348th Session of Memory Night-2

Adjusted by Leyla Rostami
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi

2024-03-22


The 348th session of memory night titled “Chokan Homeini”[1] was held in Sooreh Auditorium of the Artistic Sect of the Islamic Republic on Thursday, August 3, 2023. In this session, Hedayatollah Navvab, Abolfazl Hajj Hasanbeigi, and Ehsan Dorostkar, fighters of Jihad Sazandegi, shared their memories. Mehdi Aghabeigi hosted this night of memory.

 

■■■

 

The second narrator of the session, Abolfazl Hajj Hasanbeigi, said at the beginning of his memories, “After Operation Tariq al-Quds[2], the region was still not stabilized. We were in Karbala Headquarters[3] when the Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC, Mohsen Rezaei, showed us a small map and informed us of the mission of a major operation. In this mission, Dezful Road to Ahvaz, sites 1, 2, 3, and 5[4] and a large area of our country had to be liberated. Sir Mohsen [Rezaei] and Shahid Sayyad Shirazi also asked our opinions and commanded us to go for two or three days for detection; then hold a meet again. This was done quickly.

In the next meeting, Mr. Mohsen expressed new points. He said, “What you want to do is secret and must be hidden. The scope of Operation Fath ol-Mobin depends on two roads; One is the road we are talking about and the other is at the northernmost point of the operation. Then they announced a list of everything needed should be prepared to request them the Ministry of Jihad. We did detection. “The 92nd Khuzestan Division,” “the 8th Najaf Ashraf Brigade” commanded by Shahid Ahmad Kazemi, and “the 25th Karbala Brigade” under the command of Morteza Ghorbani were sent to this area. They also announced us the scope of operation of combat engineering. We started to work, but because they said in every meeting that we have troops a quarter or a fifth or a tenth of the enemy's troops in this area, we were worried. Our key to victory was to build a road secretly in a hidden area to bypass Saddam's army. With this measure, we would capture them when they were sleeping like Operation Tariq al-Quds. We had good experience from the sandy road of Operation Tariq al-Quds.

The narrator added, “From the very first day, it was announced in the Fath Headquarters that no one should be dispatched to this area. Communication should be interrupted. The task should be done around the clock and the deployed troops should not go on leave. Every day and night and in every meeting, we were worried and afraid that maybe this road would be revealed. About 250 fighters of Jahad Sazandegi (Jihad of Construction) were deplored in this area; however, in addition to that some measures were done in Straits of Raqabiyeh[5] and Barghazeh[6] up to the border of the Dezful front, so that the enemy would be preoccupied with that side. It was supposed to build 14 km of the road less than a month so that the operation to be not conducted in the hot season and in bad conditions.

Since beginning of the operation, every day, we saw miracles and favors from Almighty; for example, the routes identified by our engineers had already been studied. There were paths that led a dead end and we found new ways. After the operation and several decades later, when we found documents from Iraqis, we realized why God had given these favors to this front and direction. They kept reporting that we encountered a rock while building the road. If we did an explosion, Saddam's army would be noticed. If we did not explode, it would not be possible to pass. For about 10-12 days, we had passed the route easily, and for about 4-5 days we were behind the rocks. Mr. Mohsen visited this road 12 times during twenty days, day and night, ever and again, at noon, and sometimes in two or three groups. In this situation, he concluded to visit Imam (Khomeini) and report that we cannot carry out those large and pervasive operations due to engineering.

The stone was slowly carved with the edge of the d8 and d9 bulldozer blades, and a two to three-meter or four to five-meter path was opened for the warriors. Bulldozer blade protectors should be replaced approximately once a year. Even in mountainous rocky areas, they are replaced after twenty days or a month; but on this road, within five days, 6 cutting edges of the blade were replaced. Our last meeting at the Karbala Headquarters in Dezful was to report to Imam that this operation was not possible and that we should limit ourselves to straits of Raqabiyeh and Barghazeh. Of course, the possibility of victory was very low, because the enemy had much more forces, tanks, and ammunition than us.

The narrator continued, “We had several bulldozer drivers. One of them was martyr Dorooki; a driver from the desert villages of Shahrud city. At the same time, I went there again secretly and at night. I stood next to the bulldozer driver. I noticed the driver's seat was bloody. I said, “Ali!” He said, “Yes!” I said, “Did you get shot?! There is no bullet here! Did you get pellet?! There is no pellet here! You are at a point where you are in a hidden place and at a distance of 5-6 kilometers from the enemy.” He did not answer. I looked at him for a while and saw he had become very skinny. During the 21 days that the road was being built, he had lost fifteen kilos. The difficult situation in that area was such that we could not leave him and recruit another driver. I looked for a moment and realized that because his body has no meat and fat, and almost there was just his bones, his seat bone on the bulldozer seat had been injured and was bleeding. I was very upset. I brought a small military blanket from the Toyota and said, “sit here. Work for an hour and I will bring another driver from the camp to replace you.” Martyr Dorooki said, “Hajj Abolfazl! I swear by Fatima Zahra and to the soul of Imam Hossein that I will not let you. I have to be here.”

This road was built. We went to the point where we had to go. I was in the camp at the night the operation started. The commanding order was that since two of my brothers had been martyred, I should not go to the front line. I was very sad. Mr. Rahim came out of the trench entrance near dawn and called me. He said they were caught there. When he said this to me, I told Mr. Rahim, “Last night, I said let me go, it will take time to get there.” I forgot to take the wireless operator and the driver. I drove myself. When I got there, I saw all the troops standing behind the embankment and they didn’t know which way to go! I called loudly the commander of that command, the late Hajj Aqeel Gharibbolook. I said, “Aqeel! Why did you stop? He said, “No one has collected landmines.” We found out that the two people who were supposed to identify the area and collect the mines had both died a martyr in the minefield. I told Hajj Aqeel, “What should we do?” He said, “In the name of God, everyone moves aside, I will drive the bulldozer and go.” We had no choice.

The enemy had planted all kinds of mines, except anti-tank mines. Every centimeter the bulldozer moved, it exploded under its wheels. The path was opened up to where it was sand. Toyota Land Cruiser and dump truck cannot cross the sand. Again, I saw Hajj Aqeel was telling, “I did all my tasks. I have eight bulldozers. Say, I will tow eight trucks of people and disembark them on the other side. The Iraqi road is only five hundred meters away. I will come back again and take them.” I quickly did this; But at that stage, the warriors themselves disembarked the cars. They pushed the Toyota Land Cruiser and about two battalions of troops passed there.

After passing through there, we reached the Iraqi artillery. The Iraqi artillery was ready to surrender. They used to say, “Al-Dakhil Al-Khomeini, Al-Dakhil Al-Khomeini.” As we were moving forward, we captured a soldier who had a smattering of Persian. He kept raising his hand and said, “Al-Dakhil Al-Khomeini. I am an imitator of Khomeini. I am Khomeini's soldier. I am with you.” I called it. A translator also came. I said, “Prove that you are a soldier of Imam.” He said, “I was a watcher here. I haven't gone on vacation for more than forty days.” I said, “Why?!” He said, “If I went on leave, they would definitely replace a Baathist with me. I saw that you were building a road from the first day, that's why I didn't go on leave.” I said, “Well, prove it now.” He said, “I came near your forces for two nights. His Kalashnikova was next to him. He was sleeping. He was in a red dress...” Two of our guys were fan of Persepolis football team and one of them was Ali Dorooki. He always wore these Persepolis shirts. There was another person. He said, “I thought if I called him, I would definitely be kept. They didn’t believe it. They wanted to take me to the camp. As soon as I am captured, they surely will bring the next person and expose here.”

Before the operation, it was a gully-washer in the area. In a large area about ten-twelve meters away from us, water was accumulated as much as a pool and lake. At that time, cameras were not as powerful as they are now. There were some nomadic tents around there that had not been put down and they had left. I was thinking what to ask next. Nothing came to my mind. Then he said, “I used to direct Saddam’s aircrafts to bomb there (the lake and the nomads' tent).” We used to say how ignorant and fool they are, but they were not ignorant and foolish. They were pilots, bombing different places. Their bombing route was from Saada Strait. That is, he had told them the Iranian army was deplored there. They had to bypass the Saada Strait. Their passage was in such a way that they would return and pass over sands of hills of Allah Akbar. Because there was no air defense there, they thought it was an easy operation. So see how much Imam (RA) had cultural influence and to what extent he had soldiers!

 

To be continued …

 


[1] The session is named after the book “Chokan Homeini” which includes the oral memories of the construction jihad of Zarabad village written by Alireza Mirshkar which is a production of Sistan and Baluchistan’s Hozeh Honari and was introduced in this session.

[2] Operation Tariq al-Quds: a joint operation by IRGC and AJA in December 1981 in Khuzestan province, which was carried out with the aim of liberating city of Bostan and west of Susangerd. (Lotfollahzadegan, Alireza, Iran-Iraq War Chronicle, Book 16, p. 742.)

[3] Karbala Headquarters: In 1981, the southern regional camp was established under the name of Karbala Headquarters or Montazeran-e Shahadat (Golf) base on Shahid Modarres Blvd. in Ahvaz and on Ramhormoz Road to guide operational forces. In December 1982, and before Operation Valfajr-e Moghadamati, which its name was changed from Karbala Headquarters to Khatam al-Anbia. (Dictionary of the Geographical Areas of Sacred Defense Index, vol. 1, pp. 135 and 137)

[4] These advanced radar sites were established by America before the revolution to control the countries in the region and were captured by Iraq in the very beginning months of the war. These radar and missile sites were located on 18 kilometers at the west of Susa and on the road from Susa to Fakkeh. The Iraqis used it as their command base. (Dictionary of the Geographical Areas of Sacred Defense Index, vol. 2, p. 58)

[5] Raqabiyeh Strait: It is located in the west of Mishdagh Heights and 30 km southwest of Susa and on the road of Abdolkhan-Ain Khosh. (Dictionary of the Geographical Areas of Sacred Defense Index, vol. 1, p 227)

[6] Barghazeh Strait is located in the south of Hasan Qandi village in Chenaneh region in Fath Al-Mobin district of Susa city of Khuzestan province. (Dictionary of the Geographical Areas of Sacred Defense Index, vol. 1, pp. 331 and 224)



 
Number of Visits: 337



http://oral-history.ir/?page=post&id=11788