Fish Letters!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Thu 12 July / Jul 2018. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Thu 12 July / Jul 2018. 07:31 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The book, “Fish Letters, Memoirs of General Hamdani: Iranian Patronage over Syria”, a Publications of Baathat 2 (under the Iranian Revolutionary Guard), authored by Kalali Babaya, is one of the most important publications depicting at least a part of Iran’s narrative on the Syria crisis and the war.

It speaks about General Hossein Hamdani’s role in Iran’s wars and the suppression of the Green Revolution in Tehran. It also sheds light on some aspects of his private, family life.

On Syria, the book highlights the general’s role in assisting the Syrian regime confront the armed opposition, leading to his death in October, 2015.

Friend and expert on Iranian affairs Dr Fatima Samadi constructed a special review of the book’s chapter on Iran’s intervention in Syria. It is available in the Doha Institute’s Siyasat Arabiya outlet online, and focuses on the most crucial, uncovered classified information on the Iranian role in Syria, among other things, as well as the Iranian officials’ autobiography tradition.

Another friend of mine, Dr Abdul Rahman Hajj translated the chapter from Farsi to Arabic, via five episodes for the Syrian television. AlJazeera Also aired the particular parts regarding Syria in a short film, during one of its programmes.

A Mission in Syria!

One of the book’s chapters elaborates on the aspects of the Iranian intervention in Syria and Gen Hamdani’s mission, assigned to him back in 2012.

Hamdani is a Revolutionary Guard commander of the Tehran legions. He was assigned to the Syria case by the chief commander of the Revolutionary Guard, recommended by Qassim Suleimani, to save Bashar Assad’s regime.

Notably, the regime back ten held no more than 25 per cent of the Syrian territories, according to the book itself.

Meanwhile, the book uncovers, Gen Hamdani had met with Hassan Nasrallah, who was assigned to the Syria file by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to discuss their plans.

They both agreed to disregard all other, non-military and non-security aspects of the Syria crisis, for the time being.

According to the book, Hamadni recommended to save Bashar and the regime apparatus from the swamp first and then address their corruption. The foremost pressing priority is to save the regime, he said.

Despite their intervention, Hamdani admits, and their months-long presence in Syria, the regime was about to crumble, back in 2013, when the militants almost got to the Republican Palace in Damascus.

They were in control of entire neighbourhoods in the Syrian capital. Officials were smuggling their families, and Assad was looking for a country to take refuge in, he said in his journals.

Assad thought it was over and done with, he explicitly noted.

Of course, Hamdani sees himself as the saviour of the Syrian regime, as he was the one who oversaw the training and arming of the militias the Iranians sponsored.

Still, this is at least a bit of an exaggeration.

The regime was not saved by any one general or any number of militias.

A consortium of international and regional agendas aligned themselves behind the supposedly fearsome scenario of Assad’s aftermath. Then the Russians intervened in 2015, turning the entire situation around!

Why ‘Fish Letters’?

The book’s title was inspired by a verse the General used to recite to himself and others, from one of Sohrab Sepehri’s poems, an Iranian poet, called “The Fishes’ Message”.

Roughly, it translates to: “If you see God in the palpitations of the garden, Make an effort and tell him that the fishes'' pond is dry.”

That said, the question, from the opposite viewpoint on the Syrian narrative, is: whom does the fish represent really?! The Syrian people who’s been driven to homelessness and massacred or the murderous regime?

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.