Because the Iranian war effort relied on popular mobilization, their military strength actually declined, and Iran was unable to launch any major offensives after Karbala-5. As a result, for the first time since 1982, the momentum of the fighting shifted towards the regular army. Since the regular army was conscription based, it made the war even less popular. Many Iranians began to try to escape the conflict. As early as May 1985, anti-war demonstrations took place in 74 cities throughout Iran, which were crushed by the regime, resulting in some protesters being shot and killed.