmishing. There has been little significant military movement recently. Meanwhile, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein addressed a large crowd in Baghdad on Saturday (3 January) and visited a hospital for those wounded in the fighting.
SYNOPSIS: Iraq has claimed to have killed more than 8,000 Iranian soldiers, and to have shot down 558 Iranian aircraft since hostilities began. Official Iraqi sources also say almost 150 Iranian naval vessels, and more than 1,000 tanks and armoured vehicles have been destroyed. Other Iranian losses have been given as 449 guns, 155 rocket launchers, 44 radar stations and 70 oil installations. Iraqi losses have not been disclosed.
President Hussein was loudly acclaimed by the chanting crowd. After his speech, accompanied by fellow officers, he visited a nearby hospital. He chatted to soldiers wounded during the war. Iraqi policy has held firm against heavy casualty lists, and the war seems to have entered a quieter phase. The battle in the air has all but died. Iraq has re-opened Baghdad airport to passenger flights more than three months after closing it. And Iraqi oil pumping has partially resumed following the Iranian air attack in December which stopped all oil exports. Meanwhile two possible tactical movements are being canvassed for the New Year: an Iranian counter-offensive in the spring and a renewed Iraqi drive on Abadan.