Operation Samen-ol-A'emeh

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Operation Samen-ol-A'emeh
Part of Iran–Iraq War, Siege of Abadan
Shatt al arab.png
Date27–29 September 1981
(2 days)

Decisive Iranian victory

  • Iraqi siege of Abadan is broken
 Iraq  Iran
Commanders and leaders
Iraq Saddam Hussein
Iraq Gen. Juwad Shitnah Executed
Units involved
77th Infantry Division of Khorasan
36th Armoured Brigade of Shiraz
Navy's Takavar Battalion
Separate brigades from IRGC
Local volunteers
50,000–60,000 troops
Numerous armoured vehicles
200 artillery pieces
15,000 troops inside Abadan, 20,000–30,000 troops outside
Casualties and losses
3,000 killed
1,656 captured
90 tanks/APCs destroyed
100 vehicles destroyed
3 aircraft destroyed
1 helicopter destroyed
100 tanks, 40 APCs, 3 loaders, 150 vehicles captured.[1]
3,000 killed or wounded
150 tanks destroyed
9 AH-1J destroyed
2 CH-47 destroyed
3 Bell-214 destroyed

Operation Samen-ol-A'emeh (Persian: عملیات ثامن‌الائمه‎ "Operation Eighth Imam") was an offensive of the Iran–Iraq War between 27–29 September 1981[contradictory] where Iran broke the Iraqi Siege of Abadan.[2][failed verification]

Diversionary attack

On September 22, 1981, Iran began their first successful offensive against Iraq, in order to break the Siege of Abadan. The attack began with a diversionary operation.[3][failed verification] A combined arms force of 30,000–40,000 troops attacked the Iraqi forces in a wide front around the Karkheh river in Khuzestan province, Iran, aiming for the road towards Basra, Iraq. The Iranians used their regular army supported by Revolutionary Guard[4] infantry, the former using small groups of armored vehicles with full artillery and air support (the Iranians succeeded in establishing air superiority in spite of limited numbers of aircraft and lack of spare parts). The operation convinced Iraq that Basra was under attack, consequently, they did not reinforce their troops surrounding Abadan.[5]

Main attack

Two days later, Iran began to carry out their main offensive against Abadan. During the night, the Iranians infiltrated a force of 20,000–30,000 troops across the Bahmanshir River towards the Iraqi forces on the east bank of the Karun River around Abadan. The Iraqis failed to carry out adequate reconnaissance to discover the infiltration. The main attack was preceded by the Iranian air force carrying out airstrikes against the Iraqi troops between the Bahmanshir and the east bank of the Karun. Due to Iranian air superiority, the Iranians drove the counterattacking Iraqi jets away. On September 26, the Iranians ground forces attacked. The Iraqis were pinned down in their strongest positions, while their weakest positions were torn through, resulting in the isolation of many Iraqi forces. Iraq failed to maneuver their forces against the Iranians, and they stood in their static positions. An Iranian armored battalion cut the enemy forces in two, while AH-1 Cobra helicopters destroyed numerous Iraqi tanks using TOW missiles. Meanwhile, the siege of Abadan was broken, yet many Iraqi forces remained on the east bank of the Karun River, prevented from retreating after the Iranian air force bombed the bridges across the Karun River.[5]

The next phase of the battle came when the Iranians unleashed their 92nd Armored Division on the north side of the Iraqi positions on September 27. The Iraqi command had been driven into a panic and attempted a tactical withdrawal, which turned into a rout. The Iraqis abandoned their heavy weaponry, and fled across the river on a makeshift pontoon bridge and rafts.[6]

soldiers in Operation Samen-ol-A'emeh


The victory at Abadan was an important morale booster for Iran, and an important stepping stone for the eventual ejection of the Iraqis out of Iran.[7] With a carefully planned operation and well-executed use of their available materials, the Iranians routed a theoretically superior opponent.[8]

Saddam Hussein ordered the execution of seven commanders after the operation.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Operation Samen-ol-A'emeh". Tebyan. Retrieved 27 September 2004.
  2. ^ Hanizadeh, Hassan. "Khorramshahr: From occupation to liberation". Mehrnews. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
  3. ^ Hoffpauir, Michael E. (June 1991). "Tactical Evolution in the Iraqi Army: The Abadan Island and Fish Lake campaigns of the Iran-Iraq War" (PDF). Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College: 59. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "سالروز شکست حصر آبادان در عملیات ثامن‌الائمه(ع)". Isna. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b Jedi, Majid. "تحولات آغازین جنگ تحمیلی : زمینه های پیدایش عملیات ثامن الائمه (Persian)".
  6. ^ Veisi, Morad. "ایران و عراق در جنگ چه مناطقی از خاک یکدیگر را اشغال کردند؟ (Persian)". BBC. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  7. ^ "سه عملیات سرنوشت ساز (Persian)". IRNA. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  8. ^ "مروری بر چند عملیات‌ بزرگ و تعیین‌کننده در دفاع مقدس". ISNA. Retrieved 22 September 2013.

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