The 343rd Night of Memoir-1

Compiled by: Leila Rostami
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2023-8-23


The 343rd Night of Memoir was held on Thursday 26th of January 2022 in the Surah Hall of the Art Center with the presence of a group of soldiers and families of the Malik Ashtar Battalion of the Muhammad Rasoolullah (PBUH) Army and honoring the memory of the martyrs of this battalion, especially the martyr Mohammad Reza Karur. In this program, which was hosted by Davoud Salehi, the veteran and captures Mohammad Rostamifar, Saeed Tahuna and Nusratullah Akbari shared their memories.

 

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The first narrator of the program was Mohammad Rostamifar. He went to the front in 1982 at the age of 14. He was wounded in one leg and captured. He returned to the country in the exchange of prisoners in 1984; but he decided to go to the front again. He was exposed to chemicals in the dawn 8 and Karbala 5 operations and was injured in his back, abdomen and side and was hospitalized for 16 months. After that, he returned to the front and remained in the front for 45 days after the adoption of Resolution 598, but he did not consider his mission finished and later went to Syria as a defender of the shrine.

At the beginning of his memoirs, the narrator said: In the Karbala 4 operation, we went to the point of liberation, but the operation was stopped. We came back and prepared for Karbala 5 operation. At that time, I was the owner of Ashtar's rotating equipment. Usually, during the operation nights, the equipment children were divided into companies and groups. I was also assigned to Malik Ashtar battalion. Malik Ashtar Battalion had 3 companies; Ruhollah Company, Seyyed al-Shohda Company and Shahid Beheshti Company. I was sent to Seyyed al-Shohda Company and Saeed Hosni Martyr Group for the 5th Karbala operation.

I woke up from the dream I had in Karkheh at night. I saw some children praying at night, some sitting and eating bread, cheese and vegetables, including Martyr Saeed Hosni. I said to Saeed: I just had a dream and I think that there is nothing left of you. He laughed and said [jokingly]: The worthless need no protection! Of course, he meant himself who was martyred in the operation. He said: What happened? I said: In reality, I dreamed that there was only light in the tent, nothing else. The comrades were moving but they were all light and I feel like... They didn't let me continue and started laughing. I also sat next to them to eat bread, cheese and vegetables.

The narrator continued: This story passed until we reached the front of Martydom Crossroad [[i]]. The column was advancing. Ruhollah's company was in front, Seyed al-Shohda's company was in the middle, and Shahid Beheshti Company was behind Seyed al-Shohda Company. Saeed Hosni's division was the last division of Seyyed al-Shahda Company. Exactly one night has passed since the operation and we entered the area on the second day of the operation. Malik Ashtar Battalion was supposed to start the operation from Shahadah Highway. The night before, the children of Ansar and the children of Hamza's battalion were on the line. At the same time, before we reached Shahadah highway, the Iraqis were bombing. They hit the area with mortars, cannons and helicopter rockets, which hit the side of the column. I remember how many people were injured and some battalion staff were decommissioned. Martyr Amini, a wireless router, was cut in half from the waist.

After passing a turn, there was a martyr's three way in front of us. After Ruhollah and Seyyed al-Shohda companies, we were the last group to pass. Approximately 3 mortars came in the middle of our group, whose commander was Saeed Hosni. The whole group of about 40 comrades fell on the ground. Saeed said: What should we do? I said: Nothing, let's start closing. I had a series of relief equipment, and I also took a series of comrades and started to fasten them one by one. I said to Saeed: Saeed! This pressure causes us to withdraw. Let's put these kids in the cars coming from behind that won't fit. He said ok.

The narrator continued: Saeed Hosni, martyr Abbas, and I were closing the wound when we saw a series of 106 vehicles, tanks, and PMPs coming towards the rear. I stopped in the middle of the road. The road was so narrow that they had to either pass over us or stop. By standing, there was a risk of being hit by mortars and rockets at any moment. I was standing in the middle of the road with a cane, cars were stopping, Saeed and Abbas were putting some of the wounded and martyrs into the car. The drivers thought that my leg was cut at that moment and said: brother, let's jump up, there is no place to stop. It happened that Saeed and Abbas were no longer able to lift the children and put them inside the PMP. I asked the driver to stop for a moment so that we can move them. Saeed and Abbas used to lift the dead bodies or injured bodies of children; I used to go under them with my neck and my stomach and we would have fun on the tank or wherever it was.

They hit the road hard. Reza Naqashkhosh's forehead was cracked and blood was coming out two meters high. I thought he was martyred then. I put a pad on his forehead and closed it. I told Abbas to go behind the embankment, the three of us are too many on the road. Abbas was walking when a mortar hit the road from behind. There was water on both sides of the road. I turned back for a moment and saw that a shrapnel hit Abbas in the forehead and he was martyred. Saeed said: What happened? I said: Abbas is also martyred.

Only Abbas and Reza Naqashkhosh were left on the road. A car came, I jumped in the middle of the road and begged God to let us put these comrades in the car. The driver said: They were martyred, let them stay. I said: No. I also swore that they are stupid! I myself thought that they were martyred when we put Reza Naqashkhosh next to the driver of car and Abbas under the pipe of 106. I don't know how Reza survived! Later, he used to jokingly say: If you didn't arrest me and let me stay, at least my family would have been among the martyrs' family, the Shahid Foundation would have given my mother a sewing machine! He always said this and we laughed. Later, Reza Naqashkhosh was martyred in the operation of Beit al-Maqdis 2.

The narrator continued: When it got dark, we passed Shahadat highway and entered the canal. At one point in the channel, I found a lot of mental conflict. I said to myself: "So-and-so, you don't have any duty, as the famous saying says, you were a prisoner, you became a veteran, and for someone who is injured, who... and in one of them, I was praying that the commander of the brigade, Haj Nusratullah Akbari, would see me and say, Rostami, you are right." Don't you come forward! After that, I hit my healthy foot on the ground and my head on the wall of the canal a couple of times, wondering what I was thinking. I asked God for help. When they ordered to get up, get out of the canal and go to the plain, thank God that fear, thought and imagination stayed in the canal. I remember they ordered that everyone should sleep when there is a flash or shooting. It rained a bit at night and the ground was wet. I fell asleep a couple of times and got up and saw that my hands were covered in mud, and because my hands were slipping, I could no longer walk with a cane. I talked to God in my mind and said that it is true that our commander said that you should sleep, but I will not sleep anymore. God, solve it somehow. Later, friends said that we were sleeping and saw the artist's arrow go through the cane and under your feet. I did not understand then.

The narrator went on to say: I remember that Asghar Saberi went on a number of tanks and destroyed them. We reached an asphalt road three kilometers near Basra. They said: Sir, we have to defend here. We went back and forth a couple of times and made a trench. It was very difficult for me to make this trench. The commander, Haj Nusratullah Akbari, ordered around eleven o'clock in the morning to tell the children that there is going to be a retreat. Injured children go back as far as they can. I was tying up the injured children in the line when one of the injured sat on my cane and my cane got bent. I came to fix it, it broke in half. I didn't even have a spare cane. I started to tell the comrades that the commander said that anyone can go back, and I started to go back myself. Now that we were ten meters away from the embankment, we were in the crosshairs of the Iraqis. It was like a hill. They left the quadrilateral there and beat people. The tanks surrounded us. The helicopter came over us and saw that we didn't have much equipment. I came back with a broken cane and wounded friends about two and a half kilometers so that we would not be in the crosshairs of the Iraqis and be able to go back.

 

To be continued…

 


[i] Bridgehead; the bridge connected to the west of the Mahi Canal was called by the fighters of the operational units in Karbala 5, including the commanders of the 27th Division of the Prophet (PBUH).



 
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