Iran's breakthrough into Iraqi positions near the beleaguered oil city of Abadan continued to be hotly disputed as the Iranian hold n the newly-taken main road between Abadan and Mahshar, 100 kilometres (60 miles) further into Iran, remained within range of Iraqi guns.
GV Smoke rising from the city of Abadan.
GV PAN wrecked buildings in Abadan. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAN ALONG Wrecked buildings TO deserted streets and smoke rising in background.
CU PAN Iranian soldier carrying shell and loading it into field gun under camouflage.
SV Gun firing and smoke rising in distance. (3 SHOTS)
GV Burnt-out Iraqi army vehicles.
GV Burnt-out Iraqi tank. PAN TO ammunition dump. (2 SHOTS)
CU PAN OVER shells TO ammunition dump.
CU Iranian officer looking through field glasses.
GV Iranian tanks firing and moving forward. (2 SHOTS)
CU INTERIOR Hospital ward PAN FROM picture of Khomeini TO wounded Iranian soldier.
CU Iranian revolutionary Guard lighting cigarette for wounded soldier.
CU wounded soldier.
CU Wounded Iraqi soldier.
CU PAN ALONG Wounded soldiers.
GV revolutionary Guard gives water to wounded Iraqi soldier.
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Background: Iran's breakthrough into Iraqi positions near the beleaguered oil city of Abadan continued to be hotly disputed as the Iranian hold n the newly-taken main road between Abadan and Mahshar, 100 kilometres (60 miles) further into Iran, remained within range of Iraqi guns. And, despite claims that Iranian forces have recaptured 40 per cent of the territory occupied by Iraq at the start of the war seven months ago, Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr says that a military solution to the conflict is impossible. He was speaking last week (18 May) after visits from peace missions by the non-Aligned Movement and the Islamic Conference Organisation, whose proposals, he said, offered a better chance of a settlement than any others made so far.
SYNOPSIS: Only a handful of foreign journalists have been allowed into the area since the fighting began, so these pictures of the battle zone are rare.
They reveal a city which has been under fire almost daily since September last year. Abadan suffered enormous punishment because it was the site of the biggest oil refinery in the Middle East. Just two days before the Iranian breakthrough, it was reported as finally having been damaged beyond repair. Yet the importance of the Abadan refinery to the Iranian economy was more symbolic than actual. Before the war it was pumping out about 250,000 barrels of refined produces a day. But Iran's output of crude oil dwarfs that figure - and so far the war has not seriously affected it. Abadan paid a heavy price for being the site of the refinery which its acting governor was later to describe as "old, worn-out and a waste of money". The Iranians continued to fight to hold what they had won in the action which began at dawn on 16 May.
According to official Iranian sources, only a few scattered Iraqi units remained to put up what Teheran described as a "desperate" fight. Iran said it had destroyed an Iraqi battalion completely and captured 150 of its soldiers in the action over the Abadan to Mahshar road - a battle which the Iranians said had ended with hand - to - hand fighting. Iran went on to claim more victories 200 miles to the north during the following week -- and said it had moved into Iraqi territory for the first time since the war began. Yet the Abadan road was still being fought over seven days later.
This Iranian hospital took in casualties from both sides as the shooting continued. Iran State Radio said 470 Iraqis had died in the initial conflict, though it gave no figures for Iranian casualties.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards -- members of what has been described as a military force which also has security functions - brought comfort to the wounded on both sides.
This Iraqi soldier was one of seven in the hospital.
When our cameraman arrives, he and his comrades were sharing the same ward as a group of Iranian soldiers who had been hurt in the fighting. And the revolutionary Guards were caring conscientiously for those who had opposed them only hours before.