Being Attended among the Martyrs at the Time of New Year

Memoirs of Nejat-Ali Eskandari

Compiled by: Faezeh Sassanikhah
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2022-4-12


In March 1982, I had returned to the front from a vacation when it was announced that the area was completely ready to operate. We spent the new year in the trenches and among friends and colleagues, and as soon as the radio announced the end of 1983, we all hugged and greeted each other with deep intimacy and love and congratulated New Year.

At the moment when we were all sitting together cleaned and bathed in laundry, I did not think that everyone sitting around this tablecloth would be martyred soon and I would be the only one to see the end of the year. I spent that Nowruz (New Year) among the martyrs.

In the days leading up to Nowruz, activities had increased in the area. Some buses which were covered by placards "Visiting of Arj Factory Workers or Iran National" entered the area. The bus curtains were closed and the driver was a non-militant. All the forces were Basij (volunteer soldiers) and members of the revolutionary guard corps who entered the line under protection so that the fifth column (enemy's secret agent) would not be found. Ammunition and supplies also came in large quantities. Storage[1] was full of consumables.

Immediately after the turn of New Year, we were justified that a big operation will start in twelve hours and, God willing, we will give a great new year to the Iranian nation. During that time, everyone was required to inspect weapons, combat clothing, vehicles, sleep and rest equipment, and receive basic ammunition. After eleven o'clock at night, we all put on our hats and sat ready in the trenches. At 30 minutes in the morning, the code of the operation was announced on the radios, and at the same time, the heavy and long-range artillery of Iran started firing. The artillery fire was so heavy that I had never seen such powerful artillery from the beginning of the war. I, who was in charge of a 120-gauge mortar shell, fired for an hour with a group of four fighters who had announced. At two o'clock they announced to move forward. The Takfiri forces had succeeded in crushing the enemy on the East Coast. When we reached the Karkheh River, the engineering units were building a bridge over the river.

It was the watery season of the rivers, and Karkheh was so roaring that it shook the military bridges, and crossing the bridges was not without fear. Many soldiers had crossed this side and could not cross. At any threat or pressure, we forced them to cross the bridge. Fortunately, nothing happened and by four o'clock in the morning, more than two divisions with full equipment and military vehicles crossed the Karkheh bridges, and at sunrise, we were stationed a few kilometers off the west coast. The enemy who had lost Karkheh was terrified and fought hard. I went into the intelligence bunker to do something and saw that the intelligence officer was wiretapping the enemy. Voices and shouts of Iraqi commanders could be heard on every frequency. Their voices were filled with terror.

 


[1] It includes the number of personnel, and vehicles required for a logistical support unit. The constituent categories of coriander are company, battalion and brigade.



 
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