Autopsy of an ideological drift (31)

Coalition forces bombed their bases several times, since their forces were considered part of the Iraqi Army. According to a British diplomat, they represented an ‘obstacleto our operations’.

CHAPTER 16

A Major Defeat

The fall of the House of Saddarn was a major defeat for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. It began its descent into Hell. As its Leader, Massoud Rajavi, declared in reference to the Iraqi Government:

“If this ever fell, we would sink into oblivion. Our survival depends on our support from President Saddam Hussein‘s regime “.

On Wednesday, 16 April 2003, Jean-Claude Chapon, the special correspondent of Agence France Presse covering the American assault on Iraq, filed this story on the collapse of the PMOI.

“In Falluja, the enormous camp of the People’s Mojahedin, the armed Iranian opposition supported by Saddarn Hussein, was left to pillagers and stray dogs since the fighters had fled on the first day of war in Iraq. Their destination is unknown.

Wednesday, on the 28th day of the American-British invasion, a group of marauders, usually armed with Kalashnikovs, or with pistols hidden in their shirts, still patrolled the huge complex, which must have supported a self-sustaining base for its occupants only 40 kilometers from Baghdad.

Surrounded by a high wall several kilometers in length, topped with barbed wire rolls, a small antennae sprouting village had been Constructed. The houses, warehouses, Garages and offices are spread out through the centre of the camp, in the midst of lush vegetation which is most dramatic against the backdrop of this desert region.

Around the camp’s centre are cultivated fields designed, no doubt, to feed the camp’s personnel. An irrigation system is still working, as the dark brown color of the soil shows, as well as the gushing water here and there into well maintained irrigation ditches.

At the entrance to the complex, on the side of the highway that leads to Jordan, two men are taking down an electric pole in order to take away the grid’s wires. They become quite nervous and aggressive with the intrusion of reporters. They are from the neighboring area and finally agree to tell us what they know of the camp.

According to them, hundreds of fighters from the movement lived there, often with their families. These Iranians, according to the two men who did not give their names, kept to themselves and never came out. Only Iraqi trucks, generally military lorries, but sometimes unidentifiable, came and went from the camp. It had a heavily fortified, double gateway.

On the first day of the war, all of these soldiers moved out, they say. Where to? The two men know very little for certain, but they guess that they went to the Diyala region on the Iranian border...

Coalition forces bombed their bases several times, since their forces were considered part of the Iraqi Army. According to a British diplomat, they represented an ‘obstacle to our operations’.

In fact, several buildings, especially in the centre of the Falluja camp were destroyed by American bombing. Yet, people in the stir- rounding area could not give an exact date for these air raids”.

Autopsy of an ideological drift (30)


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