Glimpses of Epic of 8-Year Holy Defense (40)
In the previous program we mentioned some of the achievements of the great Bayt ul-Moqaddas operation. The most important and prominent achievement of this operation was the change of politico-military equation in the war and the Persian Gulf region in favor of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Throughout the 8-year holy defence, there was no operation greater, wider, more important and more effective than Bayt ul-Muqaddas. The largest number of the Ba'athist captives and the biggest magnitude of booties were obtained in this operation. The advances in the battlefields were carried out in a way that from east of the operational region, Iranian forces penetrated through Karun River 37 kilometers deep inside the center of Iraqi deployments. The Iranian forces went so far as to reach the international border. From Ahwaz, too, the Iranian brave combatants went as far as 120 kilometers towards Khorramshahr and Arvand River just to liberate large swaths of lands. In the second year of the war, Saddam and his Ba'athist officials at all levels were stupefied with the emergence of a fresh power and spirit in the combat capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They could see that there was no change in the equipment and arms of the Iranian forces yet they were materialized whatever they desired. As a matter of fact, this new power and spirit owed their existence to the emergence of popular forces under the name of Basiji volunteers who had rushed to the battlefields by the command of Imam Khomeini to the defend Islam and Iran.
The Basiji forces were recruited, organized and trained within the structure of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). They created a huge number of new combat units who fought the enemy with divine motive and with all their forces. Meanwhile, the Construction Jihad Organization as a major support and engineering force managed to create dozens of operational battalions to function at the frontlines, providing the combatants with embankments and defense trenches to resist against the enemy. On the other hand, the invading Ba'athist army was astounded by the combat strategy adopted by Muslim combatants and could not understand their tactical methods. For example, fighting in a vast area like Bayt ul-Moqaddas that shattered the enemy forces and astonished the commanders of the Ba'athist warmongers and their masters in the west and the east. Application of the strategies that the enemy considered impossible or unlikely to use was a major shock to the invading enemy. These included crossing over Karun River in Bayt ul-Moqaddas operation, attacking through Reqabiyah Strait and Tishekan heights during Fat'h ul-Mobin operation and using the sand route in Bostan operation. Some of the main features of Bayt ul-Moqaddas operation included: Scheming for operation at night and directing the forces at pitch dark to reach the enemy's positions, refraining from confronting the enemy's strong points, trying to push forward the forces quickly deep into the back lines of the enemy and commanding center, simultaneous training and organization of Basiji forces in the heat of the battle, and the unique provision of forces. Thus, before the invading enemy could find out the width and significance of the operation, the selfless Basiji forces took the initiative from the enemy and expelled them form vast areas of Khuzestan and finally liberated Khorramshahr city.
To sum up, it can be said that the IRGC made the best use of the elements which enables Iranian forces to be superior in combat and obtaining information from the enemy. Throughout the 8-year war, the Iraqi army lost the greatest number of its forces in Bayt ul-Moqaddas operation in Khorramshahr, Hoveizeh, Hamid garrison and large parts of Iran’s territory as vast as 5400 square kilometers were liberated. About 19,700 Iraqi invading forces were captured. Over 16,000 Baathists were killed and wounded. 105 tanks and carriers, and thousands of personal weapons and ammunition from the enemy were taken as booty. The booties taken from the Iraqis were so much that it took some two months to evacuate the bunkers and trenches of the enemy. These arms and ammunitions were used for some 3 years against enemy forces. 20 airplanes and 2 helicopters were shot down and 418 tanks and personnel carriers were destroyed, too.
Of course, this victory was achieved with 6,000 martyrs and about 25,000 wounded on Iran's side. The liberation of Khorramshahr marked a very major turning point in the holy defence. Liberation of Khorramshahr changed the nature of the war. Before this, the aim of Saddam and his Ba'athist Party was to weaken the Islamic Republic and force it to surrender. Throughout the 8-year war Saddam used to brag about its military prowess and success by boasting on separation of Khuzestan from Iran and annexing to Iraq. However, as Khorramshahr was liberated from the clutches of the Iraqi regime all of these nefarious goals of the Ba'athist enemy perished. The Bayt ul-Muqaddas operation and the liberation of Khorramshahr was very important for the Front of Truth and showed that ultimate triumph over the enemy is feasible and at hand.
These circumstances shattered the illusion in the region of Saddam as being the leading power in the Arab world. The liberation of Khorramshahr placed the Islamic revolution in a decisive position among the nations of the region. It shifted the power equation to Iran's favor, promoted the dignity of Iranians and increased the power of Islam among all Muslims in the world. The Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (God's mercy upon him) as an intransigent personality and peerless leader again drew the attention of Muslims and freedom-seekers in the world. The Lebanese and Palestinian people became hopeful in their campaign against the fabricated Zionist regime. Liberation of Khorramshahr made the Iranian people believe that the power of faith, firm resolve and leadership of Imam Khomeini can overcome the western and eastern supporters of Saddam and some European and Arab states for the Baathist regime of Saddam defeat their unholy alliance with the reactionary Arab regimes of the region. The liberation of Khorramshahr portended Saddam's ultimate defeat became and heralded the emergence of a new Iranian military power which was inspired by the Islamic Revolution. In those days, the crime minister of the Zionist regime had said that if the Iranian forces crossed the Tigris River, the Israeli army would confront them, because Menachem Begin considered the fall of Saddam as a precursor for the movement of Muslim combatants to holy Quds. We will discuss this further in the next program.