With Rahim Ghomeishi, of breaking the siege of Abadan to the years whom was considered missing

No one knew I was alive

Sara Reshadizadeh
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


Rahim Gomeishi, born in Khuzestan, in earliest days of the imposed war of Iraq against Iran Voluntarily dispatched to the holy defense fronts. In December 25, 1986, and at the beginning of Operation Karbala- 4 he was arrested by Saddam's Army and spent 4 years of his life in the situation. As deputy of Karbala's battalion of brigade 1 of Vali-e Asr's Army 7 states in his memories, he and his companions, till the last moment before being captive, hadn't any imagination of captivity and after encountering enemies corps were awaiting martyrdom all the time. Follow interview of ''http://www.oral-history.ir'' reporter with Gomeishi.


Introduce yourself.

I'm Rahim Gomeishi and was born in Ahwaz 1963.


You was born and grown in a city which since the first days of the imposed war of Iraq against Iran get involved in the war, tell us how was the first days in Ahwaz?

Those days I was 16 years and was going to keep on the junior. September 22, 1980 we were preparing in order to enter schools that the war was started. In the early days we still didn't know what war exactly means, though we were living in Ahwaz and felt heaviness of burden of the war before other cities. At that moment, our image of war and cannon and bullet was like old movies and we thought in order to become injured or wounded, cannon's bullet must shoot upon us directly.   


Since several months before starting the war, there were clashes in Khorramshahr, whether you as Ahwaz citizens were informed about the bombing and clashes?

We knew there were movements in borders and situation was not normal, but because of our age occasion we didn't pay attention to the issues. Moreover, Ahwaz was far from Khorrmshahr and we were not informed about Khorramshar clashes. When the war started, we couldn't believe at all that the war was been started, as till finishing the war, we always thought that the war would be finished at most one or two next months.


Did you were in Ahwaz all the 8 years of the imposed war of Iraq against Iran?

Yes, we still stayed in Ahwaz, but by intensifying attacks and bombardments my families for a while went Ahwaz villages and after 4 or 5 months they came back Ahwaz again.


Were you of people volunteer corps or did enter fronts of war organized?

At the first days of imposed war of Iraq against Iran, my friends and I go to the local mosque and after instruction of using weapon and ammunition it was to dispatching war fronts, but a short time later they announced that due to our low age we must be in mosque for a time and guard. In addition, Ahwaz was war zone in a sense and one can say that even when we were guarding in the mosque, we were in the war front in a sense, because Iraqi corps had progressed to ''Dobb-e Hardan'' near Ahwaz. But for the first time, I attended in the war fronts in order to Operation Samen-ol-A'emeh and aimed at breaking restriction of Abadan.


Who was your commander?

At the operation we still weren't organized formally and there were most people and volunteer corps. We hadn't still assorted in form of company and battalion and attended at early operations of the war as groups with variable numbers. But trend of organizing corps became serious since next operations like Operation Tariq al-Qods which operated two later months. I participated at Operation Tariq al-Qods, which was operated in order to seizing Bostan and by partnership and cooperation of Sepah and the Army, commanded by martyr Khanchi whom he martyred in the same operation. Moreover, my friend was also martyred in the operation and it was the moment that I touched reality of war closely.


Please talk more about Operation Tariq al-Qods.

In Operation Tariq al-Qods, we were a group with 20 people that would progress without any advanced ammunition and the most advanced weapons were RPG 7 and Kalashnikov, but the guys were still progressing by empty-handed and trust in providence as we passed the axis which commanders anticipated. We progressed enough that Iraqi tanks avoided retreat and turned back toward us tank's barrels and shot up. At this moment we found that we had progressed redundant and it was also in a situation that we had just 3 RPGs and there had stood 20 Iraqi tanks. Most of the RPGs ballets were missed and we missed our chance to fight.


We worried gradually and decided retreat and we came back a little so that we could take entrenchment behind tarmac. One of our friends, called Hossein Ehtiati, who was of guys of Mosque Jazayeri of Ahwaz, undertook voluntarily our organization and he was telling us how and in which way we should retreat with the least loss. After a time that we stationed at a secure place, I saw he was giving bread people one by one in the queue and moving forward. That day all of us were hungry and ate bread happily, two or three minutes later they called us to change our position again and retreat. I also retreated 50m who I saw two of the guys sit together. I went forward a little and I saw Hossein put his head on our other friend's knee, called Azim AmirDezfully and appeared he had slept. Azim was shouting and told ''Hossein, wake up'' and incessantly moved him, while his temple had been shot and he had martyred. I myself who already hadn't seen a martyr closely went a little forward to see how would be a martyr closely. I saw Hossein was slept calmly and his mouth was opened little and a slice of bread was in his teeth. The occasion in which Hossein had martyred hungrily and without eating a morsel was very hard for me. But tanks have been approached us and Azim had been in a shock who didn't want to abandon Hossein's corpse and he incessantly insisted that we must take him. At the time, a car of Iranian corps appeared from a far distance and we put quickly corpse of Hossein on the back of the car and brought him back.


Which operations did you attend overall?

I attended at operations Fath ol-Mobin, Ramadan, Before the Dawn, Dawn (1983), Kheibar, Badr and finally Karbala-4 in which I was arrested by Iraqi corps. Of course, I should say this that I was of Basij people and went regularly war fronts and came back, but after a while I attended at war fronts as formal corps of Sepah and participated in variety operations because we were permanently in shortage of corps and due to we attended in most of the operations.


Please explain also about process of Operation Karbala-4 and that how did you arrested by Iraqis corps.

We were members of a brigade of Army 7 of Vali'e Asr and our commander was Hadj Esmaeel Farjavani. More about him is that he was wounded in his foot in Operation Ramadan and sacrificed his hand in Operation Badr too. Farjavani was always determined that would be a doctor in future, as when his hands was cut in a operation he again said that I would be a doctor in future, but I wouldn't be a surgeon. Farjavani was martyred in Karbala-4.

In that operation, we and another battalion were operating, but the operation had been stopped and we were still in war without being informed about it. It was night and we were known that auxiliary corps would come toward us in our left, when they approached more we found that some of them had headband and there was echoed because of happiness. When they approached they started barraging us and arrived near Arvand Rud with much loss. But losses were so high that some people and I decided to stay and encounter Iraqis in order to others could retreat.

We resisted for a quarter and our ballets were finished, they captured us at the moment. We were really awaited being shot and being martyred, they placed us near wall to start barraging, I remembered that I might tell Ashhad (professing the unity of God and the apostleship of Muhammad) but because of heaviness and pressure of the moments I started Adhan instead of Ashhad and repeated it a few times. Then suddenly I woke and said: ''what I'm doing? Do I want to prey?'', I was busy in my thoughts and at the same time I told my side friend '' how do we say Ashhad?'' he also who was in his mood because of severity of heaviness and pressure of the moments said'' what was Ashhad, I don't know, abandon me, we would martyr now… .'' at the same time they started barraging and two of our corps martyred immediately. We were awaiting to martyr too that suddenly commander of Iraqi corps announced stop shooting because they had been commanded that arrested Iranian must go captivity. We didn't have even an image of captivity while we were sure that at the best we would martyr.


How long were you in captivity?

I was captured in 1986 and was in captivity of Iraqis till 1990. We were considered as misses and Iraqis corps didn't want to release us, but at the end in 1990 I could release after major troublesome.


Why did they didn't release you? Were you also of the known opposite 160 people?


Yes we were of people who had been condemned for 99-400 years prison because of the reasons like riot and such this, but they hadn't been issued the last command. When we heard about freedom of the captives it was going to we release with other captives. All of us also mounted 8 buses and moved toward border. Among us, they returned two buses of rioters and announced that exchange was finished. We were still in Iraq, but finally they exchanged us too after a few months and we came back Iran.


How was your feeling in time of entering Iran?

Homesickness is difficult, but when you know are in a strange place that the most close people of your life are not informed of whether you are alive or not, the situation would be worse. When I came back Iran after 5 years, no one know that I'm alive and I also haven't any information about that my family are alive or not, and after coming back I found that my father had died 5 months after my captivity.

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