Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer Served in the Military Regime of the Shah

The Onset of the War and again the Sardasht

By Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


Sarafraz unit entered Shiraz with minimal casualties. The people and colleagues gave us a warm welcome and after a few days of leave and rest, we started to rebuild and renew the forces.

At the middle of September 1980, an imposed war of Iraq against Iran broke out, and the invasion of the Baath army by land, air, and sea began against our country. We all thought that we would be sent to the south, but at the end of September of 1980, our unit was notified to be ready to move towards West Azerbaijan and Sardasht. The command was given and the 158th Airborne Battalion left for Maragheh by land.

After arrival of the personnel and equipment, we were stationed in Maragheh for a few days until it was decided that me and Hoshang Rostami, Captain Ali Akbar Abedini, Captain Rajabi and Lieutenant Karimpour Azarm go to Sardasht with a Chinook helicopter as the lead team. During the flight, the helicopter flew at a very low level for fear of Iraqi fighter planes. I told one of my colleagues that this kind of flight is very dangerous in the area of guerrilla conflicts. Despite their high efficiency, helicopters, have many weaknesses and are more vulnerable than a light weapon. Finally, we arrived safely in Sardasht and made arrangements to replace the previous unit, which was also an airborne unit under the command of Colonel Mozaffar Keshavarz.

The next day, the same Chinook helicopter with some fuel and three or four personnel was flying from Maragheh towards Sardasht, when it was hit by a missile and fell in the heights of Zamziran. His pilot and co-pilot were martyred and Major Haghighat was captured by the Democrats with a broken leg. It was a bitter incident. We bought the bodies of the martyrs from so-called liberal men, with many trips and through the mediation of benefactors, and then sent them to Tehran. But Major Haghighat was a prisoner until the end of the mission. One day this officer’s father, who came from Azerbaijan, arrived Sardasht and meet his son in the heights of Alvatan through consultations and giving money.

Finally, the unit settled in Sardasht and took over all the heights and sensitive points of the suburbs. The previous unit was replaced, and the mission continued in Sardasht up to the spring of 1981.

The war continued on all fronts in the south, west and northwest. In the northwest, we were involved with Saddam's army, and we both together with groups opposed to the Islamic regime.

Colonel, considering the fact that you went to Kurdistan before the war in 1979, and established security in that area for a long time, and again after the war, you went to Sardasht, it did not bother you that instead of going to areas where you can see a certain enemy in front of you and feel more at ease, you have to go to a place like Kurdistan where the enemy attacked from all sides from time to time?

- We were the army force, and went to wherever they sent us, and we did our duty. Although the concerns about the south, where had fallen into the hands of the enemy, obsessed me as a fighter. I knew that there are also people who are busy defending the border and the land, and now it is necessary for us to go to Sardasht again and there, with the support of the nation, defend the ideals of the country.


Source: Yousefi, Mohammad Reza, Snow and Sun: Memoirs of the Shah's Military Government Intelligence Officer to Chaharzebar at Kermanshah, Qom, Shahid Kazemi Publishing House, 2021, p. 57.


Number of Visits: 386


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