In the Gulf war, Iran continued to deny the loss of its vital port of Khorramshahr on Tuesday (7 October) in the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway.
GV Iraqi tank and soldiers dug in near the port of Khorramshahr in Iran. (4 SHOTS)
GV Tank guarding road in Khorramshahr.
GV Iraqi soldiers dug in near port returning Iranian sniper fire. (4 SHOTS)
GV Ships in the port of Khorramshahr damaged by shells with oil depot burning in distance. (3 SHOTS)
GV oil fire and damaged ships. (5 SHOTS)
GV Crew from Italian ship on deck.
GV Damaged ship with oil fire burning in background. (8 SHOTS)
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Background: In the Gulf war, Iran continued to deny the loss of its vital port of Khorramshahr on Tuesday (7 October) in the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway. Teheran radio said Iran was still in complete control, a statement in conflict to reports from independent observers.
SYNOPSIS: The Iraqis say there is still some fighting in Khorramshahr, what they call "pockets of resistance". But now their efforts are being devoted to preparations for an assault on Abadan, Iran's refinery city twenty miles (32 kilometres) further south. Under cover of darkness Iraqi tanks pushed into the city and by morning were dug in, virtually surrounding the Iranians who had taken up positions near the docks. But the capture of Khorramshahr was not the swift victory the Iraqis had hoped for, and when they came close to the docks the Iranians launched a counter attack. Iranian soldiers and Revolutionary Guards pinned down the Iraqis with sniper fire.
This was the frontline on Tuesday (7 October). The Iraqi advance on Khorramshahr has been slow. The city has been under seige since the war began more than a fortnight ago. The Iranians might have been retreating but they were still resisting-firing everything they had at the Iraqis.
Suddenly the firing stopped. It was safe to enter the port. This was the prize the Iraqis had fought so hard for. There had been a running battle in the docks and much cargo in the container depot had been destroyed. Many of the foreign ships had been hit by fire and some were still ablaze. These ships have been trapped in Khorramshahr since the war began. Some had been keeping up steam hoping to make a run for it down the waterway. For the crews it was a nightmare, hiding below the decks as shells exploded around them.
This Italian cargo ship was hit several times and twice caught fire. Yet none of the crew were injured.
The capture of Khorramshahr is undoubtedly the most important victory the Iraqis have had so far. At the same time it's a severe blow for the Iranian economy. Eventually, when the two countries do stop fighting, Iraq will be in a much stronger position to enforce its sovereignty over the Shatt al-Arab waterway. But now the advance continues further down the waterway to the next Iraqi objective - the world's largest oil refinery at Abadan. Iraqi aircraft have again been bombing the refinery. About half of it has already been destroyed by fires which raged for several days.