Narration of the 33-day war by General Soleimani

January 3, 2023 - 19:3
Ayatollah Khamenei's wonderful prediction after my bitter report

TEHRAN- One of the milestones of General Soleimani's career was his presence in the 33-day war waged by the Israeli regime against Lebanon in 2006. In an interview published a few months before his assassination, Soleimani gave a first-hand information about some aspects of the war.

What follows are seven parts of the military adventure.

1. The first day of the war

I returned to Lebanon on the first day of the war. Actually, I was there the day before. In fact, I first went to Syria, but all the roads to Lebanon were under attack, especially the only main way which was Lebanon’s border passage to Syria. It was blitzed all the time and aircrafts did not leave there for a second.  We had contacted with one of our friends through a safe line. Imad Mughniyeh came after me and took me from Syria to Lebanon. We walked for some time, then continued by car. War at that time was mainly focused on Hezbollah’s administrative buildings, mostly in the southern regions and sometimes in the central and northern parts.

2. Bitter report

Almost after the first week, Tehran wanted me to go back and report about the war. I came back by a side road. That time, the Supreme Leader of the revolution was in Mashhad, and I met him there in the presence of heads of the three branches of government and the main officials of the (Supreme) National Security Council, who were often active in the security and intelligence sectors. In the Mashhad meeting, I presented my war report. It was not a favorable report. I did not show any hope for victory. This was a completely different, technological and specific war. The targets were carefully chosen. The twelve-story buildings were destroyed with one bomb.

3. The Supreme Leader’s wonderful prediction 

It was prayer time. We prayed and returned to the meeting. My report was over. The Supreme Leader began to speak. He said a few things, noting that my points about the war were true. "This is a very tough war, but I think this war is similar to the Battle of the Trench." The Leader recited the verses of Al-Ahzab and explained Muslims’ mood, the Prophet Muhammad companion’s emotions as well as his soldiers’ feelings. Then he said, "But I think victory in this war will be similar to the victory in the Battle of the Trench."  I was taken by surprise because I was not sure from military point of view. I mean, I wished he had not talked about the victory. The Battle of the Trench was the prophet’s great victory. Supreme Leader continued and said that the Israeli regime had planned a massive offensive against Hezbollah in advance. And Hezbollah had thwarted their plan by taking 2 captives. Finally, he advised me to tell them to recite Jawshan Sagheer's prayer.

4. Fresh blood runs through the veins of warriors

I came to Tehran (from Mashhad) that night and returned to Syria again. I was glad because I was the bearer of a message that was perhaps more valued to Seyed Hassan Nasrallah than anything else. Imad came after me again and took the same way. I went to meet Seyed and gave him the message. Nothing seemed more effective on Seyed than my message. He was very happy. 

The Supreme Leader’s words that “there are many difficulties, but a great victory is possible and this war will end in a victory like the Battle of Al-Ahzab” spread everywhere among Mujahedin; in the front line and everyone else. Secondly, this analysis that “the enemy already has had an offensive plan” became the main basis of Nasrallah’s approach in convincing the public opinion and make them pay attention to the enemy’s intentions.

Jawshan Sagheer's prayer also was well received because this prayer has very valuable, mystical and spiritual concepts and it is one of the best prayers of Mafatih-al-Jinan. The prayer was widely recited and Al-Manar TV broadcast it regularly in a beautiful and sad voice. Even Christians recited it. This message was very touching and caused another move. It encouraged Hezbollah to fight hopefully and more confidently against the enemy. 

5.  Chased by an Israeli drone

Hezbollah had a command room in the heart of Dahiya; the buildings nearby were bombed and destroyed. Every night, two or three large buildings with twelve or thirteen stories were completely destroyed. It was not an underground command room, it was a normal room, but some equipment, connections stuff had been placed there. One night when we were in this room along with almost all the war officers, about eleven o'clock at night, the Israeli drones struck the buildings around us and destroyed them. We thought the enemy might have become suspicious because of the comings and goings. I felt Seyed was in serious danger. And we decided to take him out. Imad and I consulted together. Seyed was seriously reluctant to leave the command room. We just wanted to take him from one building.

The Israeli MK drones, consistently flew in the sky of Dahiya and monitored strictly all the movements, even the movement of a motorcycle was important for them. At twelve o’clock, Dahiya, which was Hezbollah’s main center, was deadly silent. We made our mind and moved from the command room to another building. There was not much distance between these two buildings. 

As soon as we moved, the enemy bombed a building next to our previous one. We waited in that building, because we had a secure line of communications between frontline commanders and Nasrallah and Imad. This communications line had not to be disconnected. Another bombardment took place and hit a bridge next to this building. We had an intuition that the next strike was on the way and this building might be the target. There were only three of us in the building: Seyed, Imad and me. Therefore, we decided to go out and went to another building. We went out, we had no car. Dahiya was dark and utterly silent. Only the sound of Israeli planes could be heard above Dahiya. Imad said, “sit under this tree, so you will be protected from their sight.”  It was not safe, because the cameras on MK drones recognized human body’s temperature from other things, therefor it was impossible to hide there. Imad left. It didn’t take more than a few minutes that he returned with a car. Imad was extraordinary, especially in making war plans. Before the car reached us the MK drones had focused on us. MK was transmitting data from its camera directly to Tel Aviv and they were watching the scene in their command room. It took a long time until we were able to go from one basement to another and then, move from this car to another which is difficult to explain now. We could fool the enemy and returned to the command room about 2:00 AM.

6. Warriors' letter to Seyed Hassan Nasrallah

Imad did something which was very effective. The impact of this letter was similar to the message and promise that the Supreme Leader gave to Seyed about the victory in this war. It was the letter of Mujahedeen in the front lines, under enemy fire, addressed to Seyed Hassan. The letter was strange. I did not see anyone to hear it and not to cry. That day when the letter was read, Imad, who himself had initiated it, cried loudly. More important than that was Seyed's response. It was similar to the poems that the companions of Imam Hussein (AS) sang in Karbala in defense of him against the enemy. Seyed's words to the Mujahedeen in praising and consecrating their resistance were similar to the words of Imam Hussein on the night of Ashura. These two letters - the Mujahedeen’s letter to Hassan Nasrallah and his feedback - each had a very high impact and gave a new energy to the war and everything changed on the 28th day. 

7. How did the war end?

At that time, Mr. Hamad Al Khalifa, Qatar’s Prime Minister who was also Foreign Minister, was in the United Nations acting as a mediator and used to come and go to Lebanon. He later said, "In those days, the Americans never allowed a truce to be discussed. I was disappointed. I went to my home to take a rest, suddenly the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations came after me hastily. He hurriedly and worriedly asked where are you? I asked did something new happen? He said let's go to the United Nations. I came and saw this evil John Bolton walking worriedly and anxiously. Both of them told me the war must stop now. I said, why? They said, if the war does not stop, the Israeli army will collapse. Therefore, the Israelis backed down from all their previous conditions and agreed with Hezbollah's conditions. They accepted the ceasefire and this was a great victory for Hezbollah. Not only the victory was achieved, but also, this was the end of the Zionist attack against Lebanon which has continued to this day. Hezbollah changed the Zionist regime's attitude to invasion of not only Lebanon but any other place. I would like to say that after the 33-day war, the strategy of the Zionist regime, from Ben-Gurion's strategy of surprise attack and offensive war slowly changed to a defensive strategy.

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