Operation Dawn-4

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Operation Dawn 4
Part of Iran-Iraq War — Northern Front
Date 19 October – mid November 1983
(1 week and 5 days)
Location Penjwin area, Iraqi Kurdistan
Result Iranian victory
Iran captures Penjwin and several villages[1]
 Iraq  Iran
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)
108 infantry battalions, 7 armored battalions, 1 mechanized battalion, 25 commando battalions, 8 Republican Guard battalions, 7 artillery battalions[1]

47 infantry battalions, 4 armored battalions, 4 mechanized battalion, 3 artillery battalions
17 infantry battalions, 8 artillery battalions

Peshmerga partisans
Casualties and losses

18,000 killed and wounded, 785 captured[1]
35 tanks and APCs, 100 vehicles, 3 aircraft, 3 helicopters, 70 equipment, 32 artillery pieces destroyed
8 tanks and APCs, 315 vehicles, 157 equipment captured[1]
200 Iranian prisoners of war were released

Other sources: 10 aircraft, 1 helicopter, 90+ tanks and APCs, 200 vehicles destroyed

5 tanks and APCs, 10 loaders and bulldozers, 200 vehicles, 20 SA-7s, some communications equipment, ammunition and weapons captured[2]
5,000[citation needed]

Operation Dawn 4 (Persian: عملیات والفجر 4‎) was an Iranian operation of the Iran–Iraq War launched in 1983. At the end of the operation Iran had captured a small amount of territory from the Iraqis.

Units of Iraq's First Army Corps spent two months in their trenches waiting for the Iranians to attack. The offensive came on 19 October 1983 as the Iranians and Peshmerga guerrillas of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan took 250 square miles (650 km2) of territory. This included a number of Kurdish villages and exerted a significant amount of pressure on Penjwin.

Saddam Hussein responded with a counterattack, using the Iraqi Republican Guard and poison gas. However, they failed to dislodge the Iranians, who were dug-in and reinforced by Kurdish fighters.

The battle[edit]

The focus of the fourth Dawn operation in September 1983 was the northern sector in Iranian Kurdistan. Three Iranian regular divisions, the Revolutionary Guard, and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) elements amassed in Marivan and Sardasht in a move to threaten the major Iraqi city Suleimaniyah. Iran's strategy was to press Kurdish tribes to occupy the Banjuin Valley, which was within 45 km (28 mi) of Suleimaniyah and 140 km (87 mi) from the oilfields of Kirkuk. To stem the tide, Iraq deployed Mi-8 attack helicopters equipped with chemical weapons and executed 120 sorties against the Iranian force, which stopped them 15 km (9.3 mi) into Iraqi territory. 5,000 Iranians and 2,500 Iraqis died.

Iran gained 110 km² (42 sq mi) of its territory back in the north, gained 15 km² (5.8 sq mi) of Iraqi land, and captured 1,800 Iraqi prisoners while Iraq abandoned large quantities of valuable weapons and war materiel in the field. Iraq responded to these losses by firing a series of SCUD-B missiles into the cities of Dezful, Masjid Suleiman, and Behbehan, while the Iraqi naval aircraft mined the port of Bandar Khomeini. Iran's use of artillery against Basra while the battles in the north raged created multiple fronts, which effectively confused and wore down Iraq.


The attack was successful but the Iranians suffered high casualties due to Iraqi gas attacks. Unlike other operations and battles of the Iran–Iraq War, environmental conditions and operative restrictions were of high significance for this operation. Also the military medicine organization of the Pasdaran was important in this battle; they used special methods to save the wounded and carried out rescue operations.[3]

However, in response to this victory, the Iraqis launched the first Scud missiles into Iran, hitting six cities.



Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution:

Hamzeh Sayyed-osh-Shohada Headquarters

Islamic Republic of Iran Army Ground Forces


Iraqi Army

Republican Guard

Iraqi Army Air Corps

Iraqi Air Force

See also[edit]