Death Struggle in the Desert

Iran steps up its attacks, but the newly inspired Iraqis rally

For the fifth time in three weeks, tens of thousands of Iranian soldiers launched a furious offensive against Iraqi forces entrenched near the Shatt al Arab waterway. Many of the Iranian troops, according to Iraqi officials, went into battle carrying a plastic key that the ayatullahs had told them was the key to paradise. Said one Iranian officer: "In fact, it is the key to hell."

Still, this time the Iranian high command abandoned its suicidal tactic of human wave assaults and adopted a more conventional deployment of armor and artillery...

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