Memoirs of Martyr Abdolreza Souri about Operation Fat’h al-Mobin

1st and 2nd of Faravardin 1361 (March 21 & 22, 1982)

Selected by Fatemeh Beheshti
Translated by M.B. Khoshnevisan

2024-04-01


We start the New Year while everything is ready for carrying out the operation and the biggest wish of all of us on this auspicious day is to wish for victory as soon as possible over Saddam's blasphemy forces and the destruction of the Iraqi Baathist regime, which is trying to stop the destructive flood and the subversive blasphemy of the forces of Islam by engaging in more criminal acts every day.
It is a beautiful and exciting day and the children spend the last moments before the operation with great enthusiasm and happiness. Well, as a New Year's gift, we have been informed that the operation will begin a few minutes after midnight tonight.
The name of the operation is "Fat’h al-Mobin" and, God willing, the implementation of the operation will be a clear victory at the beginning of the new year and a gift from the combatants of the fronts to the awakened and heroic nation who support their anti-blasphemy children on the battle fronts with all their strength.
The trenches have a different mood in these last hours before the attack. Most of them are engaged in prayer. Some write letters. Some have started writing wills, and a group of them order their friends to do so and so for them if they are lucky enough to be martyred, and they also give each other addresses to contact their families. As if a long journey is ahead. The truth is nothing but this. We have chosen a journey where martyrdom is also on its way. But according to the clergy of the company, we demand conquest and victory over blasphemy, and in this journey towards conquest, martyrdom is one of the proudest homes on the path, the journey to immortality begins from this home, and definitely a group of companions who accompany us will stay in this home and they will be blessed with martyrdom. While I have tears in my eyes from joy and an indescribable state, I walk to meet my friends and ask them to forgive me. It is a strange situation. Fewer words can be found to express the state of the guys. Some are so immersed in themselves as if they don't exist or live in another world. The faces have found a special spirituality and happiness, and here and there, the guys hug each other and whisper good prayers in each other's ears. I return to the trench. Everyone is busy with something and the guys talk less. I try to say something to change the heavy atmosphere of the trench, but it's as if the words are lost in my mind. I sit quietly and look ahead. What scenes will Abbas Plain witness tomorrow? I can't stand it and go out again. I go to the hill. Half-raised and observing the principles of protection, I reach the top of the hill and find myself in a pit like a trench. There are also two or three guys. In the trenches of Iraqi mercenaries, everything is normal like every day. I take the camera of one of the guys and look at how many cars are moving on the edge of the remote embankments. Half an hour later, when I return to the trench, that state of stillness, silence, and calmness has been replaced by the talkativeness and jokes of the guys. I am happy with the high and strong morale of my friends. This morale can be very effective in our victory.
Half an hour after midnight on the first day of Farvardin 1361 (March 21, 1982), that is, in the first minutes of the morning of the second day of spring, the moment of the start of the operation was announced with the code “Ya Zahra”, and the movement began. According to the last orders, we should advance towards the enemy embankments in complete silence and calmness. Ahead of us, the "RPG" group which is in charge of disabling the enemy's tanks, is moving. The movement begins with complete calm and silence. The RPG group has moved about ten minutes ahead of the others, and after that, the infantry forces consisting of the army, the IRGC, and the Basij forces begin to advance in regular units.
Nearly 40 minutes after our night march, the sound of RPG7 gunfire announces the beginning of the large-scale operation "Fat’h al-Mobin" in these positions, and after the first shots, the flames from the tanks light up parts of the area. Upon hearing the first shots, the roaring flood of the fighting forces of Islam, by shouting “Allah-o Akbar” advances towards the first embankment of the enemy, which is now not far from them, and while the destruction of enemy tanks and vehicles continues, we quickly reach the first embankment. The surprised forces of Saddam frantically start firing searchlights, and immediately parts of the area, especially the tank positions, most of which have been destroyed, become bright as day. The barrage of blind and aimless bullets of the enemy, which is fired at the forces on our way shines like a spark in the middle of the night for a moment and then ends, and at the same time, the guys start firing at the positions of the Saddam's mercenaries and the path of their blind bullets. We capture the first embankment exactly one hour after the start of the operation, that is, at 1:20 in the morning. Nearly one hundred people from the frightened enemy forces were killed, two hundred were captured and the rest escaped using the darkness of the night. Only three of the tanks are captured by the combatants of Islam and the rest are destroyed in the first moments.
The captives are sent back from the front lines and the advance continues at the same speed so that the troops stationed on the next embankment cannot do anything stupid. But we capture the second embankment with the least possible defense from Saddam's terrified forces, and when we reach the embankment, for example, not a single soldier can be seen around or inside it, and the last remaining forces of the embankment, which are about a hundred people, have surrendered themselves to the combatants of Islam. In the process of liberating this embankment by the fierce and brave forces of Iran, nearly fifty Ba’athist mercenaries have perished and we dedicate the first martyr to Islam during the capture of the second embankment. Everything clearly shows that with the seizure of the first embankment, the Iraqi mercenaries have also started to escape from this embankment, but the light of day will determine everything as to where they are fleeing, and it is certain that these deceived people do not know that the attack will be carried out from several sides. It has started simultaneously and there is no escape for any of them.
The operation, which has started in a flash, is progressing with the complete success of the Islamic forces in all the factions of this front, and the Iraqi mercenaries are either killed or captured without having the opportunity or power to show the slightest reaction, and a group has preferred to flee even before we reach their positions.
At around 5:00 AM, our forces have occupied most of the designated positions, and at this time, an ambulance that goes to carry some wounded of our own forces and transport them to the back front, runs over the mines planted by Saddam forces and becomes disabled. Two more people are added to our wounded. Fortunately, the injuries of none of the wounded are deep. But they are sent to the back of the front as a precaution and for faster treatment.
At 7:00 AM, our brigade occupies all the designated positions and the nearby hills of Ain Khosh, and the guys by shouting “Allah-o Akbar” start settling in the new positions according to the plan. These are the same hills that we saw from a distance until a few hours ago, and now, in an all-out attack, they have been cleared of the invading Baathists.
The evacuation of prisoners to the rear of the front begins quickly, and the commanders invite the guys to maintain full vigilance in the new positions, and they do not rule out the possibility of encountering the retreating forces from Karkheh and Shush, and this is the same issue that I had already thought about.
Around 8:30 AM, the incident finally happened and the sentinels reported the approach of a large number of tanks from the left side of the new positions. The news, while happy, is serious. Because these tanks have undoubtedly survived the heroic attack of Iran's combatant forces in the areas of Shoosh and Karkheh, and now they have no choice but to pass around our positions, and we will certainly have a difficult conflict ahead.
The position of the front is immediately communicated to all units, and the sentinels inform a few minutes later that nearly two hundred tanks are still approaching. The necessary orders to deal with the defeated and fleeing enemy are given by the unit commander and we all prepare to crush the fleeing enemy forces.
The intense conflict starts at 9:00 am and the enemy tanks, who face our position, consider their destruction certain. At a not too far distance, they take order of battle and start a tough fight, disregarding the warnings of the Islamic forces asking them to surrender, and our artillery and heavy firepower from strong positions, take the enemy's tanks under intense fire. And the friendly tanks enter the battle in a new deployment.
Upon the order of the commanders, a number of other guys armed with RPG 7 join the previous group of RPGs of the Army and the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij to stop the next advance of the tanks after passing through the heavy fire of artillery and mortars. Not more than half an hour has passed since the beginning of this intense conflict, when the news comes again about one hundred more tanks that were driven from “Ain Khosh” due to the attack and pressure of the Khorram Abad Brigade towards the Abbas Plain, are retreating and fleeing from the right flank of the brigade's deployment positions. We head out and thus, we are surrounded on both sides by fleeing Iraqi tanks. It is a crucial situation. According to the order of the armored commander, a number of friendly tanks immediately come in the direction of the enemy's tanks from the right flank, take order of battle, and a few minutes later, the RPG group is divided into two groups, and with the addition of a number of other guys to this group, each group is stationed in positions overlooking the path of the enemy's tanks.
There is a barrage of bullets, and the battle scene constantly shakes with the continuous and unstoppable thunderous roar of heavy artillery and tanks and no voice cane be heard. The commotion and the intensity of the shootings on both sides is so much that we have to shout to exchange our words and the commanders have more difficulty because of this, because they have to issue new orders every few minutes depending on the exceptional and changing situation of the battle scene.
What can be seen from the enemy are tanks, and tanks... the lack, or rather, the weakness of Iraq in having the necessary personnel to continue the battle, is well felt in this field. Fortunately, our forces are less within the range of Saddam's tanks because they are stationed in the defensive positions that Iraqi mercenaries had tried to strengthen for a long time and the enemy also uses the tank as both a trench and a tool of war, and the destruction of each tank leads to the destruction and death of a number of Baathist mercenaries. What is happening in front of us is actually a battle of tanks and it is unequal in quantity. But the high morale and strong faith of the guys does not give the Iraqi tanks the time to maneuver, and they destroy them one after the other.
The intense clash of the tanks and the heavy firing of friendly forces continued for almost three hours, and then in one moment, as if there was a crazy collusion, Iraqi tanks from both sides started advancing towards our positions, and we found out that they have certainly come to the conclusion that they cannot escape except by breaking our defense line and it is necessary to pass through our positions in order to cross the Abbas Plain.
A few minutes after the start of the tanks' movement, the commander orders the infantry companies to move quickly and orderly to the back, while the artillery and heavy mortars have been ordered to intensify their fire to prevent the enemy from engaging the infantry, and the RPG groups, with full preparation, take a position to ambush the tanks.
We quickly start moving towards the hills that are behind us, and cars and personnel carriers take the major part in transporting the guys to new positions, and since fortunately the route is not in full view of the Iraqi attacking tanks, this transfer is necessary. And it is done on time and quickly, and within a few minutes, the infantry forces are deployed in new positions that are about 1500 meters away from the previous positions, and between the two armored fronts involved, a wide field is created, which allows more maneuverability for friendly tanks.
The battle of the tanks continues with more intensity, with the difference that now, other RPG groups have also come into action and from suitable ambushes, they target and destroy the enemy's tanks one after the other, but immediately, another tank fills the place of the destroyed enemy tank.
It is around 3 PM, all of us are anxiously monitoring the situation on the front. Now only the tanks are in the battle scene, and the commanders, by moving the infantry companies to the back, pursue the destruction of the Iraqi tanks with more ease and freedom, and the heavy self-propelled guns continue to rain bullets on the enemy tanks from a strong and impenetrable position, and finally under the shadow of the bravery and self-sacrifice of our own forces, from the RPG group to the crews and occupants of the tanks, artilleries and mortars, the enemy tanks stopped advancing, and minutes later, they changed directions to find suitable shelters, and the front gradually calms down as the weather darkens and when the night covers the eventful and impatient plain of "Abbas", as if nothing has happened, an anxious calm reigns over the front.
We have passed an eventful and heavy day, and the report of the brigade units indicates that we have had nearly thirty martyrs and wounded most of whom are from IRGC and Basij forces, and we have also lost a number of tanks and personnel carriers.
In view of the great victories that we have achieved only on this front, the number of martyrs is a greater victory itself, and considering the single goal that these loved ones had and considered martyrdom in this decisive struggle to be their dream, they have actually achieved their dreams and we are saddened and depressed because of the fact that we have lost another group of our fighting and valiant brothers, and this is despite the fact that on this front alone, nearly 300 Iraqis have perished, and we have captured nearly the same number, and have hunted the mercenary enemy tanks as many times as the lost vehicles and personnel carriers. "Ain Khosh" has been completely captured by the Khorram Abad Brigade and the news received from other fronts of the battle tells about the brilliant victories of the Islamic forces and the withdrawal of tanks from Shoosh, Karkheh and Ain Khosh that we witnessed today is an undeniable reason for the definite defeat of the enemy during today's operations.
As it gets dark, the commanders meet and the guys in their new positions consciously watch the smallest movements. An hour later, the company commander actually arrives with an armful of encouraging and proud news and summarizes what has happened today in the front of Shoosh and Karkheh. What we hear is rightly the height of bravery and the epic created by our brave combatants on these fronts, and we realize that if we have been somewhat unlucky on this front and have engaged with countless tanks of Saddam Hussein's fleeing forces, and perhaps we have not been able to account for the enemy as we should, our brave comrades-in-arms in other fronts have taken complete vengeance on Iraqi mercenaries. The company commander's words indicate that the operation has been implemented in the Shush and Karkheh fronts concurrent with ours. At the beginning of the operation, six battalions of the army, IRGC and Basij forces, with complete coordination and integration, have started a noiseless and calm advance towards the enemy's positions. This advance has started when the guerilla forces have moved to penetrate behind the enemy's fortifications an hour before. The advance of these forces causes the Iraqis to suddenly see themselves surrounded by Islamic forces from the front and behind, and as a result of this calculated and epic operation, the enemy's artillery is completely captured by the friendly forces without the possibility of the slightest activity and in this way, the enemy artillery headquarters located in the hills of "Ali Goreh Zed" fall without the slightest resistance. In the hills of “Koot Gapoon”, the same show of power is applied to the enemy's mortar launchers, and they have been captured by the forces of Islam without firing a single shot, and in the continuation of the victorious operation, the conquerors of Islam used these mortars to annihilate the Saddam's defeated forces. What has been most remarkable in today's operations in the fronts of Shoosh and Karkheh is the large number of the captives of Saddam's forces, which, in addition to indicating the complete success of the lightning operations of the fighting forces of Islam, can, on the other hand, indicate the intensity of fear and the weakness of the morale of the deceived Ba’athists.
According to the company commander, our combatants have even succeeded in arresting a large number of high-ranking commanders of Saddam's defeated forces in their headquarters without the slightest resistance and disabling the enemy's command system, which was highly sensitive.
The latest news indicates that in today's operation, two Iraqi divisions have been completely disintegrated, two Iraqi brigades have been completely destroyed, and more than five thousand people have been captured. The number of casualties of Iraqi forces has been more than 1,000 and the number of destroyed tanks, personnel carriers and vehicles has been more than 200 at the end of the day. In today's operation, the victorious forces of Islam seized nearly ninety howitzers and several mortar launchers. The good news of today's proud victories completely removes the fatigue from all of us, and in all the trenches until late last night, there is talk of the victories of the victors of Islam, and the guys, with high morale and great preparation for the destruction of the remaining deceived Iraqi forces, spend the night.

 

Source: Souri, Abdolreza, 675 Days in Fronts; Memoirs of Martyr Abdolreza Souri, Ettela’at Institute, 1375 (1996), p. 191

 



 
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