Memories of Sardar Sayyid Rahim Safavi of the Days of War

Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


I who was in charge of commanding the Kurdistan Revolutionary Guard Corps until end of Mehr 1359 SH (October 1980); with the onset of war and critical situation of war zones, especially in Khuzestan region, after 34 days since the beginning of the war, ordered by Maj. Gen. Yousef Kolahdooz, deputy of chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards, we went to Khuzestan along with one hundred and a few IRGC brothers, and with some semi-heavy weapon and equipment, and brother Rasoul Yahi was appointed as commander of Kurdistan. Among the brothers and friends who came to Ahvaz with me were martyr Maj. Gen. Hossein, Kharrazi Brigadier General Sayyed Ali Bani-Lohi, Sardar Asghar Sabouri, martyr Radanipour, and Sardar Ali Zahedi. I remember that as soon as we entered Ahvaz, in Chahar Shir Square, several cannonballs suddenly hit the ground around us. The guys quickly got out of Simorgh pickup trucks, which at the time were IRGC's organizational cars and Toyota Pickup Trucks were not yet used as military cars, and each took shelter in a corner until the situation returned to normal. I was able to find a school nearby to settle forces, and then I went to the Ahvaz IRGC and found out about military situation in the area by the brothers in charge of that base. We arrived at Ahvaz on November 1, 1980.

It was in the same Ahvaz’s IRGC that I found out that Khorramshahr had collapsed, Abadan was also surrounded by nearly 270 degrees, and Iraqis crossed Karun River and seized roads of Ahvaz-Abadan and Mahshahr- Abadan. Among the other cities in Khuzestan occupied by Iraqis were Susangerd and Bostan. The only place where enemy forces were forced to retreat was during crossing Bahmanshir River, which was defeated heavily by the region's popular forces. Of course, in the west of the country, after crossing international borders and capturing the border heights, in the early days of the war, Iraqis seized regions of Sumar, Sarpol-e Zahab, Naft Shahr and Qasr-e-Shirin, and proceeded step by step into Iranian territory.

After being informed of the situation in the region and receiving information from the battle lines and clashing with the enemy, I was dispatched to Darkhovin axis together with my comrades who had come from Kurdistan. Darkhovin is located opposite Shadegan and is about 40 kilometers far from Abadan. After settling the guys in the palm groves and entrenching them, our first problem was provision and support of the forces stationed on this axis. There wasn't even a resting place for the forces, and we slept hard at night under these palm trees despite many mosquitoes. Worst of all was nutrition of the forces that we barely prepared two meals in a day, from the garrison of Shadegan’s IRGC, which was of course a small and poor base financially and logistically; but thanks to God, with the same basic facilities, food was provided, however little, and was divided among the forces. The next problem was cleaning, bathing and supplying the forces' clothes. As I stated, no facilities could reach the fronts in those early days and months of the war, and supporting and logistics of the forces were very poor. When our clothes got dirty, we would wash them in the same streams in the palm groves and we wore them as they were completely wet or wore a fabric until our clothes would dry. In short, we didn't have two clothes, but with all these difficulties and hardships, the guys never showed weakness, and presence of these forces on Darkhovin axis did not allow the enemy to enter the area; until one day, the watchdog brothers reported that two or three Iraqi tanks had advanced on the western part of Karun River and shot a few direct tank bullets, and had fired the building of Darkhovin gendarmerie outpost that caused the gendarmerie forces evacuate there and left after a little resistance. For a few days, we had monitored situation of the outpost, but there was no news from the gendarmerie forces; I, together with a few of the brothers, decided to examine directly situation of the outpost. When I entered the outpost building[1],  I saw how good it was! It had several rooms, dormitory, rest rooms and its toilets were all in order, even in the kitchen of the outpost, equipment of cooking and dining were in order. There were also some old weapons such as Bazooka and the Gendarmery forces hadn’t taken these tools with themselves. We who wished for having such place, after a month we finally found a shelter for the guy to rest and decided to transfer all the forces from the palm groves in the area to this outpost. This place quickly became the base for stationing of IRGC forces on the frontlines of Darkhovin, and when we were doing operation and moving forward, the same base became our rear and logistic basis and Emergency (dispensary) of the forces deployed from IRGC and the Basij to the Darkhovin axis.[2]


[1] It was built like a fortress.

[2] Najafpour, Majid (2004) Memories of Sardar Sayyed Rahim Safavi; From Southern Lebanon to Southern Iran, Islamic Revolution Document Center, V. 1, Tehran, p. 232.

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