Apr 26, 2013, 3:44 AM
News Code: 80630549
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Iran marks US defeat anniversary in Tabas desert

Tehran, April 26, IRNA -- Iran marked the 33rd anniversary of a failed US military operation on the Iranian soil which was engineered to secure the release of the US spy den (embassy) staff who were held as captive in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

On Thursday, thousands of Iranians from the city of Tabas in Central Iran and other neighboring cities gathered in Tabas to mark the annual commemoration ceremony.

A number of local officials and religious figures also joined the people. The participants of the ceremony chanted 'down with the US' during the event.

On April 25, 1980, the United States launched a covert military operation, known as Operation Eagle Claw, in an attempt to airlift the US Embassy staff held in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

However, a sandstorm hit and brought down the group of US military aircraft in the Tabas desert, killing eight American servicemen and leaving the mission aborted.

Inspections showed a helicopter crashed into a C-130 Hercules transport plane as five other choppers were stranded in the storm.

The units involved in the operation were the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

During the Thursday ceremony, the wreckage of the American planes and helicopters, which had been ruined in the sandstorm, was also displayed.

The Tabas incident occurred during the administration of former US President Jimmy Carter and many believe it played a major role in Carter's defeat in the 1980 presidential election.

Every year, Iranians commemorate the US defeat in its military operations in Tabas.