Iran General NewsBasij Special Unit Fatehin and Its Role in Quelling...

Basij Special Unit Fatehin and Its Role in Quelling Iran’s Protests


On November 26, the Iran regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi visited the special forces of the regime called ‘Fatehin’. While appreciating them he said to them: “You shined well.” His remark was because of the participation of this infamous unit in the repression of the people in the recent protests.

Who is the special unit of Fatehin?

The Fatehin Special Unit is one of the militia groups supervised by the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), whose members have received special military training, beyond the common training of Basij members who have been deployed in Tehran in recent weeks in official military uniforms to confront the protesters.

This special unit is mainly operating in Greater Tehran. But the IRGC has decided to establish it in all other provinces too. It is said that this unit was created in 1999 by the Basijis of West Tehran in the Meqdad district under the title of Airborne Special Operations Unit.

Mahmoud Hashemi, the commander of this unit in an interview with the state-run news agency Tasnim on April 19, 2020, about the reason for the formation of this unit said: “On July 9, 1999, a need was evident in Basij’s security complex, which was that there was no centralized, coherent trained force in Basij.

“It was decided that a group of IRGC officials form this unit under the command of Majid Fathinejad, who was the commander of our base at that time, and the training of the troops began.”

Then about the first mission of this unit in repressing the people, he added: “A year later the forces were organized, in the conflicts that happened on the anniversary of the sedition of 1999, which was a bit more intense than the previous year, this battalion was stationed in the Meqdad district. We interfered under the command of Tehran’s command base, wherever it was necessary.”

According to this person at that time Rahim Safavi, the then commander-in-chief of the IRGC took over the responsibility of this unit due to its good performance as he claimed. He admitted that this Basij unit performed well in the killings and human rights violations in the 2009 protests.

He then added that most of the IRGC officials were amazed therefore, most IRGC academies asked this unit to deliver their experiences. Finally, in 2012 this unit was registered and become official. Mohammad Jafari a former commander-in-chief of the IRCG gave this unit its current name.

But the most important mission of this unit was its participation in the Syrian war, with the responsibility to protect the Shrine of Lady Zaynab in Damascus. They were the first Basij Paramilitary member who entered the Syrian war to support Bashar Assad in the massacre of his own people.

It is also said that until a month ago, the environmental and peripheral protection of the Behesht Zahra Organization was the responsibility of military police, but in a memorandum of understanding, this protection was assigned to the Fatehin Special Unit.

In this way, as the commanders of this criminal unit admitted, basically, their main mission is to counter uprisings and popular protests, and because of their criminal activities, they are supported by the supreme commanders of the Revolutionary Guards.

The Fatehin special unit, along with other armed forces involved in dealing with protesters, is accused of killing unarmed citizens, including children and women.

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