Attack Iran, US chief ordered British

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by easesprings, Jul 1, 2004.

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  1. America’s military commander in Iraq ordered British troops to prepare a ground offensive against Iranian forces that had crossed the border into disputed territory it has been reported. The incident began last July when Revolutionary guards pushed about a kilometre into Iraq north and east of Basra in an apparent attempt to reclaim territory that Iran claimed belonged to them. The British chose instead to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels. A British official said. “It did look rather nasty at the time, but we were always confident it was a mistake and could be resolved by diplomatic means. We got in touch with Baghdad and said,” Don’t do anything silly; we are talking to the Iranians” The incident reportedly lasted about a week and was resolved by a phone call between the British Foreign Secretary and his Iranian counterpart, with the British military commanders on the ground calming the Iranian commanders.


    mmm When did we com under Cp Com/Con for the spams
     
  2. Got a link?
     
  3. just goes to show why the majority of the world either thinks the US Armed Forces is a joke or hates them because of their gungho 'shoot em up' attitude.
     
  4. No came from an Internal Mil site
     
  5. Perhaps this article might be of help? My own opinion is that the US is itching to have a swipe at the Iranians - unfinished business from 1980.


    Attack Iran, US chief ordered British
    By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
    The Daily Telegraph (Filed: 30/06/2004)


    America's military commander in Iraq ordered British troops to prepare a full-scale ground offensive against Iranian forces that had crossed the border and grabbed disputed territory, a senior officer has disclosed.
    An attack would almost certainly have provoked open conflict with Iran. But the British chose instead to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels.
    "If we had attacked the Iranian positions, all hell would have broken loose," a defence source said yesterday.
    "We would have had the Iranians to our front and the Iraqi insurgents picking us off at the rear."
    The incident was disclosed by a senior British officer at a conference in London last week and is reported in today's edition of Defence Analysis. The identity of the officer is not given.
    "Some Iranian border and observation posts were re-positioned over the border, broadly a kilometre into Iraq," a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.
    The incident began last July when Revolutionary Guards pushed about a kilometre into Iraq to the north and east of Basra in an apparent attempt to reoccupy territory which they claimed belonged to Iran.
    Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez then ordered the British to prepare to send in several thousand troops to attack the Revolutionary Guard positions.
    The Revolutionary Guard Corps has 125,000 soldiers, making it 25 per cent larger than the entire British Army, and is equipped with 500 tanks, 600 armoured personnel carriers and 360 artillery weapons.
    The incident is reminiscent of the exchange during the Kosovo conflict between the American general, Wesley Clark, the supreme allied commander Europe, and Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the British commander.
    When Gen Clark told Gen Jackson to send British troops into Pristina airport to prevent Russian troops from taking control Gen Jackson refused. He was reported to have said: "I am not going to start World War Three for you."
    The Iran-Iraq incident lasted around a week and was resolved by a telephone conversation between Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, and Kamal Kharrazi, his Iranian counterpart, British officials said.
    "It did look rather nasty at the time," one official said. "But we were always confident it was a mistake and could be resolved by diplomatic means. We got in touch with Baghdad and said, 'Don't do anything silly; we are talking to the Iranians.' "
    While Mr Straw was trying to resolve the issue peacefully, British military commanders on the ground were calming their Iranian counterparts, the ministry said.
    The Revolutionary Guard was believed to be behind the seizure of eight Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel last week after they strayed across the disputed border between Iraq and Iran.
    The eight men, who were delivering patrol boats to the Iraqi riverine patrol service, were released - but not before they were paraded blindfolded on Iranian television.
     
  6. Iranians come onto Iraqi soil in number, US commander orders British troops to PREPARE an attack, and that is wrong? Somehow I think we are hearing only half the story.
     
  7. And Ricardo Sanchez has shown he is more than capable of clear thought and rational decision Corporal?
     
  8. I agree Corporal, a military response had to be prepared in light of the fact that control of the area rested with coalition forces. I feel that the Iranians were engaging in a certain amount of coat-trailing. I'll go further and say that they may have been hoping to provoke an attack from coalition forces and Britain's decision to rely on diplomacy denied them the opportunity to be seen as the 'victims of an unprovoked attack/Western expansionism'. It would have been very intersting to see how this episode might have panned-out had there been American forces in the area. This recent guff about the RN/RM chaps straying into Iranian territory may be part of a ploy to lure the coalition into an incident. What should also be borne in mind is that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been involved in both these episodes, and they are something of a law unto themselves. Possibly they are being used by the mullahs to create a situation which will divert public opinion away from opposition to the regime in Teheran.
     
  9. Thanks for the article.

    The last thing we need is another front in that region. Understand the need to preserve Iraq's terrority though. The Brits handled it properly.
     

  10. PTP, I know you to be smarter than this. I'm not saying it didn't happen, I just think we are hearing half the story. I find it hard to believe anyone would order a few thousand Brits to attack 125,000 Republican Guards. And what was Sanchez and gang doing behind the scenes to resolve the situation?

    What we have heard about the situation so far sounds like media spin to me.
     
  11. My initial thought too, Corporal. That's why I requested a link. Now I'm off to see if there's anything in the SPAM media about it.
     
  12. At the risk of sounding pedantic, I very much doubt if the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard (all 125,000 of them) was massed on the Iran-Iraq border, so considering military action against those of them that were (a regiment, a brigade?) is not quite so far-fetched. That said, rushing into another war on the basis of a border incident (which are ten-a-penny in certain parts of the world) would have been unwise. If, as I believe, this sort of incident was deliberately manufactured by Teheran, a long pause should be judged before letting fly at Iran...they either have, or are close to having, nuclear capability.
     
  13. You're right of course Corporal

    Off the cuff remark, purely for short-term self gratification.

    Still, it felt good at the time :D

    As you rightly say, let's hear out the rest , before we go filing this under the
    "Clark/Jackson famous Military conversations" list :wink:
     
  14. I was in Div HQ in Basra while this was going on, and I have to say that Michael Smith is over-egging the pudding considerably. As I recall, the Iranians set up some kind of OP or border post about 1km inside the Iraqi border. The local BG CO was sent up to talk to them and eventually they withdrew. There may have been some con-planning for an operation to evict them, but I wasn't aware of it.
     
  15. PTP, you are a true gentleman. :D

    I have to admit, I suspect the motivation of everything my government does in the Middle East these days. It does seem at times that Bush 43 is trying to get even for Bush 41. While I agree that taking Saddam out of power was the correct thing to do, I just keep wondering where the old boy stashed all of those WMDs??? :roll: