In the Gulf War, Iraqi forces have held back from trying to capture a key bridge over the River Karun at the oil port of Khorramshahr.
LS & GV Outskirts of Khorramshahr, Iran. (2 SHOTS)
GV Iraqi troops run through streets.
GV Troops activity around waterway with damaged vessels. (3 SHOTS)
GV & TS Bombed buildings and vehicles.
GV Smoke billows from damaged refinery, and railway in distance. (2 SHOTS)
GV & TS Rolling stock on railway line.
GV Military vehicles travel freely along streets.
GV Missile emplacement.
GV PAN & GV Iraqi troops in streets. (2 SHOTS)
SV & GV Damaged Iranian jeep with tank in background. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: In the Gulf War, Iraqi forces have held back from trying to capture a key bridge over the River Karun at the oil port of Khorramshahr. Agency reports said the Iraqis appeared to be making no move because they were intent on limiting their casualties.
SYNOPSIS: The Iraqis have estimated they are confronting a force of some two hundred and fifty Iranian defenders at the bridge. They've been involved in exchanges of small arms and mortar fire across the Karun river.
The Iraqis believe they have limited forces confronting them -- about ten tanks and some artillery and mortars. They say the Iranian force, consisting of some one hundred Revolutionary Guards and a company of regular soldiers, had launched a number of abortive counter-attacks across the bridge. According to the Iraqis, the Khomeini guards had fought with greater tenacity than the members of the Iranian army. Despite this opposition, the Iraqis declared themselves ready to cross the bridge as soon as they received the order. It's felt, however, that the Iraqis have been following the strategy of limiting casualties since the war began in late September.
An Iraqi colonel admitted he did not know why the order to attack had not come, but he felt his high command had decided to soften up the defenders with artillery until their resistance gave out.
The Iraqis have restored to ancient Arabic name of Muhammara to Khorramshahr, most of which is on the north side of the junction between the Karun River and Shatt al-Arab waterway.
There's township just across the river, on the northernmost end of Abadan island, and known locally as Kut i-Sheikh, and it's here the Iranians have dug in to defend the bridge. While there are conflicting reports as to whether the Iraqis have moved their troops onto the island, they do appear to have it surrounded. From Teheran, Ayatollah Khomeini has urged his troops to break the siege there.