Petrol rationing began this weekend in Iraq which is already suffering extensive daily power cuts and other shortages as the three-month-old war with Iran continues.
Iraq: GV Refinery near Basra, with black smoke rising following Iranian shelling.
Iran: GV Iraqi troops Standing in desert outside Abadan.
SV Gun barrel and soldiers manning gun (2 shots)
SG TRACKING SHOT Across desert from moving vehicle (2 shots)
GV Two soldiers crouching in desert.
GV Troops in desert with civilians.
SV Damaged pipeline.
SV Behind gun barrel.
GV Armoured vehicle moves down road.
GV Troops beside vehicle, armoured vehicles in desert (2 shots)
GV Armoured vehicle raising dusts as it moves across desert terrain.
GV Desert landscape.
GV Troops moving on outskirts of Abadan refinery with pall of smoke rising in background (2 shots)
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Background: Petrol rationing began this weekend in Iraq which is already suffering extensive daily power cuts and other shortages as the three-month-old war with Iran continues. Petrol and heating fuels are being rationed in Iran too. An estimated sixty-three ships have remained trapped in the Shatt-al-Arab waterway since the start of the Gulf War, many damaged by bombs and shellfire. Fighting in the area appears limited to sporadic strikes by the Iranians against the Iraqi forces who control the area.
SYNOPSIS: The two major refineries on both sides of the waterway, dividing the two warring countries, continue to burn. The Iraqi refinery at Basra is damaged and closed down so the Iraqis have been forced to import petroleum supplies form neighbouring Jordan.
On the Iranian side, Abadan's huge refinery has been incapacitated by the war and is reported by Iraqis to be partially encircled. Military sources said they have fired on the city in response to Iranian fire, and that they expect to eventually starve the city into surrender. They said their forces had achieved their objective of asserting control over the Shatt-Al-Arab, where the Tigris and Euphrates river drain into the Gulf.
In the expanse of desert from the Karun river to Abadan, oil pipelines law shattered, with smoke rising from gaping holes. The Iraqis said they knocked out fourteen pipelines six weeks ago.
Traffic along the waterway is limited to military vehicles and it appears unlikely the trapped tankers and merchant vessels in the channel will be permitted to depart until both Iran and Iraq guarantee safe passage.
Renewed aggression in the area broke out on Wednesday (10 December). The Iraqi News Agency claimed that car possibly carrying Iranian officials was completely destroyed in a helicopter attack. The report said escorting personnel carriers and other military vehicles were also destroyed.
Iranian State Radio reported their forces launched a surprise attack on Basra and destroyed an oil depot.
It reported another attack on occupying Iraqi forces near the oil centre of Abadan. The surprise strike by helicopter gunships and fighter planes is alleged to have killed seventy Iraqis.