After ten weeks of fighting in the Gulf War there are signs that Iraqi and Iranian offensives may be grinding to a halt to sit out a cold winter.
GV & SV People standing in streets of Khorramabad. (2 SHOTS)
GV & SV Mobile guns firing from entrenched positions. (3 SHOTS)
SV Anti-aircraft gun being traversed.
GV PAN & LV Heavy guns firing. (3 SHOTS)
GV Iranian troops travelling in vehicle along road.
SVs Soldiers digging and reading letters. (2 SHOTS)
LV & GV Destroyed tank in mud in flooded area. (2 SHOTS)
GV Tank in open country.
CU PULL BACK TO SV FROM Arabic sign on wall TO soldiers in street of Susangerd.
LV & SV Troops taking cover and running during sporadic gunfire. (5 SHOTS)
LV Truck carrying civilians passing through street at speed.
LV PAN & TRAVEL SHOT Destroyed houses in Susangerd. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: After ten weeks of fighting in the Gulf War there are signs that Iraqi and Iranian offensives may be grinding to a halt to sit out a cold winter. The Iraqi advance seems to have faltered at Khorramabad over 100 kilometres (60 miles) inside Iran. They recently abandoned tanks in deep mud outside the town. The Iranians seem to be making some progress in recapturing their territory from the Iraqis, although reports suggest they will sit out the winter in readiness for a renewed offensive in the early months of 1981. In cities like Susangerd, South of Khorramabad, the fight for domination goes on. The Iraqis need control of towns like Khorramabad to threaten Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province.
SYNOPSIS: The town of Khorramabad in the Zagros Mountains could well mark the point of stalemate in the Iran-Iraq war.
The Iraqi advance is recently reported to have halted around the town, not because of any major defensive on the part of the Iranians, but because of bad weather. There have been reports that the Iranians are digging in for a long cold winter. According to the London newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, the strategy behind this seems to be a test of Iraqi lines of communication. The newspaper identifies the Iraqis' main objective as capturing the main Iranian air base and control headquarters at Dezful, 130 kilometres (80 miles) south of Khorramabad. As for the Iranians, the newspaper says their priority is to complicate Iraqi logistics problems.
The newspaper cities unexpectedly strong resistance from comparatively small units of army and revolutionary guards as being responsible for slowing the Iraqi advance.
At Khorramabad a number of Iraqi tanks were recently abandoned after getting stuck in boggy ground, adding weight to speculation that no new offensive will begin until the rains cease in mid-February.
Further south at Susangerd, the scene of recent heavy fighting between the Iraqis and the Iranians, only soldiers are to be seen walking through the rubble. While the Iranians claim to have taken control of the city from the Iraqis, there is evidence that the battle for the strategic centre continues.
The remaining civilians are being moved out of Susangerd. Iran still controls the town's strategic bridge across the rain swollen Karkheh River. It is the main obstacle to an Iraqi advance to reach Ahwaz, the capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province. Susangerd may well be a new battleground when the rains stop.