AhlulBayt News Agency

source : Khamenei News

29 September 2022

8:05:37 AM

27-year-old genius: A look at life of Martyr Baqeri

They called him “The defense genius,” a slight, dark-skinned boy who looked several years younger than his age. He entered the field of defense at the age of 24 and became a great war strategist in just two years time. He was a person whose name and surname were changed to a pseudonym, Martyr Gholam Hossein Afshordi (Hassan Baqeri), due to security issues.

They called him “The defense genius,” a slight, dark-skinned boy who looked several years younger than his age. He entered the field of defense at the age of 24 and became a great war strategist in just two years time. He was a person whose name and surname were changed to a pseudonym, Martyr Gholam Hossein Afshordi (Hassan Baqeri), due to security issues.

He was born on March 16, 1956 in the Iranian capital, Tehran. He was born at seven months and no one thought he would survive. His mother worked as a seamstress, his father worked as a laborer, and they raised their son in a house they had rented.  His birth coincided with the anniversary of the birth of Imam Hussain (pbuh) on the third of Sha’ban. That’s why he was named Gholam Hossein. His childhood was at a time when there were epidemics of infectious diseases such as diptheria and whooping cough. According to Gholam Hossein’s mother, there was almost no disease that Gholam Hossein hadn’t contracted during his childhood and adolescence.  

Gholam Hossein was interested in reading and writing from the time he was a teenager. He read many books and wrote his memories in his diary on a daily basis. He didn’t take his schoolwork seriously though, and for that reason he failed the eighth grade. In those days, other people weren’t aware of his intelligence, and he didn’t insist on revealing it either. The days were passing by and Gholam Hossein was approaching the third decade of his life. Despite this, not only had his interest in books not decreased, it was actually increasing. After completing his secondary education in 1975, he was accepted into the field of animal husbandry in the Urmia University. However, he was expelled because of his polical activities after three semesters. After that, he went to the city of Ilam for military service. A year later, in 1979, which coincided with the height of the people’s uprising against the Shah’s monarchy, he returned to Tehran at Imam Khomeini’s order [to the soldiers] to leave the forts, and he joined the other revolutionary fighters. He played an important role in taking control of a fort and a police station.

This is what Gholam Hossein has written in his diary about the 11th of February, 1979, which coincides with the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, “On Saturday, February 11, 1979, I rushed toward Khorasan Square. There were quite a large number of bullet marks on the windows and walls of the street, which indicated that an intense conflict had taken place. From an emotional point of view, a strange sense of anxiety had overtaken everyone. It was a state that a person may not experience the rest of his life.”

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he decided to change his field of study to the area of the humanities. His fate led him to the field of Judicial Law in Tehran University. While studying, he also worked as a journalist in the newspaper Jumhuri Islami, and he published first-hand news that was taking place at the time. Gholam Hossein’s entry into the field of journalism and his activities in the newspaper Jumhuri Islami allowed him to gain accurate information about the country’s situation in different areas. At that time, anti-revolutionary groups were trying to disrupt the country’s security with their terrorist activties. He became a member of the Revolutionary Guards with the aim of transferring the information he had collected to help control and reduce the acts of terrorism that were being carried out in society. After becoming employed in the Intelligence Organization of the Revolutionary Guards, his name was changed to Hassan Baqeri for security reasons.

Ahmad, Gholam Hossein’s brother, said, “Gholam Hossein joined the IRGC in 1979. A year later he went to Lebanon to teach military courses. He was not there for long. His return to Iran coincided with the beginning of the Imposed War. After the victory of the Revolution and before becoming a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, he worked as a reporter for the Jumhuri Islami newspaper. He was also good at photography. On September 23 or 24, 1980, he went to the battlefronts as a reporter. He was used to making a note of all daily events. He wrote 700 pages about the days of the Imposed War, which have now turned into several volumes of books.”

When the Imposed War began, Saddam Hussain ordered Iraqi troops to head toward the southern fronts of Iran in the Khuzestan province. At that time, there was no accurate information about how far the Ba’athist forces had advanced. Hassan was assigned the responsibility of collecting information for the Southern Operations Headquarters. He collected information from all areas of the southern front. Hassan’s work was in fact the beginning of the establishment of the Intelligence and Combat Unit in the IRGC.

Despite the military responsibilities that he held, which were at a high-level, his life was simple and far from luxurious. His brother narrated, “Gholam Hossein had a simple wedding ceremony in our father’s house. One night he invited his friends, and another night he invited relatives. He despised anything luxurious. He had a catch phrase that we used to laugh at a lot. I never saw him get angry and that was his key characteristic.” Despite his busy schedule, Hassan was not at all indifferent with regard to the people around him. He never hesitated to help anyone. “Gholam Hossein had a kind heart. He had great respect for the needy. I remember one cold winter night, he came home late accompanied by a man who didn’t have a proper appearance. Gholam Hossein guided the man to the second floor. In a very friendly manner, he laid out a clean mattress for him and asked him to rest. I just watched. When he came out of the room, I asked, ‘Who’s that man? What’s he doing here?’ Gholam Hossein said, ‘I was passing by Khorasan Square when I saw him sitting hunched on a step. I asked him, ‘What are you doing here?’ He said, ‘I’ve come from another city and I don’t have a place to sleep. I don’t have any money to pay for a motel either.’ He’d invited the man to come to our house. He gave him a big breakfast the next day and bid him farewell.”

Gradually, as Hassan Baqeri obtained information from different areas of the southern front, he started working on the cognitive processes of the enemy. The information that Hassan provided his commanders with from the beginning led them to gain trust in him. The time had come now to use Hassan Baqeri’s information on the battlefield.

As he continued his work, he used everything that was at his disposal to gather the required information and plans as well as identifying the exact operational axes. He turned these documents into organized reports. In the Karbala Central Command, with complete and comprehensive information about the enemy’s position along with intelligence information, he analyzed and evaluated the enemy and prepared detailed maps of the operational areas. He organized the intelligence forces and held brief training sessions for them. His activities in this field led to the strengthening of the operational intelligence unit in the southern operational headquarters.

The 24-year-old student from Tehran University’s Judicial Law department played a fundamental role in the formation of the combat organization, the operation plans, and the training of influential, efficient commanders. He did this with the in-depth knowledge that he had of the enemy, command he had of the geographical areas of the war, and the resulting changes, as well as by designing and implementing important operations. In this regard he wrote, “This war has given us many golden opportunities to develop our talents. Considering the revolutionary dimensions of our forces and the fact that they refuse to blindly follow the laws that have been brought in here, our troops are able to break out of pre-constructed molds. With their creative minds, they can invent methods that will not allow the enemy to easily defend itself.”

Whenever an operation ended, the design and reconnaissance of another operation would begin. There was no end in sight to Hassan Baqeri’s work. Hassan had to work on something greater now. There was a major operation called Fath al-Mobin. Four encampments were put in place to implement this operation and Hassan Baqeri was responsible for commanding one of them. In this operation, Hassan Baqeri was able to achieve all the predetermined goals by accurately guiding the units under his command, who in return showed great initiative in the very first stage of the operation. In the second stage, he played a big role in the victory of this operation by capturing Radar Heights. Efforts to take back Khorramshahr began immediately after this operation. Despite the sensitivity of the operation and the problems that arose for the troops, Hassan was able to manage and guide them to encircle the enemy’s forces. And so, the city of Khorramshahr was liberated after months of occupation by the enemy. Before the operation had officially begun, he said, “By the will of God, the asphalt road of Khorramshahr will be taken back.”

After the liberation of Khorramshahr, Hassan Baqeri played an exceptional role in designing and directing other operations. The final role that he was assigned was to be the IRGC Ground Forces Deputy Commander.

Finally, he was martyred at the age of 27 on January 29, 1983 by an enemy mortar when he was identifying one of the operational axis in the area with a few other people. His grave is located next to other commanders of the Sacred Defense in section 24 of Tehran’s Behesht Zahra Cemetery.  

This is how the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khamenei, describes the greatness of this man, “Martyr Hassan Baqeri was undoubtedly a military planner. … When? In 1982. When did he become involved in the war? In the year 1980. This path of growth from an inexperienced soldier to a military strategist takes 20 to 25 years. This young man was able to travel this path in two years time… .”