Monday, April 22, 2024

Saddam’s Great Iraq – 9

Iraqi Troops This was going to be just the start from Iranian side as we later came to know. The next surprising big attack by Iranians was lunched in vast captured area, in Shush, early in the dark hours of a morning. Thousands of Iraqis were captured, and thousands died without firing any bullet and the rest took to retreat. In these two attacks the Iranians, as we heard on a foreign radio, captured some 90,000 Iraqis.

Assessing the fury of Iranians, Iraq government started pleading for international mediation towards ceasefire. Iranians were getting more and more aggressive to take back their captured lands. An Iraqi told us, “Iranian volunteers and zero brigade fighters have been traveling on motorcycles and serving surprising attacks on solitary positions of Iraqi forces.

At Fallujah, we were attentive to the news of Iran-Iraq war when a totally unexpected incidence took place. It was late afternoon. We were busy with the sight work calculations and preparations of drawings, when suddenly everybody got to his feet by roaring anti aircraft firing coming from quite some distance. All of us got to the roof top of our house and started looking in the direction of the sounds. We could see the flashes of the shells in the air but no air craft was insight. Nobody could understand the cause of this heavy firing. We thought that Iranians might have lunched an air attack. At night we heard that a total number of 17 Israeli F-16 fighters / bombers unloaded at the nuclear plant of Iraq near Baghdad. This plant had been installed by France. One French scientist was the only causality of the attack but the plant was completely destroyed. Iran immediately announced that he had no alliance or participating in the incidence and attack, and that it condemned the Israeli attack.

Irani Troops Achievements of Iran in rebuilding its badly shattered forced appeared to be surprising. All western countries and western media continued to support Iraq against Iran. In addition to that all Arab countries except Syria and Libya were supporting Iraq with men, money, material and arms. Arms manufacturing countries had refused to sell arms to Iranians. Iran’s oil producing and refining units had been partly or wholly damaged by air raids or missiles attacks. Iran had to feed hundreds of thousands of refuges of the war torn areas. Saudi Arabia had been supplying AC fitted cars to the dependents Iraqi soldiers killed in the war. Under these circumstances, apparently the very survival of Iran and its people was jeopardized. Later when I returned to Pakistan, in1983, a senior Pakistani lawyer returning from a Holiday tour to Iran, told me that during the entire period of war development works had been carried out in areas where Shah of Iran could never start a project. For example he said, that they have constructed superior surface roads in the northern hilly areas where even ordinary tracks never existed. It all appeared magic.

Iranians big attacks were devised with the civilian volunteers, old and young, who engaged the enemy to procure time for preparing regular trained forces to push the Iraqis back. Iraqi TV used to display the captured civilian volunteers. There were old men around 60 years of age and there were young boys around 13 years of age. In the regular forces officers and soldiers were fighting shoulder to shoulder without discrimination of rank and status. In the meantime Eid-ul-Azha came in. On this day of Eid an Iranian air mission hit an oil well near Baghdad. One of the planes was shot down while flying back after successful completion of the mission. Iraqis discovered that the pilot of the plane killed in the crash was the deputy chief of Iranian air force.

Iraqis started pressing for mediation for ceasefire more and more. Late president Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan was the first to visit Iran and Baghdad for ceasefire mediation. He started from Pakistan with the press statement that mission was a very difficult one. In Baghdad he was afforded very warm welcome. But the efforts turned out to be totally fruitless. For Pakistanis it seemed that he should not have taken up that mission at all. The Iraqis expected the visit to be exclusively in their favour. On the other hand Iranians did not attach much importance to it. The difference of opinion and attitudes was skies apart. Iran had been pressing that it had been attacked and suffered heavy losses in life, material and territory. Pakistani president returned home empty handed. I heard Iraqis speaking ill of the president of Pakistan. I was told by a Pakistani that Palestinians were abusing the president. Anyway the matter stood where it had been. The war continued though very slowly. The Iranians had told that they had been forced into war and they will see as to who can stand a lengthy war. Iranians are known for their strategy of prolonged wars, stretching over 10s of years.



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Category: Travel

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