Operation Dawn 3
Mehran, Ilam Province, Iran
The Iranians attempted to further exploit activities in the north on 30 July 1983, during Operation Dawn-3. Iran saw an opportunity to sweep away Iraqi forces controlling the roads between the Iranian mountain border towns of Mehran, Dehloran and Elam. Iraq launched airstrikes, and equipped attack helicopters with chemical warheads; while ineffective, it demonstrated both the Iraqi general staff's and Saddam's increasing interest in using chemical weapons. In the end, 17,000 had been killed on both sides, with no gain for either country.