INTRODUCTION: Iraq has reported its forces killed more than 5,000 Iranians over the three days up to Thursday (3 September) and repulsed a major Iranian offensive in the heaviest fighting since the first month of the Gulf War, almost a year ago.
SV President Saddam Hussein in uniform with officers outside bunker
GV Tank manoeuvring at hill site
SV Hussein and officers walking through site (2 shots)
GV Tank on hill top
GV Artillery firing at demonstration
SV President Hussein greeting, shaking hands and talking with frontline troops (3 shots)
SV Hussein leaves camp in a jeep and waves goodbye
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Iraq has reported its forces killed more than 5,000 Iranians over the three days up to Thursday (3 September) and repulsed a major Iranian offensive in the heaviest fighting since the first month of the Gulf War, almost a year ago. The result of the offensive, said to have begun on Tuesday (1 September) in the Susangerd area of Iran's oil-producing Khuzestan Province, has been countered by Iranian reports which claim to have recaptured the border town of Bostan which the Iraqis took at the start of the Gulf war. In doing so Iran claims to have killed 200 Iraqi troops, and destroyed twelve tanks, four armoured personnel carriers, and two helicopters.
SYNOPSIS: Iraq's President, Saddam Hussein, made an inspection of front-line troops, marking the first anniversary of the Iran-Iraq War. The war has brought few swift results. The armies of the two Middle east countries have been bogged down in the mud of the Khuzestan province almost since hostilities began.
The Gulf War erupted when each side mounted a series of air strikes against the other's oil installations. Iraq said it was fighting to recover 'usurped territory' and to teach a lesson to the Teheran government, which it accused of meddling in Iraqi affairs. Iran claims Iraq began the war by launching a full-scale invasion. Western diplomats had suggested for some time that President Hussein might launch an offensive - strengthening Iraq's defence and taking advantage of the political troubles in Iran.
As the war enters its second year speculation continues about new military initiatives either from Iran's clergy, or Iraq taking advantage of Iran's continuing civil disorder.