IRAN-IRAQ; ilitary Overview
The reduction in the level of fighting since late October combined oith supplies being acquired by both sides shouldontinuation of military operations at the current level at least until spring. The USSR's fefucal to supply Iraq uith tanks and aircraft almost certainly las influenced Baghdad's decision to rule out any major new offensives. Iran Co relying on revolutionary fervor, its larger population, and stock of equipment purchased under the Shah to wear down the Iraqis. I
The Iraqis recently have been relying on artillery attacks against Iranian positions while trying to limit amor and personnel losses. 1
The Iraqis have the bulk of three armored and two mechanized divisions plus several infantry brigades in Khuzestan, which should allow them to maintain their positions there through the winter. At full strength, these unitp_wpuld haveanks0
Iraq's reluctance to use its military advantage in Khuzestan has enabled Iran to strengthen its forces there. Iran probably now has0 troops in the province, including forces from two armored and two
infantry divisions as well as paramilitary forces. The armored force now consists ofanks;robably are not operational.
In the coming months, however, the Iranians will not be able to equal the Iraqi armored force in Khuzestan. The majority of the forces from the one armored and two Iranian infantry divisions farther north along the border are likely to remain in place. Only one other division, an incomplete armored unit, apparently has not moved to the west.
So far, Iran has relied primarily on artillery, helicopters with antitank missiles, Revolutionary Guards, gendarmerie, and naval commandos to launch local Shortages of trained tank operators, maintenance personnel, and spare parts will continue to restrict the use of armor.
The Iranians have been able to draw on largeartillery rounds and antitank missiles and haveinfantry weapons, ammunition, andfrom Syria, Libya, and North Korea.
sovict-TaaaB itemsoo armored personnelank transporters, and0 trucks.
The air war thus far has been more importantthan militarily. Both sides use most fighter aircraft on defensive patrols and are likely to be able to maintain indefinitely the potential for attacking high-visibility targets. Both also rely heavily on attack helicopters to provido close air support.
Despite Moscow's refusal to resupply Iraq, Baghdad's Air Force has managed slowly to increase the scale of its fighter operations.
Tehranrely on cannibalization Co sustain
its Air Force. have been able to compensate
for some of thethey have lost by repairing
aircraftat the outset
The Iranian Navy retains its supremacy over Iraqi naval forces and has initiated the limited sea action that has occurred so far. Baghdad appears to have used its missile patrol boots and landing ships onlyefensive capacity. I I
The Iranians have attacked Iraqi ships and oil terminals. /
'larat-lS De0Original document.