Created: 10/15/1980

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IRAQ-IRAN: Capabilities for Continuing the War

Each eide in the nap apparently intends to outlast the other on the around militarily while inflicting maximum economic damage through atratrikee. Iraq has the advantage of large stockpiles elatively veil-functioning logistic system, and more reliablesources of supply. Iran can try to conserve itsefenoive strategy will make ihe price of continuing too costly for Iraq. Operations of both can continue at present levels at least tnrougn the end cf this month and probably longer.

Baghdad's ground forces have sufficient materielthe current level of combat for severala major resunplv from abroad. I

Southern Iran and Khuzestan are reariily accessible to Iraqi reinforcement and resupply, while the mountains to the north and east hinder similar Iranian efforts. Should casualties become heavy, Iraq could drawanpower pooleservists and paramilitary

Iraq's military petroleum supplies probablyfor several months of combat. /




Iraqi aircraft losses have been low* Baghdad has stated that asctober,ircraft had been lost, an attrition rate allowing operations at current levels for several months-

Shortages of spare parts, however, may limitfor Iraq's more sophisticatedndwithin several weeks* Iraq handlesits aircraft maintenance, but engines andusually overhauled in the USSR, and thiswill not be available-

Iran1 s_ Capabi li ties

Iran's ability to sustain its forces dependsthe intensity of the war. By relying on urbantie down Iraqi forces, Iran can stretch out itsand fuel, make maximum use of its outnumberedfrontline units, and drag out the war atof combat, possibly for months. Iraq'shas given Iran time to transport suppliesto the front.

Host Iranian eleraonts fighting in the cities areunits requiring only small arms and ammunition. Each of the four main cities in Khuzestan has major arms depots with large ammunition stocks.

I The mobilization of new

Iranian units probably would not affect the war for at least several months.

I By using

aircraft sparingly, Iran prooabiy can continue to attack such high-visibility targets as refineries* power plants.


Iran has lost betweenircraft of all tynes since the start of the war. Iran began the war withperational fighter aircraft and with perhaps as many as ISO additional, flyable fighters. Maintenance problemshortage of spare parts are forcing cannibalization. The closing of the Abadanthe only facility producing jet fuel at theof the conflict, may have forced Iran to begin refining jet fuel at one of its other refineries. If all of Iran's refining capacity were destroyed, it would be forced to rely on theday supply it had on hand at the beginning of the war.

Kesupply from Abroad

Soviet refusal to send major shipments through the Strait of Hormuz to Iraq should not constrain Iraqifor several weeks, if the level of fighting does not increase. Iraq has an airlift capability,to the Jordanian port of Al Aqaba and possibly to Saudi and Kuwaiti ports, and land routes through Turkey to Europe.


oviet military deliveries averaged0 million annually. Shipments this year prior to the war were running at about half that.

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