"Mossad sent me to Kurdistan to help the
Kurds": Sagi Chori
Saqi Chori interviewed by Israel-Kurd
ISRAEL, — In order to train the Kurd
commanders I carried them to Israel by plane from
Sagi Chori, the Israeli General which planed the
battles of Rwanduz, Zozk and Handren mountains spoke
Now, he retired as a Mosad officer, but in early of
1966-67 came Kurdistan from Israel to help the
Peshmarga and Kurd army against Iraqi army.
He trained Peshmarga which was under threats of
occupation army. As Chori mentioned, that time for
Peshmarga just Bruno gun was available against am
army which had the modern army equipment and the
Iraqi soldiers were more too than Peshmarga.
Then, Kurd should have just Israel and needed its
support and cooperation, was it wrong? The relation
wasn't useful for Kurd? These questions had been
discussed and answered with Sagi Chori who was one
of Mala Mustafa Barzani closest friend.
Q: Let to know
who Chori is and how about his life?
Chori: I was
born in Israel; my father's origin is from Latvia
(Russia) with mother from Poland. I was grown up
nearby Natanyaye city in middle of Israel. In 1952
attended a parachutist officer course and been a
commander in defense army. After that I get other
military grades, Helping Kurd was one of my
Q: For the first
time when you went Kurdistan and what was your main
Chori: In 1966,
the first year of Israeli helping to Kurd, then I
was Mosad officer and they sent me to Kurdistan.
Q: You were
alone or some one accompanied you in that trip?
Chori: I went
alone, as arrived to Barzani office in Haji Omaran,
Daived Cron the Mosad agent was there with another
Israeli person who dont remember his name now.
Q: As reached
Kurdistan you did what at first and who receipted
Chori: I was the
guest of Mala Mustafa, Idris, Massoud Barzani, also
the leadership members, but Mala Mustafa wasn't
there. As asked them about him, they said Barzani
went to battle fronts in Penjwen. I said let start
till Barzani will return; they agreed and get my aim
directly. I didn'tt know Kurdish or Arabic
languages, but Cron translated my speech to Arabic
and they were clever and we understood each other
Q: In you travel
to Iran-Tehran how tried to help Kurd and did what?
Chori: As I
reached Tehran, they asked me to attend a training
course for Iranian officers to learn them the
elementary skills of war to be able train the Kurds
at the end, but Shah didnt accept. I asked to take
Kurd commanders to Tehran to train them there, so
they came and I started the course. The course wasn't
succeeding there, because Shah wasn't interested in
I asked our embassy in Iran to take these Kurd
commanders to Israel and train theme there, it was
accepted and I took them to Israel by plane. I put
them in a hotel near Haifa and took to our military
From left to right SaqiChori, Mustafa Barzani and
Idris Barzani, Iraqi Kurdistan 1966. Photo from:
Saqi Chori. Photo: israelkurd.com
A letter from Mustafa Barzani to Chori, 1967. Photo:
I lasted one month, the
learnt good things and later went to Tehran and then
Q: Did you come
back to Tehran with them?
Chori: Yes, I
came back with them; I prepared 20 soldiers for each
commander to fight against Iraqi army, because the
Kurds had just Bruno not more else, but Iraqi army
had modern and heavy weapon.
Q: After that
you did what when the course finished?
that, we prepared our self to defense attacking, as
the snow season was over, we planed to attack and
control Haji Omaran. I had good plan to teach them
and advised the commanders, also I learnt some thing
Q: About your
defense forces, you had put them how and were you in
Chori: We had
planned to defend behind Rwanduz, Zozk and Handren
mountains. I participated in these battles. When the
enemy attacked with a huge number of soldiers and
didn't know how control the status. For the first
time held the defense line in the front from those
people which were clever and experienced in shooting
gun. They were not much, but acted well and defended
the enemy's attacks.
Q: How about
place and amount of Iraqi army?
Chori: They were
six parts in Ali-bag and Khalifan area and expected
to be more than 10,000 soldiers. They were supported
by tank and air forces and were trained and skillful.
I was a parachute officer and knew that Iraqi army
waited to spring to attack the mountains, so I
prepared some groups to defend, especially that I
had some information about Anti-Terror operations.
Q: As you met
Barzani, you talked about what and he asked what?
Chori: I saw
Barzani every day, I went to help them and Mosad
advised me to help Kurds in order to be able fight
against their enemy.
Q: As Barzani
returned from Penjwen, how you talked about your
last military plan?
Chori: When he
returned, came and met Miki and me, I discussed the
plan, but I wish all of the others thought as him,
Barzani was leader in fact, the world finds a leader
like him never, unfotuanlly now he isn't with us.
Q: After that
Barzani accepted you plan, how you started the
to the plan, when the Iraqis started to attack, we
had prepared defend lines. They couldnt use air
forces to control the mountains, some where even the
ways were dangerous to Iraqi soldiers, Kurd is known
to shooting, and they defended the area. I told them
to wait when the soldiers reached front then shoot
them. We were on the top of Handren and Zozk, told
them dont shoot on the tanks, because our placed
would be revealing. Kurds knew their area, so they
had more chance to be succeeded. Iraqi armies were
about 3,000 soldiers, I asked Malazm Yousif to
command the battle, but unfortunately he was martyr.
Q: After those
succeeding, what was your next plan, was Barzani
satisfied with your activities?
Barzani was too satisfied with me, but he was
uncomfortable with the killing of a great number of
enemy's soldier. After the battle, the attacks on
Kurdistan had been stopped, we were surprised. Later
we knew that Abdul-Salam Aref burned in his plane
and Abdul-Rahman (his brother) became the president,
he asked Barzani to stop the conflict and go to
negotiate. I told Barzani that beside your
negotiation we will fight, but he said that how we
can negotiate and fight at the same time.
Q: Was Iran
helping Kurds to give military equipment?
Chori: Kurds had
little equipment, told the Iranian where the
equipment is, they said that we sent to Penjwen, it
seemed to neglect their promise to help Kurd and
didnt like to help Kurd, they told me that finish
your affairs and return your country.
Q: How you were
in contact with the Kurdish leadership and country
Chori: I had a
friend which worked in Motorolla Company, I asked
him to tell me which communication instruments are
more useful, and He introduced me an instrument
which was useful and could cover 40 k.m.
I wrote a report to Mosad and advised them to buy
such instruments, the bought a number of these
instruments and I presented them to Idris Barzani
and he gave the commanders in front of the battle,
they were too useful and Iraqi government didnt
know it soon.
From Israel told me to return, but I said that I
should complete and finish my plans to Barzani then
come back, when we controlled the Garoui Omar Agha.
Q: Were the
fourth part of Iraqi army in Kurdistan, you did what
with Masoud Barzani and what was the role of Miki?
Chori: Miki and
Masoud Barzani instituted Parastn Security
department. The army was too active and I suggested
attacking the forth part of them which were in
Handren Mountain. Most of them were killed, as the
equipment reached us from Iran, Barzani said “it was
too much killed people, I am not satisfied with such
killing, I know that they are obligated to be sent
to battles, I dont like fight with Arab, I am
against the Iraqi government system.
Q: By the ending
of the war how you returned to Israel and why came
back Kurdistan again?
Chori: At the
end of May 1966 I returned to Israel, attended a
training course in USA for one year, and then came
back to Kurdistan before Kurdistan battle in 1967.
Barzani sent me letter when I was in Ramata-Goulan.
I safe this letter and am honored that a great Kurd
leader wrote me a letter by his hand writing. Before
go to Korek mountain I suggest to attack the Iraqi
army, but Barzani mentioned that we can not hold
talk and battle in the same time, but I said to him
you fight with them and we (me with Masoud and Idris
Barzani) try to negotiate with them but he refused.
Q: When you
returned Kurdistan by Barzani's invite?
Chori: I was in
Ramat Gulan when Mossad chief called me and said
that Barzani said "send me Chori". So I prepared my
self when the attacks against Kurdistan were started
in 1974. As reached Barzani he said that enemy
attacked us and should do some thing. We planed and
could break enemy's battles. Unfortunately, Iran and
some Arab countries treaty the movement had been
suspended. Regard to Barzani who actually was a
famous man and rare leader in the world.
Q: Are there
some other things to Israel-Kurd magazine reader?
Chori: I have
regard to Israel-Kurd magazine staff and wish them
the best. My last hope is to see Masoud Barzani for
once again; he is a good leader for Kurd and Iraq in
this stage really. Also, Dr. Mahmoud Osman, I saw
him too much and hope the best health for him.
Corrections by ekurd.net
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