Iran and Iraq Fight Near Border Town; Outcome Disputed
Iran and Iraq on Saturday reported heavy fighting on their south-central war front near the border town of Fuka, which Iraq said it entered last week.
Iran’s national news agency, in broadcasts monitored in Bahrain, said Iranian forces launched a raid overnight near Fuka during heavy rain, killing 1,700 enemy troops and destroying 30 tanks before making a successful withdrawal.
It said the rain paralyzed Iraq’s ability to counter the drive.
However, in Baghdad, a military spokesman said Iraqi troops, with strong artillery support, successfully repelled the Iranian attack. He said two Iranian army brigades, which vary widely in size, were destroyed.
Iraq last week said its troops thrust into Iranian territory for the first time in four years at Fuka, in the Tigris River flatlands east of the main Baghdad-Basra highway.
It said 2,730 Iranians were killed or wounded in that offensive, the first reported Iraqi ground thrust into Iran since Iraq said it pulled its troops back to the border in 1982.
Fighting was also reported over the weekend in northern Iraq, where pro-Iranian Kurdish guerrillas said they repulsed a major government offensive.