NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DAILY (CABLE)

Created: 4/5/1984

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

National Intelligence Daily

4

Spatial Analysis

Nail Iranian Offensive

preparailoni lor an allack on Ihe Al Baarah Iron! ihould at complete Wli weekend, bul maior Hooding norlh ol Al Bairah eoufd force Tehran lo pof fpone Ita main offensive again. Deaplte the Hooding, Iran probably will launch eKecas west and soufn from the Malnoen Wanda In the nail lew weeks. The /reqla are likely lo raapondby Increasing Iheir air end natal attacks agalnat shipping In tha Gutt. Tehran does not appear to nave taken any meaiurea lo close tne Strati ot Hormuz, bul ll could decide to launch talda sgalnat Kuwait In retaliation lor III tuppurl ol Iha

Iraqis.

Five Iranian Army divisionsCOO t'OOps are near Al Bas-ah.evokjtlonary Guards and mSba also mayha araa. Since January, Iran Has been conducimo large-scale caiiopsguiarsl-

Iran hasrmored vehicles, or about one-third of Its remaining inventory,rtillery pieces concentrated mostly northwest ol Ai Basrah near the Majnoon Islands.'

The Iranians probably have several Ihousend troops on Ihe Majjnoon Islands and have beenKilometer pontoon bridge, helicopters, hundreds ol boats and barges,ew hovercraft lo supply them.!-

The Iranians also

rent anrizPOoats near

iho bridge and the northern Island.

This buildup around Al Basrah haa been hampered by inadequate logistic support, but there are signs Iran may be completing Its preparations, f "

Iraqi

Iraq has at leasteinforced divisions vrith as manyroops defending Al Basrah, these units are equipped withrmored vehiclesmeary pieces)

Baghdad's claims that Its Super Etcndard Mghter aircraft wars used to attack tergal* in the Gulf probably are designed lo put more pressure

on lran_P

Outlook

Tha recant flooding In the area where Ihe Iranians have concentrated their men and armor may force Iranten commanders lo postpone their major attack. Iran probably hopes eventually toroopsn attsmpt to split Iraqi forces in the AJ Basrah area by setting the bridges acos* the Tigris awer.!-

The Iranians could use boats to launch smaller altacks horn Ihe Mainoon islands In another do to Block the read between Baghdad and Al Basrah. They are likely to have enough pontoon sections toridge to the western shore of the marshes, onca an assault forceaw thousand men hasM artillery and antitank weapons would ihenbe moved across the brtdge to de'end against counterattacks.!-

The Iraq's probably would Be able loajor offensive to the north and east of Al Basrah. They have had difficulty lighting in Ihe swamps, however, and they failed lo recapture the Majnoon islands Although Ihey have strengthened thek forces in the marsh area swice rebnxwy. wtey couMoMerwsagatrwt another Iranian attach in Ihrs area.

At Iha same lime, the Iraqis appear to be Irying lo put more pressure on Iran by increasing Ihe frequency of raids end widening their areas ot operatiorraIhe Gulf. The Iraqis would be likely to attack Khark Island only if fhe Iranian offensive were succeeCig or. over the longer term, if their sporadicne Gull tailed to deter shipping

bound for Iran r

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