A cut from Iran-Iraq War Chronicle book

Two narrations form Operation Beit al-Moaqaddas 2

First narration

Selected by Fatemeh Beheshti
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan

2024-1-23


From the morning of the first day[1] of Operation Beit al-Moqaddas 2, the efforts of the commanders are focused on continuing the operation and using the available opportunity, supporting the units, keeping the roads open and the like.

In addition to the remoteness of the route, which has made transporting the injured by land a serious problem, the unevenness of the Gordehrash road has made things worse. In the route of the Quds Headquarters, the Ma'out road is not in a good condition. The condition of the roads has also made it difficult to support the front line. In the meantime, the weather condition has become a determining factor and it is likely to get worse. Mohsen Rezaei [IRGC Commander] ordered Akbar Ghamkhar, the logistics head of the IRGC, to move three quarters of his facilities forward. He added: You should think that one third of this notch will be blocked in the next 50 days, so take most of the facilities forward.

At the same time, as the weather cleared, the commanders of the Najaf and Quds bases as well as the commanders of the units reviewed the latest situation in the region and also reorganized the battalions in the battle scene. In the vicinity of Najaf base, considering the necessity of a strong command and closer to the scene of the conflict, as well as bringing the troops into the Qomish Strait, after the morning prayer, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the deputy commander of Najaf base, along with Seyed Ali Hosseini, the head of the 313 Intelligence Brigade of Najaf base, and Akbar Daneshyar, went to the war zone. This was while Ismail Qa'ani, commander of Nasr Division, and Akbar Aghababaei, commander of Al-Ghadir Brigade, were also present in the region.

As soon as the weather became clear, Imam Hassan's 35th Brigade, which had advanced to Chatri Hill, proceeded towards Gordeh Shilan and managed to capture the enemy's positions on this height by 8 AM.

In the route of the 5th Nasr Division, after the presence of the deputy commander of the Najaf base in the vicinity of Lubyaee Hill, he organized a number of Waliullah battalion forces that were stationed on a part of Lubyaee hill, and directed them to the headquarters of the Iraqi battalion commander on this hill. After a fight, the commander of the enemy battalion and his special guard were killed and the rest of their forces, which were about 50 people, surrendered. Because during the previous night, the forces of the Nasr Division had not succeeded in capturing Kalleh Qandi and Panjehei Gojar hills, the commander of the Nasr Divison, while organizing the forces, sent the 3rd battalion, which was ready in Gordehrash since the night before, to Kalleh Qandi. After the capture of Kalleh Qandi, the tanks of this division changed their direction towards Panjehei Gojar and started firing at its lower ridges. This time too, the presence and direct fire of the tanks was effective in disrupting the enemy's situation, and the enemy forces stationed in Panjehei attempted to vacate the place and fled towards Gojar.[2]

Second narration

The second day of the Operation of Beit al-Moqaddas 2 is coming to an end, while the problems caused by the weather conditions and the unsuitable roads are still plaguing the operational units and bases, and a significant part of the time and energy has been spent on this task. Lots of mud on the ground and heavy and relatively constant snowfall as well as bone-chilling cold, especially at night, have taken a lot of strength from the forces. Moreover, the battalions generally do not have proper shelter and bunkers, and some troops sleep in tents that are not suitable shelters with a maximum of two blankets, but the cold is so much high that many of them walk outside the tents until morning and try to exercise to keep themselves warm. Everything is frozen and it is extremely cold.

Noor Ali Shooshtari, the commander of the Najaf Headquarters, told the IRGC Commander about the harsh weather conditions and the field of the operation in this afternoon's meeting: "The ground is a giant when you look closely. Brother Mohsen, it is very difficult for the guys to live with this snow and cold. The lower half of Gojar's height has at least 2 meters of snow, not a single bush or tree can be seen in all of it, everything is under snow."

Also, regarding the reason for not transferring the forces of units ready for the operation, he added: "We cannot bring forces from the rear and the road, there is a sticky mud from Gardehrash downwards that cannot be removed from the wheel of the car. The battalions that had entered the area due to the cold and..., have to go [back], they can't stand it anymore." In describing the abnormal situation of the troops, Shoushtari adds, "The guys are sleeping on the wet and muddy ground. Muddy faces, muddy clothes, etc., but [currently] the morale is good."

There is a similar situation in the area of Qods Headquarters. In the right area of this headquarters, due to the relatively good condition of the road, the supply of troops faces fewer problems, but in the left area, the 10th Division of Seyyed al-Shohada does not have a road line to supply its forces, so the elements in the unit line are supported by the supply forces, which are formed in the form of two companies.

The supply forces must bring the facilities and needs of the defense elements to the line after crossing the bridge built over the Ghaleh Cholan river, sometimes by mule and sometimes by people after walking several kilometers in the chest of the impassable height of Qomish, and then return and prepare for another supply. However, what was transported to the top of the mountain mostly consisted of ammunition and dry rations, so the troops in the line were mainly faced with a lack of water and heating devices. In a way that due to the extreme cold at the altitude, the troops have to keep their bodies warm from night to morning by being very active so as not to get frostbite in the excruciating cold. During the day, a similar situation prevails on these heights. So, in case of rain or snow, the combatants have to stay until morning in the existing trenches, which are wet and water drips from the roof.

Ali Abdollahi, the commander of the 52nd division, whose forces are facing such a situation, says: "We brought two battalions back to the town of Ma'aut... [the first line] was supposed to be cleared and we cross by 9 pm, but it took until 3 am. The two battalions were very muddy and wet and scattered, we brought them back."

Improper weather conditions, extreme cold and lots of mud, which has made walking very difficult are still continuing. This comes as today, compared to yesterday, the enemy puts more pressure on the units in the line by bringing in new units and concentrating firepower. The fire of the Iraqi forces has become more accurate and intense compared to the previous days, and this has somewhat prevented the proper provision and support of the frontline forces. The inappropriate situation of preparing and evacuating the wounded, especially in the defense line of Seyyed al-Shohada Division in a small rock (at the height of Qomish), is more noticeable due to the lack of a road and the distance and the existence of enemy fire. In the last two days, due to unfavorable weather and thick fog, the aviation unit has not managed to transfer the equipment to the front lines.

The damaged road has also caused problems in providing the conditions to advance the cannons and perform effective over the enemy. In this afternoon's meeting about the need to use effective fire, the IRGC commander said to the commanders of the Najaf Headquarters and the Qods Headquarters: "Mr. Shooshtari, Mr. Aziz [Jafari], we will pour the whole fire we have on them tonight, because our barrier to the next positions is only these two heights. We need intense fire for these two by now. All our fire (ammunitions and artillery) should be concentrated here. Make the enemy desperate." Regarding the issue of fire, which is emphasized by the commander of the IRGC, Shooshtari says: "We do not have fire, Haji." Rezaei: "You can't do it without fire, at least bring the mini Katyushas. "Put your artillery forward now, the danger is that if we go forward, the fires will be left behind." Brother Aziz Jafari: "Now a battery of the 27th division has been stuck under the snow and they have gone to pull it out with a bulldozer."

This comes as in the scene of the conflict, the fire of the friendly artillery has not been successful so far and the enemy is easily moving and providing and supporting his forces in a distance of about 2 to 3 kilometers (between the heights of Olaghlu and Dolbeshk). The local units have so far not been able to stop the heavy movement of the enemy by performing concentrated fire on the road."[3]

 

 

 [1] Operation Beit al-Moqaddas 2 began on 25th Dey, 1366 (January 15, 1988) in the Qomish-Sulaimaniyeh region, with the code of Ya Zahra (PBUH) and continued until 2nd of Bahaman (January 22) of the same year. Despite the winter season and the excruciating cold and numerous obstacles, examples of which are stated in the above two narrations, during this operation, the combatants of Islam were able to capture 40 heights including "Ural", "Kolaleh", "Harmadan" and deal heavy blow on the Ba’athist enemy.

[2] Izadi, Yadollah, Ardestani, Hossein, Iran-Iraq War Chronicle; The fifty-third book – V. 1; The Great Winter Battle on the Northern Front (Operation Beit al-Moqaddas 2), The West’s Attempt to Embargo on Iran’s Arms, Publisher: The Center for Holy Defense Documents and Research, 1398 (2018), p. 57.

[3] ibid. P. 91.



 
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