NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DAILY

Created: 4/5/1984

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National Intelligence Daily

4

Special Analysis

AM-IRAQ:

Iranian Offensive

preparations lor an allack on Iha Al Bairah front should Oe eorr.plate Ihis weekend, owl maior Hooding north ol Al Bairah could force Tehran fo psstpoee ffs main offensive again. Despite Iha flooding, Iran probably will launch attack* weal and soulh from ffie Afefnoen Island! in iha next lew weeks, Tha Iraqla are likely io respond by Increasing Iheir air and naval attacka agalnal shipping in the dull. Tehran does not appear to have taken any meeiurai to close tha Slralt ol Hormua, bul It could tfec/de fo launch raids agalnat Kuwait In retaliation tor III support of ine

Five Iranian Army divisionsroops are near Al Basrah,evohjUonary Guards and mllitie alson Iha area. Since January. Iran has Qoen conducting large-scale cailups of irregulars.!-

Iran hasrmored vehicles, or about one-thirdemaining inventory,rtBery pieces concentrated moslty northwest of ai Basrah nee- Ihe Maroon islands.)-

This buildup around Al Basrah has i

The Iranian* probably have several thousand foops on Ihe Majnoon Islands and have beenkilometer pontoon bridge,

supply mem.p

hafpered by inadequalo its

preparations.

Defenses

Iraq has al leasteinforced divisions wilh as manyroops defending Al Basrah. These units are equipped with about

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April

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r-nored vehiclesrtillery Dieces

The Iraqis are dug in Behind extensive fortifications east snd north of Ihe city. In Ihe area west of the Majnoon Islands, however, they have only one Infantry division. I"

Senior office's In the Iraqi Air Force arc less concerned with effective airstrikes lhan wtth impressing political leaders wllh high sortie rales, in past battles, however, Iha Air Force has fought more etfectlvery ones Iranian troops hava left Iheir trenches and attacked.

Central end Northern Border Areae

Tho Iraqis are aware lhat tho mei'i concentration of Iranianpposite AT Basrah, and they behave thai sffacfrs else when; wffl be diversionary. Nonetheless, Iraq has between nine andivisions along the border on other fronts. Soma ol these units coutd ce used io reinforce Al Basrah, once the ofienalve is

The War in the Gun

Iraq claims to hava attacked '0 shipsumping station in three raids in ihe Persian Gulf sincearch. [

condnurM

tea.

l

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Baghdad's cla-Tis mat its Super Eteodard lighter aircraft were used to attack targets In the Gull probably ate designed to put more pressure on Iran.

Outlook

The recent flooding tn the area whore the Iranians havemen and armor may force Iranian commanders to postponeattack. Iran probably hopes eventually totroops in an attempt to split Iraqihe Al Basrahselling the bridges across the Tigris River

The Iranians could use boats to launch smaller attacks from the Majnoon Islands in another old to block the road between Baghdad and Al Basrah. They are likely to have enough pontoon sections tondoe lo the western snore of the marshes, once an assault forceew thousand men hasridgehead. Light artillery and antitank weapons would then be moved across the Onega lo defend against counterattacks.

The Iraqis probably would be able toaior offensive toand easi of Al Basrah. They have had difficulty fighting mhowever, and they 'ailed to recapture the Majnoonthey have strengthened Ba* forceshe marsh areathey could have problems defending againstattack In this areaJ

At the same time, the Iraqis appear to be trying to put more pressure on "an by aicreaslng ihe frequency ol raids and widening their areas ofhe Gulf. The Iraqis would ba likely to attack Khark Island only tt the Iranian offensive were succeeding or. over the longer term, rf their sporadic attacks in tho Golf failed to deter shipping bound tor Iran. I

Tehran so far dees not appear Io nave taken any steps to prepare lor closing the Strait of Hormuz. Kuwait however, is highly vulnerable lo air attacks by Iranian aircraft based at Bushehr. Tehran may decide onaid lo punish Kuwait 'or its increasing support to Baghdad snd to discourage other Arab slates In the region from aiding Iraq.

Original document.

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