Operation Fath 1

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Operation Fath 1
Part of Iran–Iraq War – Northern Front
Date11–12 October 1986 (2 days)
Location
Kirkuk area, northern Iraq
Result Iranian and Kurdish victory
Belligerents
 Iraq  Iran
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)
Commanders and leaders
Iran Yahya Rahim Safavi (deputy commander of IRGC)
Iran Mohammad-Baqer Zolqadr (IRGC commander of the operation)
Jalal Talabani (leader of PUK)
Nawshirwan Mustafa (Peshmerga commander of the operation)
Strength
Unknown

Iran:

  • IRGC: 400 (not all of them engaged)

PUK:

Casualties and losses
600 killed and wounded, dozens captured
1 helicopter destroyed[1]

Iran:
None, several lightly wounded
PUK:

Unknown, but minimal

Operation Fath 1 (Persian: عملیات فتح 1‎, meaning "conquest"), or Operation Wahdat (the Kurdish code-name), was a joint Iranian and Iraqi Kurdish special operation conducted by Iran's IRGC special forces and Iraqi Kurdish partisans of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in 11 and 12 October 1986 in Kirkuk area of northern Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War. The Iranian and Kurdish forces infiltrated into the area and successfully attacked key economic and military targets.

The operation[edit]

The operation was planned after an alliance between Iran and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Iraqi Kurdistan, which was opposed to Saddam Hussein's government. It was the first major joint operation between Iranian and Iraqi Kurdish forces, and the first of the series of "Fath" joint operations conducted by the extraterritorial Ramazan Headquarters of IRGC and Iraqi Kurdish fighters. One of the main aims of these operations in the Northern Front was to avoid concentration of Iraqi military in the Southern Front.

IRGC forces and Peshmerga partisans conducted a well-planned infiltration and a surprise attack against important industrial and military infrastructures in Kirkuk area. Several facilities of the Kirkuk Oil Refinery, Petroleum Production Unit Number 1, Kirkuk Thermal Power Station, three SAM sites, Jambur, Jabal Bur, and Shwaru oil and gas separation facilities at south Kirkuk, an eavesdropping, signals intelligence and parasite site at Saqqezli, Darman military base, and a train station were destroyed, and headquarters of the Iraqi Army I Corps, 8th Division, Iraqi Intelligence Service, and MeK were came under fire.[1] 600 Iraqi forces were killed or wounded according to Iran. There was no Iranian casualties. IRGC field commanders had planned to destroy the Kirkuk Refinery using C4 explosives, but it was decided by top commanders to reduce the mission to attack from the nearby hills, since corpses of Iranian forces on the ground could be used by Iraqi government for propaganda purposes.

The 150 tonnes of military equipment and their 300 IRGC operators were transferred from Iran to Kirkuk behind enemy lines in a covert operation lasting for 40 days.[2] The equipment was as follows:[3]

Weapon Number
Kalashnikov rifle 1,500
B.K.C machine gun 40
DShK 15
RPG-7 60
120 mm mortar 3
81 mm mortar 2
120 mm mortar shells 1,500
81 mm mortar shells 1,000
60 mm mortar shells 500
60 mm gun rounds 500
107 mm gun rounds 2,000
RPG rockets 7,354
Kalashnikov rounds 21,500
B.K.C rounds 10,000
DShK rounds 12,000

Various vehicles[4] as well as mules were used for the transportation of the equipment from north-western Iran to near the Kirkuk through highlands. The route was 150 km long.[5] All of the equipment were transferred back by the IRGC forces to Iran after the operation.[3] Iranian forces scattered in Iraqi Kurdistan and then returned to Iran.

Units[edit]

Iran[edit]

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps:

  • Ramazan Headquarters:
    Commanded by Mohammad-Baqer Zolqadr
    • 66th Airborne Special Brigade
      Commanded by Mohsen Shafaq
      • 7 platoons, 20 demolition units (230 personnel), supposed to be commanded by Sadegh Mahsouli
    • 75th Zafar Special Brigade
    • Equipment Group
      Commanded by Gholam Pakrooh
    • Active Protection System Group
      Commanded by Booyaghchi
    • Engineering Demoltion Group
      Commanded by Mohammad Asipoor
    • Medical Services Group
      Commanded by Naderi
    • Communication Group
      Commanded br Bifan

PUK[edit]

Peshmerga:

  • تیپ21 کرکوک به فرماندهی کاک سیروان.
  • تیپ25 خلفان به فرماندهی کاک ملا ارس.
  • تیپ93 کوی سنجق به فرماندهی کاک ملا ابراهیم.
  • تیپ23 یورداش به فرماندهی کاک نبغه.
  • تیپ78 قره‌چرخ به فرماندهی کاک صفین.
  • تیپ68 دشت هوله به فرماندهی کاک مام غفور.
  • تیپ برانتی به فرماندهی کاک هیمن.
  • تیپ51 گرمیان به فرماندهی کاک محمود لنگاوی.
  • تیپ53 تیروانه به فرماندهی کاک عادل.
  • تیپ57 سیگرمه به فرماندهی کاک آزاد.
  • تیپ55 قره‌داغ به فرماندهی کاک آوات.

و دو تیپ حفاظتی مالبند (منطقه‌ی) 1و2 اتحادیه*

In popular culture[edit]

Kirkuk Operation (Persian: عملیات کرکوک‎) is a 1991 Iranian movie directed and written by Jamal Shoorjeh.

References[edit]