Amadeusz Juskowiak

Iran announces end of major offensive in gulf war

Iran announced tonight that its major offensive against Iraq in the Gulf war had ended after dealing savage blows against the Baghdad government

The Iranian news agency IRNA in a report received in London said the operation codenamed Karbala5 launched into Iraq on January 9 was now over

It quoted a joint statewment by the Iranian Army and Revolutionary Guards Corps as saying that their forces had dealt one of the severest blows on the Iraqi war machine in the history of the Iraqimposed war

The statement by the Iranian High Command appeared to herald the close of an assault on the port city of Basra in southern Iraq

The operation was launched at a time when the Baghdad government was spreading extensive propaganda on the resistance power of its army said the statement quoted by IRNA

It claimed massive victories in the sevenweek offensive and called on supporters of Baghdad to come to their senses and discontinue support for what it called the tottering regime in Iraq

Iran said its forces had liberated 155 square kilometers of enemyoccupied territory during the 1987 offensive and taken over islands townships rivers and part of a road leading into Basra

The Iranian forces are in full control of these areas the statement said

It said 81 Iraqi brigades and battalions were totally destroyed along with 700 tanks and 1500 other vehicles The victory list also included 80 warplanes downed 250 anti aircraft guns and 400 pieces of military hardware destroyed and the seizure of 220 tanks and armoured personnel carriers