The Gulf: The Long Siege of Basra

The Long Siege of Basra Iraqi defenders stall an Iranian assault on a strategic city

After two weeks of ferocious shelling by Iranian forces, Iraq's besieged southern port city of Basra is becoming a ravaged wasteland of damaged buildings and pockmarked streets. Toxic gas has engulfed an area south of the city where Iranian artillery barrages set fire to a petrochemical complex. Demoralized and frightened, thousands of the city's 1 million residents have reportedly fled north to the capital of Baghdad in cars, on bicycles and on foot. Said a U.S. official: "If there is a victory in this for the Iranians, it is that they have been able to create the impression that Basra is...