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Ali Akbar Shiroodi (Persian: علی‌اکبر شیرودی‎) was one of the best helicopter pilots of the Iranian Army during Iran-Iraq war. Ali Akbar Shiroodi, according to some war experts, was one of the most prominent helicopter pilots and even the best Cobra AH-1J International pilot in history. They consider him a prolific pilot in flights and air combats because of the way he attacked the enemy. Shiroodi would use his Cobra like a jet plane, maneuvering, and engaging enemy like a fighter plane. Also he had the highest number of flights for a Cobra pilot in the world. He was injured 40 times and shelled 300 times.[1] He defended the Western Iranian territories during the initial years of Iran-Iraq war.

Ali Akbar Shiroodi
علی‌اکبر شیرودی
Brigadier General of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
Personal details
Tonekabon, Iran
Ghare Bolagh, Zahab plain
Military service
AllegianceIslamic Republic of Iran
Branch/serviceIRI.Army Ground Force Seal.svg Ground Forces
Years of service1969-1981
RankSartip.pngBrigadier General
Unit24th Tactical Aviation Support Regiment
Battles/warsIran–Iraq War



Shiroodi was born in 1948 in Balashirood in the Tonekabon district. His father was a farmer and because of this he had felt the hardness of poverty during his childhood. Growing up, he was a great student and was always at the top of his school ranking.[2][1]

After graduating from high school he left his village for Tehran to continue his studies and find a better life. After 2 years, in 1965, he was enlisted in the Army, and after passing the initial pilot training and the completion of his Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter course; he graduated with the ranking of 2nd lieutenant. He decided to fly helicopters full-time during this period. When the demonstrations against the Pahlavi Regime began, Shiroodi had an active and important role in support of the Revolution of 1979.

He played a significant role in Kermanshah when Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran. He was the supervisor of detection and protection group of Kermanshah city. After the Islamic Revolution, Shiroodi was one of the founders of Islamic Revolution Committee (Komiteh) in Kermanshah province.[1]

The West StarEdit

When the Iran-Iraq war started, he served during the entire war and his helicopter was attacked by the enemy many times. In the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War, along with Ahmad Keshvari and Hamid Reza Soheilian, he entered many operations and his bravery was always noted during the war. Valiollah Fallahi called him the West Star (West referring to western Province of Kurdistan) and referred to him as "the savior of western Iran and Aria mountain pass, Bazi Deraz, Meimak, and Zahab plain." In one of the operations, he attacked the Iraqi forces in the region of Sarpol-e Zahab and defeated them. When the congress received the news, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani referred to him as Malek Ashtar.[1][3]

Ali Khamenei states about him: “He was the first warrior whom I prayed behind” and this was his greatest life-time honor.

Shiroodi was promoted several times during the war but he did not accepted any of the military promotions. His reason for fighting was his belief and according to him, that was enough.

Ali Akbar Shiroodi had the highest number of military flight in the war and had made the western aerial warfare his war zone. He fought the enemy with valor and honor.[1][4] He is amongst the most revered Iranian fighters of the Iran-Iraq War.

Shaheed(Martyr) Shiroodi was killed in 1982 in Ghar-e-Bolagh located in Zahab plains. The reconnaissance informed his unit that Iraqi tanks are moving towards Zahab region. Iraqi armored unit used the cover of night to advance. Shiroodi had to wait until 0600 hours to engage. His men and him destroyed most of the enemy units. However, at the end of this successful mission his Super Cobra was hit, shut down, and he was killed upon impact.[5]

Simorgh TV seriesEdit

In 1992, Iranian television made a series that was about pilots of the western war zone such as Ali Akbar Shiroodi, Ahmad Keshvari, and Soheilian. The series shows Iraqi tanks moving toward Dashtezahab region and in the morning the pilots attacked them destroying most of the Iraqi armored vehicles. Muhammad Jozani acted Shiroodi's role in this series whose director was Hossein Ghasemi jami.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "Islamic Republic of Iran Army website".
  2. ^ "Navidshahed".
  3. ^ "Tebyan".
  4. ^ "IRNA".
  5. ^ "Sajed".