After the defeat of ISIS as an effective ground force, Iraq returned to an uneasy peace between the Iranian-Backed government and the Iraqi people. It did not take long for the Iraqi people to demand improvements and start protesting against the government. The protests quickly escalated into battles between protesters and the government. One of the main issues protesters put forward was Iranian influence in Iraq, with the Iraqis demanding more control of their own country.
Iranian-backed ‘’Popular Mobilization Forces’’ assisted the Iraqi Security Services by battling the protesters, quickly escalating the riots into a civil war. The short civil war was primarily fought around Baghdad and Nasiriyah, and ended in the overthrow of the Iranian-backed Iraqi Government. It quickly became apparent that the US supported the protesters with weapons and money with the intent to dislodge Iranian influence in the region.
Seeing their influence curbed by foreign intervention, Iran decided to send Iraqi Militias to start an offensive against the new Government. The ensuing war between US-backed Iraqi Government forces and Iran-backed Iraqi Militias spiraled out of control, effectively splitting Iraqi in two. With Iranian forces becoming ever more present at the front-lines, the threat of Iranian expansion become a scenario that the USA had to take seriously. With the US’ interests in Iraq on the line, the US decided to directly assist the Iraqi government in combating the Iranian backed forces. While doing so, US Forces became directly engaged with Revolutionary Guard Corps and Shiite Militia forces that had been sent by Iran.
Now that the Americans and Iraqis have pushed back the relatively small Iranian force in Iraq, both nations have started planning to take the fight to Iran.
A combined US-Iraqi Force has assembled itself on the border with Iran, and is poised to strike.
The main axis-of-attack will be into the Khuzestan province, due to its relatively flat terrain, with smaller offensives being planned to invade Iran from central Iraq.
The US Army has assigned three divisions (1CAV, 101ABN, 10MD) to the offensive into Khuzestan, alongside the USMC's II MEF and the Iraqi "Golden Division."
The United States Air Force has deployed elements of the following Squadrons in support of offensive operations in Southern-Iran:
- 34th Bomb Squadron
- 301st Fighter Squadron
- 94th Fighter Squadron
- 112th Fighter Squadron
- 25th Fighter Squadron
1-32IN has been attached to Task Force Giant, made up of elements from the 1CAV, 101ABN, and 10MD, which is part of the Southern Thrust into Iran. The main objective of TF Giant is to secure the Khuzestan province, alongside elements of the USMC and Iraqi Army. In the initial phase of the invasion of Iran, TF Giant will be responsible for securing Khorramshahr, an important border town, which will allow follow-on forces to push on towards the coast.
After TF Giant's initial objectives have been met, it will be moving North-East towards the Zagros Mountain Range.
Within the Southern-Sector, G-2 has identified the following hostile elements.
- 88th Armored Division: An Armored force with T-72s, BMP-1/2s
- 64th Infantry Division: An infantry force, supported by a limited amount of M-113s and BTR-80s
- Unknown Revolutionary Guard Corps units.
- Unknown Basji Militia units:
The Iranian forces will be a mix of conventional and irregular forces, as Iran has been preparing for a foreign attack since the 80s. The majority of their equipment is a mix of outdated NATO (Pre-80s) gear and modern Russian and Iranian made hardware. While inexperienced in fighting a technologically superior force, do not underestimate Iran's patriotic spirit. The population is unlikely to side with the US/Iraq Coalition, and will most likely fight with devotion similar to that of the Japanese on Okinawa. Fighting on home-ground, the Iranian Armed Forces will be fighting with popular support and on familiar terrain. The Iranian Air Force, although not a match for the USAF in a lengthy air-war, is a capable defensive force and poses a credible threat.
Prepare yourselves gentlemen, we will be fighting in a large country with a patriotic population. Our focus will not include Hearts & Minds operations, our main goal is to defeat the Iranian Armed Forces. Expect no hospitality from civilians, treat them with suspicion, and stay aware of your surroundings. The Iranians have experience with combining conventional warfare with irregular tactics.
I hope to see you on the field.
Captain T. Holtkamp