Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas

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Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas
Part of Iran–Iraq War
Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas map.svg
Date 24 April - 24 May 1982
(4 weeks)
Location Khuzestan, South-West Iran
Result Decisive Iranian victory
Territorial
changes
Iranians liberated Khorramshahr and the town of Hoveyzeh as well as villages, around 4,500 km2 overall, and pushed Iraqi forces to near the border
Belligerents
 Iraq  Iran
Commanders and leaders
Iraq Col. Ahmad Zeidan  (Commander of Iraqi forces in Khorramshahr)
Iraq Maj. Gen. Salah al-Qadhi Executed (commander of III Corps)
Iraq Brig. Gen. Juwad Asaad Executed (commander of 3rd Armoured Division)[1]
Iraq Masa Abd al-Jalil Executed (commander of 12th Armored Brigade)
Iran Mohsen Rezai
Iran Col. Ali Sayad Shirazi
Iran Gholam Ali Rashid
Iran Col. Massoud Monfared Niyaki
Iran Hassan Baqeri
Iran Col. Hossein Hassani Saadi
Iran Ahmad Gholampoor
Iran Col. Siroos Lotfi
Strength

70,000-80,000 fighters:
90 infantry battalions
43 armored battalions
23 mechanized battalions
22 commando battalions
12 border guard battalions
30 artillery battalions

1,435 tanks, 1,330 APCs, 530 artillery pieces[2][3]

65,000 fighters:
112 infantry battalions
23 armored battalions
9 mechanized battalions
29 artillery battalions
5 combat engineer battalions
1 pontoon bridge battalion
4 Army Aviation units (96 helicopters)

700 tanks[4]
Casualties and losses

16,000 killed and wounded
19,070 captured
418 tanks and APCs, 200 vehicles, 40 aircraft, 3 helicopters, and 30 artillery pieces destroyed

150 tanks and APCs, 300 vehicles, 1 hellicopter, 18 artillery pieces, 95,000 mines, and dozens of ammunition depots captured[3]

30,000 killed and wounded

4 helicopters destroyed

Operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas (Jerusalem) (Persian: عملیات بیت‌المقدس‎‎) was an Iranian operation conducted during the Iran–Iraq War. The operation was a success, in as so far as it achieved its standing aim of liberation of Khorramshahr and pushing Iraqi troops back to the border. This operation, coupled with Operation Tariq al-Qods, and Operation Undeniable Victory, succeeded in evicting Iraqi troops from southern Iran and gave Iran the momentum.

Prelude[edit]

On September 22, 1980, because of his desire that Iraq should have complete dominance over the Shatt al-Arab (or the Arvand Rūd) waterway, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared war against Iran and launched a land invasion of southern Iran, although operations did occur elsewhere on the IranIraq border. After achieving successes due to the post-Revolution military and political chaos in Iran, Saddam Hussein ordered that the Iraqi troops "dig-in" on the front line. He hoped that this would show the world that he cared about the fate of the Iranian people, and that he was only concerned with achieving his aim of securing the entire Shatt al-Arab waterway, which had been under dispute since the 1975 Algiers Agreement. However, since the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979, Iraq had felt that it was necessary to assume what it wanted through force, since previous attempts in getting the revolutionary Iranian government to negotiate a new settlement had proved fruitless.

Once the Iraqi forces had settled, the Iranians were planning a series of operations designed to evict the Iraqis from southern Iran, of which Operation Tariq al-Qods was one.

Battle[edit]

The Iranians attacked, with some 70,000 soldiers in the AhvazSusangerd area. The Iraqi forces in the area withdrew, and strengthened the defenses of Khorramshahr.

The Iraqis launched a counter-offensive on 20 May. However, despite its scale, the Iranians were able to repulse the attack.

On 24 May, the Iranians liberated Khorramshahr; the vitally strategically and symbollically important Iranian city whose capture by Iraq had been the low-point of Iranian fortunes in the early days of the war

The Iraqis were ordered to retreat, although many had done when Khorramshar had fallen, back into Iraq. The Iranians captured 15,000-19,000 Iraqi troops and a substantial amount of Iraqi military hardware in Khorramshahr.

The commander of the Iraqi forces in the city, Colonel Ahmad Zeidan, attempted to flee, but was trapped in a minefield which previously had been set up on his orders, and killed when he stepped on a mine.[5]

Units[edit]

Iran[edit]

Iranian units involved in the operation were as follows:[3][2][6] Each IRGC battalion was consisted of 300 Basij volunteers at most, while each Army battalion was around 2.5 times bigger. However, the number of battalions in each IRGC brigade was bigger than those of the Army.[7]

Karbala Central Headquarters
Commanded by Mohsen Rezaei (IRGC commander) and Col. Ali Sayyad Shirazi (Army commander)

Combat engineer units involved were as follows:

  • Army: 63 engineering vehicles overall
    • Combat Engineer Battalion of 21st Division
    • Combat Engineer Battalion of 92nd Division
    • Combat Engineer Battalion of 16th Division
    • 411th Combat Engineer Group of Borujerd
      • 422nd Pontoon Bridge Group of Daghagheleh, Ahvaz
    • 411th Pontoon Bridge Battalion
    • 414th Combat Engineer Battalion
      • Zafar Company
  • IRGC: 60 engineering vehicles overall
  • Jihad of Construction: 100 engineering vehicles overall

Other forces included:

Iraq[edit]

Iraqi units involved in the operation were as follows:[8][3][2]

References[edit]