Persian Gulf: Counterthreats

Iran's diversionary tactics

It was yet another grim chapter in the 34-month-old war between Iran and Iraq. Regular troops and Islamic Guards from Iran penetrated six miles into Iraq last week, pursuing Kurdish rebels who had raided Iranian government outposts and seizing a small Iraqi garrison at the border. The Iranian attack was typical of the pattern of the war. Major cross-border assaults are followed by fierce counterattacks, followed by exaggerated casualty claims. But even allowing for customary hyperbole, the toll was high. Iran claimed that its forces had killed or wounded 3,800 Iraqis; Iraq took credit for 1,400 Iranian...

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