Moving to Paveh

Compiled by: Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


The terrible news of Paveh reached the center, and the army and the Guards Corps were ordered to help, but it did not give results, and it was feared that Paveh would also suffer the fate of Marivan and a heinous massacre by the Democratic Party and other prominent leftists would take place there.

On behalf of the then government, I was given a mission to personally go to Paveh and try to resolve the Paveh case through negotiations and a peaceful way, like Marivan, and prevent further bloodshed.

I, along with General Falahi; with the commander of the ground forces, some ammunition and three members of the Prime Minister's Guards, left Kermanshah for Paveh with a helicopter on 16 August 1979.

The helicopter appeared over Paveh at around 5:00 PM and was being bombarded by bullets from all sides. Finally, the helicopter landed on Paveh Airport, near the gendarmerie station, in the western part of Paveh. It was hit by several bullets. We did not imagine that the helicopter would land safely. At any moment, we were ready for the helicopter to explode and fall. Finally, the helicopter landed in the middle of the dust, while the rain of bullets rained down from all sides. We immediately fell to the ground. We reached behind a broken wall and quickly retreated towards the gendarmerie post. The helicopter immediately ascended and returned.

The gendarmerie station, a strong building with two tall towers at the two corners of the building, at the bottom of a high mountain that dominated the entire area, made of strong stones and concrete, although it was not in a good strategic location, and any movement on it was a target from the top of the mountain. The bullet was placed. But some fighters were able to fight well in it for a long time.

We entered the Gendarmerie with General Falahi and our guards running under the barrage of bullets that rained on us from the mountains and surroundings. The commander of the station (Lieutenant Yousefi) and some gendarmes and some local Kurdish men welcomed us with worried eyes and terrified faces, but the existence of me and General Falahi was the biggest point of support and a source of hope for them, as if there was a light of hope from the dark corner of the sky.  In an environment of doubt and fear, a breeze of confidence and victory could be felt. Their quivering lips, their worried eyes with their cold and short half-smiles were so expressive of respect and hope. They didn't know me, they only knew that I was a government representative. But they didn't know that I was born of pain and suffering and that I was exposed in difficult and dangerous fields. They didn't know that in the battles of life and death, I have always fearlessly plunged into the mouth of the dragon of death and clawed at the monster of disbelief, cruelty and corruption. They did not know that I have come to welcome martyrdom and am not afraid of death. My gestures, words, and natural calm assured them that the danger was past, and that we were determined to help the unfortunate people of Paveh and prevent their massacre.

We visited different parts of the checkpoint and then headed towards the city of Paveh, the headquarters of the guards, under a barrage of bullets. A beautiful road through the tall trees, on one side of the mountain and on the other side of a shallow valley, where we were protected from the enemy shooters for a while, so that we could take a breath after running zigzag under the enemy's bullets; Let's calm down our rapid heartbeats and short and rapid breathing with a little rest to prepare ourselves for another jump and lightning-fast movement...

After traveling through this mountain road, we reached the middle of Paveh city. While the bullets were still raining down on us, we could see people hiding in the shelter of a wall or a tree and watching our movements with worried eyes.

Finally, we made another jump from this first square of Paveh to Pasdaran neighborhood, under the barrage of enemy bullets, with full speed and courage, with zigzag movements, until we finally reached Pasdaran's house.

God! What a view this guard house had! How painful! What a disaster! And how crowded and plowed! It is as if it is a desert. The faithful Kurds of Paveh, both men and women, seek refuge in this house. But they didn't get anything except despair and hopelessness. A crowd of armed and unarmed Kurds were standing behind the door waiting for help, the traces of grief and pain cast a shadow on all faces, at the same time, the nurse's daughter, whose side was hit by an enemy bullet and blood turned her white dress bloody. They took it outside. She had bled so much that his face was as white as his clothes. The young guards were deeply affected, this nurse was injured 16 hours ago and was bleeding from her side, there was no medicine or medicine to stop the bleeding. The guards were crying but could not do anything. Finally, they decided to take her half-lifeless body out of the guards' house so as not to weaken the morale even more. She was taken to an empty hospital building on top of the hill at the western entrance of the city. This innocent angel died a few hours later amid the cries of women and children.

We entered the guards' house, the wounded were scattered in every corner. In the middle of the yard, Isfahani's guard, who was injured and bleeding from his head and mouth, was talking loudly. He complained about the earth and the sky. When he saw me, he recognized me immediately. Because he had lived with me for some time in Marivan. His patience was full and he screamed loudly. He cursed the government and the army and all the officials, why are they neglecting? Why do they show so much weakness? Why have they left Pave in the hands of infidel criminals? Why have they let the wolves kill innocent people and sit quietly? Why don't they help the guards? Why don't they give them weapons and ammunition? Why are they so indifferent to the fate of people? Why does the army not move? Why doesn't the government think?... He used to mention his martyred friends how brutally they were killed by the enemy, he described the betrayals and crimes of the enemy, how they want to defeat our Islamic revolution...

He used to speak loudly to the government, the army, and everyone, and was screaming and writhing in pain...

I pulled him into my arms and kissed his wounded face, and held him to my chest until he calmed down. I told him that our government has sent us to help you. What more important weapon and help can you imagine?

Everyone was busy in every corner of the house. The injured were also scattered around the house. A staircase led to the second floor. But this staircase was under the barrage of enemy bullets. I quickly jumped to the second floor. It was there that Asghar Wasali; I met the brave commander of the Paveh Guards. We held a meeting in a room with the presence of Timsar Fallahi and several other people. They described the details of the war, which was very disappointing. Out of 60 non-local guards, only 16 remained. 6 or 7 wounded people who were not able to fight. The rest are tired, heartbroken and hungry, who were under siege for a week and were struggling with death in the most difficult conditions. They had lost most of their friends. They had no hope of life. The water was cut off because they had set fire to the pump of the water engine located outside the city. They had no bread and provisions. Their ammunition had run out. All the heights of the city had fallen into the hands of the enemy. The famous Paveh hospital fell into their hands and all 25 of its guards were martyred. In short, a very exceptional and disappointing situation...

In front of them, a force of between 2,000 and 80,000 people from all the left and right groups had taken control of the entire area with light and heavy weapons and from all the surrounding mountains, they were pounding the house of the guards. Every moment someone was martyred and the enemy was getting closer step by step.

In the meeting, we wrote the urgent and urgent needs of the guards to support the city. We decided that General Falahi should return to Kermanshah [Bakhtran] as soon as possible and meet our material and human needs. Then, from the house of the guards, we ran again in the darkness of the night to the gendarmerie station to report our needs to Kermanshah [Bakhtran] by wireless. In addition, we asked Kermanshah [Bakhtran] to send a helicopter as soon as possible to bring our needs and bring General Falahi back to Kermanshah [Bakhtran]. They promised that a helicopter would come to Paveh early tomorrow morning for this mission.

We didn't sleep that night until the morning in the Gendarmerie station, under a heavy barrage of bullets, because the enemy had approached the tower of the station in the darkness of the night and was targeting us from a close distance. At any moment, a glass from a window or a part of the room could be heard falling. We were always trying to talk to the other side by contacting the governor and elders of the city so that maybe we can end the matter peacefully. But unfortunately, no results were obtained.

That night passed under the fire of bullets, the roar of explosions, and in the morning of 17 August 1979 we were waiting for the helicopter to bring our ammunition and supplies and bring General Falahi back to Kermanshah [Bakhtran]. But Paveh airport was under the control of the enemy and it was impossible for a helicopter to land there, so we searched. Finally, we chose a small place on top of a hill next to the health center at the western entrance of the city for the helicopter landing. We collected the stones of the ground and wrote H with chalk dust on the ground and made a white mark with a medical cloth on the roof, so that the helicopter could find its landing place from above. We did until finally the helicopter came and landed at the same spot. The helicopter brought water, bread, dates and some ammunition. We put some of the wounded in the helicopter and sent them to Kermanshah [Bakhtran] together with General Falahi. It should be noted that while carrying the wounded to the helicopter, one of them was shot in the stomach at the same moment when we put him on a seat inside the helicopter. But there was no chance to help. We preferred that he go as soon as possible and take care of his wound in Kermanshah [Bakhtran]!

Another point that should be noted is that some people, especially from among the Kurdish guards, some non-locals who had no hope for the survival of the city, wanted to go to Kermanshah [Bakhtran] by helicopter, and when the helicopter landed, a large crowd rushed to the helicopter to board. They did not hear anyone's words. I was so angry that I had to force some people out of the helicopter or hit some people, I hit one so hard that he passed out and fell to the ground. I officially announced that only martyrs and wounded will return and that's it!

I had asked General Falahi to send a helicopter every hour so that we could evacuate the dead and wounded, and bring in food, water, supplies, and auxiliary forces... General Falahi's helicopter took to the sky with this hope. We set to work preparing ourselves to welcome the other helicopters. The second helicopter arrived at 4:00 p.m. He brought some water, bread and ammunition with him. It is surprising that no reinforcements came in any of these two helicopters, while we needed more. Even in all that difficult and dangerous day, the helicopter came only twice. While in the previous days there was a history that sometimes five helicopters came and went to Paveh in one day. But it seems that the command center in Kermanshah [Bakhtran] assumed that Paveh had been shot down and considered sending new troops and ammunition as a loss! And he had left them in God's safety!! From the point of view of the enemy, the city of Paveh would also fall like the city of Marivan. Even I myself had come to believe that it was over. With these existing forces and the lack of attention of the center and the lack of sending fresh forces, there is no hope for the survival of the city.[1]


[1] Source: Kurdistan Book, Shahid Chamran Foundation, 1985, p. 55.

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