Memories from Basiji Brother Hajj Ahmad Ghadirian

Selected by Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi

2023-10-10


After September 22, 1980, following Iraq's attacks on Iran, it was intended to train groups and send to the region to defend cities and attack enemy headquarters.[1]

The training of these groups was done theoretically in the houses that were prepared in different parts of Tehran, and during practical steps, they were sent to the determined shooting ranges. These ranges were one on the Jajroud Road called “Telo Shooting Range” and the other one was in the mountains near the shrine of Abdul Azim called “Hills and Mountains of Mesgarabad.” After training, these groups were sent to the south and west of the country, and settled in Ahvaz schools. Of course, the location of these bases was reported to the enemy by the fifth column, and Iraq targeted them with Khamsa Khamsa [means Five]; unfortunately, a number of loved ones were injured and died a martyr in these attacks, whose photos have been recorded.

The troops were stationed at a mosque called “Imam Zaman (AS)” in Sarpole-e Zahab (west of the country), which was later targeted by Iraqi forces and several missiles hit it. There was another headquarters under the command of our martyred brother Boroujerdi in Sarpol-e Zahab for night attacks. This was the situation in the south and west at that time. In those days, most of the troops were sent to the west and south of the country by our martyred brother Hajj Mohammad Kachoei. He had planned to go to the fronts with food and provisions along a number of troops on Wednesday afternoon, and return on Friday afternoon to be at work on Saturday.

At that time, there were internal conflicts with the hypocrites, and brother Kachoei was jailer. I (Ghadirian) was also in charge of the executive office of the revolution prosecutor and all prisons in Tehran.

One day, in the afternoon, in Sarpol-e Zahab, Hajj Mohammad Boroujerdi came to the mosque and announced that I needed some troops. I want to do an attack against the Baathist enemy. I said our forces have gone to the east side of the bridge, use Mr. Vesali's forces.[2] Brother Boroujerdi said we have used Vesali’s forces.

In any case, we did not have more than 8 troops in the headquarters, and handed over 6 of them to Mr. Boroujerdi. Two of us stayed at the headquarters; Alireza Eslami and I.

Sarpol-e Zahab was deserted. There was no family and there was no sound except gunshots. The Iraqis had caught the traitors and were moving towards Sarpol-e Zahab. The army (AJA) forces and sometimes IRGC and Basij brothers were in Abuzar barracks. The barracks were under the control of AJA. The garrison was in charge of a colonel who was appointed by the then president Bani-Sadr. At that time, we could clearly see that the forces of IRGC and Basij and those who were stationed in Sarpol-e Zahab, and were defending the houses were in dire straits in terms of food, and when we went to get supplies, they said no rations have been received for you.

Later, we found out that the commander of the barracks was a person connected to the foreigners. After the arrest, we found out that he did not let the sent quota to be given to the brothers. In any case, Mr. Eslami and I were there at night. At around 11:5 PM, we were guarding the courtyard of the mosque and keeping an eye on the situation.

We had put a chain on the door of the mosque so that no one could enter. It was past 12 o'clock when we noticed they were knocking on the door. I approached and asked who is behind the door and what do you want to see me about? He said open the door, I have something to do. I went closer and saw he was one of my friends. He had come from the headquarters of the late martyr Vesali. He said, if you turn the radio on, you will hear the sound of enemy helicopters, and that Iraq is disembarking troops nearby. Leave here. No one stayed in the mosque. We will inform all the surrounding headquarters. Mr. Eslami and I opened the door of the mosque and entered the street. The street was quiet and dark. There was no back and forth.

We moved. When we reached at the end of the street, the sound of helicopters could be heard. We didn't understand what the helicopters were trying to do, so we turned back anyway. We put the machine guns, weapons and ammunition that were on the top floor of the mosque in a van. We covered them and left the mosque.

We put the car in a yard that could not be seen and it was supposed to watch in turn. When it was my turn to rest, I wanted to sleep. But I couldn’t sleep due to worry. It was 2 o'clock in the midnight when I went to watch so that Mr. Eslami could go and rest. He did not accept and we both kept watch until 4 a.m. o'clock. When we turned on the radio, the radio receiver picked up the sound of helicopters. After Adhan, we prayed in turn and then it’s light out. It was around 6 o'clock that the forces who had gone to the front line to suppress the enemy returned to the headquarters to rest. Sound of gunfire was heard. The guys did not let the Iraqis advance. We were waiting for 6 more people that we had given to our brother Mr. Boroujerdi. It was 10 o'clock and the brothers (Hajj Javad Eslami, Hajj Abbas, Hajj Qasem, and some others) still did not come. I went in front of Mr. Boroujerdi's command office, there was no news of him. It was around 11:30-12:00 when we realized that Mr. Boroujerdi had led them to a summit overlooking the area where the Iraqis were involved. The Iraqis have identified and targeted there. Finally, we were able to find the deputy of martyr Boroujerdi. We asked him where are these forces? He said you should wait until it gets dark so that we can save them from that summit. At this time, one of my friends came and said I know which summit they are on; let's go there together. We took some provisions and moved towards the main road, but since it was daylight, the main road was in the enemy's crosshairs. When we entered the axis, a missile was launched and hit an AJA’s car, four of its occupants were burned and died a martyr. I said to one of brother if we go further, the same fate will definitely happen to us, and it is impossible for us to go forward in this situation where rockets are launched every few meters. We returned to our headquarters by car.

Almost half an hour later, around 1:30 p.m., we found out that the loved ones were brought. These brothers returned in a difficult situation, their clothes were torn, they were injured, and some of them did not have any weapons with themselves.

When I asked them what was going on, they said, “The enemy had identified us and as soon as it’s light out, they set fire there; as we could not leave the place. Finally, at 11:30, one of the AJA rangers came to us with a special trick and told the guys if you want to be saved, tie your equipment and weapons back and slide down the mountain until you reach the groove. There they will no longer see you and the vehicle is waiting to take you to the headquarters. That dear person prepared us one by one, and we left there a weapon like G3 which should be tied on the stomach. He said, “We will bring them to you when it gets dark.” There was a long distance from the summit to the bottom, so our shirts were torn and our hands were injured.

 

Source: Ayatollah Beheshti Cultural Complex (ed.) (2001), The epic of Eight Years of Sacred Defense; what was going on in the fronts? (Vol. 2), Sacred Defense Publications, Vol. 1, p. 102.

 


[1] The memories contained in this series are written by loved ones.

[2] Mr. Asghar and Esmaeil Vesali along with their wives who were serving there; later both brothers died a martyr.



 
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