Interview with war veterans of Art Center (3)

Dowlatkhah: Karbala (I) was my first and last operation

Sara Rashadizadeh
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


Note: Farq Ali Dowlatkhah is one of the veterans of the eight-year Iraqi imposed war against Iran who was injured in the first operation he was present and still reviewing his memoris of those days in his mind and memory. The website of Iranian Oral History has conducted an interview with this war veteran:


*What happened that you were dragged toward the war and front?

*I am Farq Ali Dowlatkhah born on 22nd of April 1967 in one of the villages of the city of Ardebil. I went to the war fronts as a force of the Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC) exactly on 8th of June 1986. Since I was a member of the Bsiji (volunteer) forces, I did not take part in the military training and was sent directly to Mehran front.


*Did you take part in any military operation?

*Yes. The Operation Karbala One started one month later for liberation of Mehran and I was supposed to take part in the operation. I was sent to Hor's Brigade 72 in Mehran. But exactly at the night of the operation, the mortars started shelling and without understanding what had happened, I opened my eyes and saw that I was in the hospital.


*Had you been injured?

*During the mortar shelling at that night, I suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and when I recovered in the hospital I found out that what had happened to me.


*What happened after that? Did you come back to the war front or were returned to the back?

*I along with other wounded forces was sent to the city of Kermanshah in order to transfer us to Tehran via plane. I was said there that the priority was with those who had wounded physically. I, who felt fine to some extent, said I would stay. But since I suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, I was sent to Tehran before the next operation started and never came back to the front.


*Do you have any remarkable memory from those days?

*I was in the war fronts for a short period. But I remember that one night it was my turn to guard. It was announced that we were attacked by the Komemleh terrorist outfit. The commander ordered me to stay but I did not accept and along with others advanced as backup forces. I saw there that the members of the Komeleh outfit started shooting at us by machine guns and were taken one of us as captive. We insisted to chase them but the commanders did not agree and the next morning, during the search, we faced with the mutilated body of that captive who had been martyred. 

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