Iranian forces continued to hold out in the besieged town of Khorramshahr on Wednesday (8 October) as Iraqi artillery kept up a steady bombardment of the city and the nearby blazing oil complex of Abadan.
SV Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, ZOOM INTO Flag and CU Sign (4 shots)
SV Iranian prisoners of war at Az-Zubair receiving rations (2 shots)
SV Prisoners queuing for food (3 shots)
SV Prisoners receiving food (2 shots
SV Prisoners eating in cell and chanting
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Background: Iranian forces continued to hold out in the besieged town of Khorramshahr on Wednesday (8 October) as Iraqi artillery kept up a steady bombardment of the city and the nearby blazing oil complex of Abadan. Reports say that forces of the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini still control pockets in northern Khorramshahr. They also control most of the southern side of the sprawling city split by the Karun River.
SYNOPSIS: The Iranians have also been fighting back with lightning air attacks. In the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, near Iran's closed down embassy, all electricity was cut off on Wednesday night after a surprise raid by three Iranian jets. It was the first bombing of the capital for several days. Meanwhile 120 kilometres to the southeast, the Iraqi army put 17 Iranian prisoners on display. The men, all soldiers rather than revolutionary guards, said they'd been taken prisoner in the fighting for Ahwaz and Khorramshar. Answering questions from foreign reporters, one of the prisoners said the Iranian forces were fighting without the spirit they started with. Another said that if it was the Ayatollah's attitude that caused war between two Moslem countries, there was something wrong.
Iran will soon be sending a delegation to revolutionary countries to put its case for the war. Announcing this on Wednesday, Iran's Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Rajai said the war situation was changing because of Iraq's failure to achieve a quick victory.
Iraq's push into Iran has turned into a drawn-out artillery war with Baghdad's tank advance checked by Iranian ground forces and pockets of snipers. Iraq has moved more armour and heavy artillery into Iran's southern oil-producing province of Khuzestan. But some militant analysts feel the Iraqis lost their initial advantage and allowed the Iranians to regroup. They believe the Iraqi high command have decided to secure its objectives with a minimum of casualties. This has ruled out an expensive full-scale assault on Iranian positions inside Khorramshar, now a symbol of Iranian resistance.
Observers say baghdad can now do little to avoid a drawn-out war. They say Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had wanted a short, sharp war to secure his objectives quickly. These included Iranian recognition of Iraqi sovereignty over the disputed Shatt Al-Arab waterway next to Khorramshar. The Shatt provides access to Iraq's only cargo port of Basra. But the war has shut it down completely.