The 332nd Night of Memory- 3

Compiled by: Sepideh Kholousian
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad

2022-03-02


Note: The 332nd Night of memory was held on Thursday, January 27, 2022, in the presence of the defense staff of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Soureh Hall of the Arts Center, by Davood Salehi. In this ceremony, Brigadier General Ibrahim Merati, Colonel Khosrow Khatib Ghavami, and Colonel Seyed Ahmad Kia narrated their memories.

    The third narrator of the program was Colonel Seyyed Ahmad Kia, a colonel for the Hunting Control Unit who had participated in several operations during the eight years of the sacred defense. In 1981, he took an active part in Operation Beit-al-Moqadas Road in Bostan and Susangard war fronts, and after that, in 1982, he played a major role in Operation Beit-al-Moqadas, which led to the conquest of Khorramshahr. He is proud to be with Amir Major General Mansour Sattari during that period. Colonel Kia was appointed as the Deputy Commander and Head of Operations of the Tactical Radar Site in the southwest of the country in 1985 by the order of this martyr, who was then the Deputy Chief of Air Defense Operations of the Army. He believes that at some point in the war, such as receiving aid from the East and the West, from the Soviet Union to France, sending new planes to Saddam, our defense would be under effected by powerful Ba'athist air force; But something happens, and with the advent of air defense doctrine, the situation changed. The airstrikes and bombings culminated in refineries and cities, and often border bombings, followed by airstrikes that left Iraq four months before the war with an Antonov-2 aircraft carrying seven Iraqi leaders, besides two pilots, entered the country. On the other side of the border, two MiG-23s were providing air support and were waiting for their return. At that time, the heroic radar of Dehloran, which was captured and destroyed by the Ba'athists in Iraq on the sixth day of the war, was proud of all its shortcomings. On September 22, we witnessed the bombing of nineteen cities and eleven airbases by Iraqi Mirage planes. At 2:00 p.m., Mehrabad Airport was bombed and other bases were bombed in the same way on other nights.

     When the war broke out, Iran's first strong response to Iraq was that during two phases of flight, four phantom aircraft flew under the control and guidance of radars from a third hunting base, guided by Subashi radar, they coordinated their strike plan against the Iraqis at the Kirkuk base in northern Iraq just two hours after the airstrike. The second stage was that our flights started from the sixth hunting base of Bushehr and crashed the Shoaibiyeh base at four and thirty-five minutes. Thus, when the war broke out, they received a strong response two hours after the airstrike, and the next day, the "Kaman 99" operation team with 140 aircraft under control, guided by air defense radars, flew over Iraqi bases from north to south in the region and fired Iraqi borders forces.

     But the missions were just beginning and we had to be active on the radar sites. One day I was given a mission card. I had just returned from the mission, but because it was an emergency at the time, I had to do the mission. Major Razavi was the head of our operations in the Tehran group, and I obeyed. Tomorrow morning, at Terminal 330 of Mehrabad, I met Mr. Sargardi with wheat-colored hair and earthy khaki clothes. The labels we had on our chests indicated who was belonged to the radar forces, who was belonged to the ground forces, or who was belonged to the missile forces. When I noticed the etiquette of his name, I paid military tribute to "Major Mansour Sattari" and introduced myself. As far as Ahwaz, we talked in the car about the Ahwaz radar, which at that time the Iraqis had still stationed 15 km from Hamid's barracks. We had to find close coordination with the radar of Bandar Imam. The radar of Bandar Imam was the place of Major Sattari's mission. From the next day, we entered the Ahwaz site - Sunrise Sunset - our devices were ready to cover and defend the air and notify any type of bird on the radar board to the command and control center. Finally, at that time, there were still 17 days left until Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas Road, I just found out that according to this operation, which was aimed at air defense, some comrades there were going to reinforce these radar sites from Dezful, Ahvaz, Behbahan, as well as Bandar Imam. This was our mission and we waited for various notifications to reach us. During the day we were ready to face the enemy airstrikes.

     It was on the 28th November 1982 that the operation started at 10 pm and we prepared for the operation with the code "Ya Hussein (PBUH)". The first time in the morning, we were waiting for the detection, identification, interception, and clashes with enemy planes in the announced situation. After the operation began, when Iraq was newly equipped and armed by the French with F-1 Mirage aircraft, we felt a confrontation with the aircraft. It is worth noting that some Iraqi Mirage planes as well as our air defense positions and missile sites for a year and a half were destroyed by Scramble Air Patrol aircraft. It was at 10 o'clock that with the information we gave to the pilot, we were able to lock the plane on the first Iraqi aircraft, which was jointly controlled by Dezful radar and Ahwaz air radar by the F-14 air patrol, and swayed and fired the Iraqi plane in the southwestern plain and captured its pilot. This was a scene from the air conflict that was very close and we could see with our own eyes from the space of the site that was built in the hills of Ahvaz. They fired the first plane and the second. Unfortunately, at 4 pm, the Iraqis, with the help of their advisers, made a trap. The aircraft came up and with its maneuvers caused Dezful radar to direct and mislead the aircraft to the other side. So, unfortunately, two Mirage planes came under the F-14 plane so that it could fire on our plane at least from a distance of 60 km, and unfortunately, our F-14 plane crashed. We watched the F-14 pilots jump. The first eject was done, the comrades said, "Allah Akbar, we shoot the plane." Anyway, one of our planes was fired by the enemy.

     "Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas lasted 45 days," the narrator went on to say," After Operation Fath al-Mubin, which began on the 22nd March of 1983, in the Khuzestan region of the Dasht-e Abbas, they no longer gave the Ba'athist enemy a chance and planed a second operation. Martyr Sayyad Shirazi commanded the operation and was constantly present at the Dezful Air Operations Base, setting out guidelines for the then Air Force defense commanders to get the best results in a process. During Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas, about 48 Iraqi Mirage planes were shot down by the air defense systems and the HAWK missiles, which did a great job under the command of the regional control, as well as they fired Radar Close Control of Bandar Imam and destroyed it, and this was only a prelude to attack Ba'athist planes; This means that we can take back our lands after the occupation and in the third phase we will punish the aggressor. At this time, small and large operations began and I was still serving on the radar site in Karaj when martyr Sattari was appointed deputy director of air defense operations and I was asked to move to Mahshahr with my family to be the site commander and chairman. I told him that if I wanted to be the site commander, I would know the concerns of this radar in terms of support, logistics, communications, public relations, and so on. If we want to plan here, I suggested you send me as Chief of Operations. So they chose the late Hamid Reza Amiraslani and together we went to the Mahshahr area where our Khuzestanۥs forces were stationed. The comrades felt that they were strangers there. There was even a guard there named Mash Rahim. He used to say: "Oh guy, don’t worry. As you go, I take care of Ali's children here." My son's name was Ali. When I told these words to my wife, she said: "I am afraid of Mash Rahim. How should he take care of us?" This is a memory of the family with us who, despite the hardships and homelessness, were with us on various fronts, and we were able to do our service in the 8 years of sacred defense with this hope.

      At the end of the program, with the presence of the commanders of the country's air force, the book "Shooting in the Sky" was introduced, and the book "Islamic Revolution 1979" was unveiled. The book "Islamic Revolution 1979" is about the events before, during, and after the revolution, which talks about the events and challenges that occur from Fajr decade[1] to the victory of the revolution and the 22nd of Bahman. After that, he deals with the honors of the revolution and the factors that led to the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. It then refers to the achievements and events that followed. This book deals only with the events of the revolution from the constitutional period and the Pahlavi regime to the revolution, and very few memoirs are included in it. The book "Shooting in the Sky" is a collection of memoirs of Mohammad Mostafavifar, Air Defense Captain of the Iran-Iraq War, written by Ebrahim Zahedia Motlagh, which was published in 2017 by Surah Mehr Publications.

 


[1] The Fajr decade is a ten-day celebration of Ruhollah Khomeini's return to Iran in 197



 
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