Iraqis Claim Raid On Ship Near Kharg
Jul. 01, 1985
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ Iraq said its warplanes raided an unidentified ship near Iran's Kharg Island oil terminal in the Persian Gulf today.
But marine salvage executives in the region said the purported attack had not been independently verified.
The claimed attack came a day after Iraq vowed to resume its attacks on Iran's cities.
An unidentified Iraqi military spokesman, reading a communique on the state radio, said a ''large maritime target was raided'' near Kharg, 115 miles southeast of the Iraqi coast.
The raiding jet fighters, the spokesman said, scored ''a direct and effective hit'' on their target and returned safely to base.
In Iraqi military parlance, the term large maritime target usually refers to a tanker.
The spokesman said the air attack was launched in line with Iraq's declared policy of ''blocking the enemy's oil exports.''
He threatened that such attacks will continue until Iran ''accepts total peace'' to the 57-month-old conflict with Iraq.
Iraq announced early last year it was imposing a blockade on Iran's ports in the northeastern sector of the gulf to prevent the Tehran government from exporting oil and using the revenue in ''financing continuity of the aggression against our land and people.''
The Iraqi military's general command said Sunday that Iraqi forces had repulsed four Iranian attacks along the southern, central and northern sectors of the border, killing or wounding 140 soldiers.
The statement also said an undisclosed number of Iranian soldiers were captured.
However, Iran claimed its soldiers killed or wounded more than 300 Iraqi soldiers in a ''lightning attack'' early Sunday on Iraqi military posts near Mandali in the central sector of the front.
Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency, monitored in Nicosia, Cyprus, said the attacking force had to bypass ''huge minefields and other obstacles,'' to strike at the Iraqi positions.
Iran and Iraq have been at war since September 1980. Foreign reporters generally are not allowed near the war front, and claims from both sides usually are impossible to verify independently.
An Iraqi military spokesman said Sunday: ''We will resume bombing selected targets in Iran until the just, honorable and total peace is achieved'' according to a formula offered by President Saddam Hussein on June 14.
The spokesman, reading a communique on state radio, said a 16-day moratorium on air raids on cities, unilaterally declared by Hussein, had expired.