Interview with war veterans of Art Center (2)

Shakh-e Shemiran, Shiller and end of war

Sara Rashadizadeh
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The final year of the eight-year Iraqi imposed war against Iran (1988) in the western fronts recalls famous mountainous battles such as Beit-al Moqaddas 4 in the altitudes such as Shakh-e Shemiran, Shakh-e Sourmer, Bardadkan, Darbandijan Lake, Toulebi Plain and Operation Mersad which can be considered somehow as the final points of the war. Rahmatollah Kheirollahi is a combatant who was fighting during this period. In an interview with the website of Iranian Oral History, he has reviewed the final year of the war, telling us short memoirs of his presence in the western fronts:


*When were you born, Mr. Kheirollahi?

*I was born on 27th of July 1970 in the town of Hashtroud in Eastern Azerbaijan Province.


*When were you dispatched to the battle fronts?

*I decided to go the war fronts in 1988. However, I had earlier resorted to be dispatched to the battle fronts but due to numerous reasons including my young age, they had opposed to my dispatch. Finally, like others with the same age as me, I managed to enroll in Malek Ashtar Base through manipulation and planning and was dispatched to the battle fronts.


*Where were you dispatched?

* First, we were dispatched to the western area. After arriving in Saqez, the entire forces were divided into two Shohada and Jondollah operational battalions. In this division, I was among the forces of Jondollah Operational Battalion.


*Were you sent immediately to the frontline in order to take part in an operation?

*First, we went to an area known as Shakh-e Shemiran near Darbandikhan Dam. It was the final phase of Operation Beit-al Moqadas 4 and we appeared as backup forces. We stayed there for three months.


*Your presence was concurrent with the final year of the war. How was the situation in those days?  

*We had been dispatched as backup forces and our mission was to preserve the strongholds of Iranian forces and the seized positions in the area of Shakh-e Shemiran and other areas such as a hill known as Al-Mahdi (PBUH). With the end of our mission, we came back to Saqez. But our return to Saqez was concurrent with the beginning of Operation Mersad. Thus we left for Islam Abad. After moving toward Islam Abad, we along with a group of combatants went toward Shiller Valley. There were three strategic hills in that area that we had to seize them. We managed to seize two of them and were on the verge of seizing the third one that I was injured in back and the right arm and hospitalized in Tehran's Firouzgar Hospital for two months. After this period, the war had come to an end and I never returned to the front.  

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