The Siege of Basra, code-named Operation Karbala-5, was an offensive operation carried out by Iran in an effort to capture the Iraqi port city of Basra in early 1987. This battle, known for its extensive casualties and ferocious conditions, was the biggest battle of the war and proved to be the beginning of the end of the Iran–Iraq War. While Iranian forces crossed the border and captured east part of Basra Governorate, the operation ended in a stalemate.
General secretary Hu Yaobang was blamed for taking a soft attitude and mishandling the protests, thus undermining social stability. He was denounced thoroughly by conservatives. Hu was forced to resign as general secretary on 16 January 1987. Then the party began the "Anti-bourgeois liberalization Campaign", taking aim at Hu, political liberalization and Western-inspired ideas in general. The Campaign stopped student protests and tightened the political environment, but Hu remained popular among progressives in the party, intellectuals, and students.
The 1987 Ecuador earthquakes occurred over a six-hour period on March 6. The sequence of shocks measured 6.7, 7.1, and 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale. The main shock had a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The earthquakes were centered in Napo Province in northeast Ecuador; the epicenters were on the eastern slopes of the Andes, about 75 km ENE of Quito and 25 km north of Reventador Volcano. The earthquakes caused about 1,000 deaths. Four-thousand were missing and an estimated US$1 billion in damage was caused.
As animosity between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo deepened during the 1980s, Milošević was sent to address a crowd of Serbs at the historic Kosovo field on 24 April 1987. While Milošević was talking to the leadership inside the local cultural hall, demonstrators outside clashed with the local Kosovo-Albanian police force.
The 1987 Daxing'anling Wildfire also known as the May 6 Fire or Black Dragon Fire was a major wildfire that began in the northeast Daxing'anling Prefecture Heilongjiang People's Republic of China on May 6, 1987. It also spread into the Soviet Union. The burning lasted almost a month, when it was finally stopped on June 2, 1987. About 266 people were wounded and 211 died in the fire leaving 50,000 homeless.
A U.S. Navy ship, Stark, was struck on 17 May 1987 by two Exocet anti-ship missiles fired from an Iraqi F-1 Mirage plane. The missiles had been fired at about the time the plane was given a routine radio warning by Stark. The frigate did not detect the missiles with radar, and warning was given by the lookout only moments before they struck. Both missiles hit the ship, and one exploded in crew quarters, killing 37 sailors and wounding 21.
By 1987, unemployment was falling, the economy was stable and strong and inflation was low. Opinion polls showed a comfortable Conservative lead, and local council election results had also been successful, prompting Thatcher to call a general election for 11 June that year, despite the deadline for an election still being 12 months away. The election saw Thatcher re-elected for a third successive term.
On 28 June, Iraqi fighter bombers attacked the Iranian town of Sardasht near the border, using chemical mustard gas bombs. While many towns and cities had been bombed before, and troops attacked with gas, this was the first time that the Iraqis had attacked a civilian area with poison gas. One quarter of the town's then population of 20,000 was burned and stricken, and 113 were killed immediately, with many more dying and suffering health effects over the next decades.
On 20 July, the UN Security Council passed the U.S.-sponsored Resolution 598, which called for an end to the fighting and a return to pre-war boundaries. This resolution was noted by Iran for being the first resolution to call for a return to the pre-war borders, and setting up a commission to determine the aggressor and compensation.
The attacks on oil tankers continued. Both Iran and Iraq carried out frequent attacks during the first four months of the year. Iran was effectively waging a naval guerilla war with its IRGC navy speedboats, while Iraq attacked with its aircraft. In 1987, Kuwait asked to reflag its tankers to the U.S. flag. They did so in March, and the U.S. Navy began Operation Earnest Will to escort the tankers. The result of Earnest Will would be that while oil tankers shipping Iraqi/Kuwaiti oil were protected, Iranian tankers and neutral tankers shipping to Iran would be unprotected, resulting in both losses for Iran and the undermining of its trade with foreign countries, damaging Iran's economy further.
During 1986 and 1987, the "Esquipulas Process" was established, in which the Central American heads of state agreed on economic cooperation and a framework for peaceful conflict resolution. The "Esquipulas II Accord" emerged from this and was signed in Guatemala City by the five presidents on 7 August 1987.
On August 23, 1987, the 48th anniversary of the secret protocols of the 1939 Molotov Pact between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin that ultimately turned the then-independent Baltic states over to the Soviet Union, thousands of demonstrators marked the occasion in the three Baltic capitals to sing independence songs and attend speeches commemorating Stalin's victims. The gatherings were sharply denounced in the official press and closely watched by the police but were not interrupted.
On October 17, 1987, about 3,000 Armenians demonstrated in Yerevan complaining about the condition of Lake Sevan, the Nairit chemicals plant, and the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, and air pollution in Yerevan.
Iran deployed Silkworm missiles to attack some ships, but only a few were actually fired, and in response to Iranian Silkworm missile attacks on Kuwaiti oil tankers, launched Operation Nimble Archer, destroying two Iranian oil rigs in the Persian Gulf.
On October 21, a demonstration dedicated to those who gave their lives in the 1918–1920 Estonian War of Independence took place in Võru, which culminated in a conflict with the militia. For the first time in years, the blue, black, and white national tricolor was publicly displayed.
His first major break came from his starring role in director Barry Levinson's Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), which earned Williams a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The film is set in 1965 during the Vietnam War, with Williams playing the role of Adrian Cronauer, a radio shock jock who keeps the troops entertained with comedy and sarcasm. Williams was allowed to play the role without a script, improvising most of his lines. Over the microphone, he created voice impressions of people, including Walter Cronkite, Gomer Pyle, Elvis Presley, Mr. Ed, and Richard Nixon. "We just let the cameras roll," said producer Mark Johnson, and Williams "managed to create something new for every single take."