The Gulf: A Bridgehead to Fao

A Bridgehead to Fao

The timing of the assault was hardly unexpected. For the past two years the Iranian army has launched a major rainy-season offensive across the marshlands of Al Huwaiza, north of the Iraqi city of Basra on the Shatt al Arab waterway. This year, on the anniversary of the day the Ayatullah Khomeini took power in 1979, the Iranians struck again. In the past, superior Iraqi armor and air power have repulsed waves of often youthful Iranian invaders. This time Iranian troops undertook a surprise offensive farther south, enabling Iran to claim at least a momentary psychological victory in the 5 1/2-year-old...

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