SABAH (99)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

Interviewed and Compiled by Fatemeh Doustkami
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian


SABAH (99)

Memoirs of Sabah Vatankhah

Interviewed and Compiled by Fatemeh Doustkami

Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

Published by Soore Mehr Publishing Co.

Persian Version 2019



We went to Jameh mosque. The public went inside the mosque and I stood at the door with the flag. It was a pleasant weather; a weather in which one liked to walk and fill their lungs. It was a good feeling in our dream. There was a feeling of satisfaction and joy in it. When I had woken up, I was feeling extremely well. It was as if this has happened when I was awake.

Despite the liberation of the city, the trend of transferring the patients to the hospital continued with the same hasty pace as before. The number of injured was so high that we had placed the wounded in the corridor on the floor. Some were lying in their beds and others in stretchers. It was a strange scene. Nobody was free even for one second. In lobby, emergency and new wards in the upper floors which we had prepared for the operation, it was full of injured. Although the speed of transferring the patients to other cities was high but the hospital was not spared of new patients even for one instance.

All did what they could. There was no specific task for each individual; including giving water to the patients to changing the serum and bandaging. We did everything, but not in normal conditions and like always. We did everything hastily. For one instance we were here and for another somewhere else. I had no control over my feet. I had been standing for so long that I didn’t feel the pain in my feet.

With the arrival of new wounded soldiers, our data on the operation increased every second. They talked about the progress of our forces and the positions they had stabilized. Although the number of injured and martyrs were high but it was not very significant in comparison to the extent of the operation. On the contrary to a few days ago, the updates we received from the conflicts in the frontlines were good news. The more passed the more progress our forces made. Our forces had been able to push the Iraqis back from Shalamcheh side.

We were standing on our feet until evening. We were so busy that we didn’t have the time to review our feelings about the liberation of Khorramshahr. When I wanted to walk in the backstreets of Khorramshahr in my dream, I had to do something and attend an injured. In the evening I had a bad feeling of sorrow. It was a strange feeling. A feeling mixed with joy and sadness. From one side dear Khorramshahr had been liberated and we could go back and gather all in one place, and from the other side imagining the empty places of those who had accompanied us in the resistance and war for Khorramshahr, was unbearable. I wanted to go somewhere and cry until relieved.

I had remembered Ghasem Farrokhi; remembering the time that he read the poem that we have to swim in the river of blood and made jokes; remembering the time that he pointed at our guns and said please hold your shovels up. How I missed Mohammad Jahan Ara and others? I wish he was there and could hear the news of the liberation of Khorramshahr and feel relieved. I wish he was alive and we could make our city again with him, his wisdom and the love Khorramshahr members had towards him; exactly like the first day, even better and prettier.

I was longing to see Khorramshahr. It wasn’t a joke! We had been away from our homes and living for one and a half year and now we had the chance to restart our lives and return to our city, a chance that was provided with the blood of our friends and brothers. I had no vision of the city. I didn’t know what had happened to the city while under the siege of the Iraqis.[1]

One month had passed since the liberation of Khorramshahr. Only God knew how much we were longing to see the city. When we talked about the city, they would tell us that the city is under quarantine. We have to make sure that the city has been cleansed completely and then take the sisters there. It had been a few days ago that Maryam had got married to an army member called Mr. Azarnia. I told Maryam to ask Mr. Azarnia to take us inside the city even for a few minutes. Maryam accepted and talked to Mr. Azarnia. He had answered that we had to wait and when the possibility is there, he will inform us.


To be continued…


[1]  As the occupation of Khorramshahr continues, Iraq is trying to maintain its last and most important lever of pressure to force Iran to participate in peace talks. Given the importance of the region in determining the fate of the war, the IRGC and the army designed and carried out Operation Jerusalem. In the main operation area, in the first phase, the Ahvaz-Khorramshahr road from km 68 to km 103 was captured and stabilized. In the second stage, while liberating more distance from this road, the advance towards the border began in the area of ​​Hosseinieh station. With this advance, the center of gravity of the enemy forces fell into the hands of its own forces, as a result of which Iraq, on the one hand, threatened its troops in Jafir on the other, and on the other hand, felt worried about maintaining Basra. Hence, Iraq feared a repeat of Operation Fath al-Mubin from a large area, including Hamid, Hoveyzeh and Jafir barracks. In the third stage, the invasion for the liberation of Khorramshahr began. However, the vigilance and concentration of the enemy forces in the defensive lines prevented the mission of the local forces from being carried out. In the fourth phase, the Fajr base was also in operation along with the three bases of Quds, Fatah and Nasr; the blockade of the Khorramshahr-Shalamcheh road and the supply of the Arayaz creek and the new bridge caused the Iraqi forces to surrender, and as a result, Khorramshahr was liberated at 11 o'clock on the 24 May 1382. In this operation, most of the intended goals were achieved, including 180 km of the border line. In this operation, 8 divisions and 15 independent Iraqi brigades were seriously damaged from 50 to 80 percent. "Adapted from the book Atlas of the Iran-Iraq War, Intensive Ground Wars, 22 September 1980 to 20 August, 1988 Holy Defense Documentation and Research Center of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Center for War Studies and Research).


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