Iran Guards Commander Killed in Syria and Tunnel Bombing Leaves 20 Soldiers Dead

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

A commander from Iran's Revolutionary Guards has been killed in Syria, media said Saturday, a disclosure that runs counter to Tehran's insistence it is not fighting alongside President Bashar Assad's forces.

Reports that Abdollah Eskandari died while "defending" a Shiite shrine emerged earlier this week but neither the elite military unit nor Iran's foreign ministry have passed comment.

However, the Fars news agency reported that a funeral service would be held for the commander Sunday in the city of Shiraz.

Eskandari was formerly a commander of the Guards' ground forces and also headed a state-run charity in southern Iran that helps war veterans and families of fallen soldiers.

Neither the circumstances of his killing nor details about his role in the Syrian civil war -- where Iran has staunchly backed the Assad regime -- have been officially confirmed.

Since the conflict's outbreak in March 2011, Iran has provided Damascus with intelligence, materiel and military advisers.

But Iran insists it has never sent combat troops to Syria, rejecting such claims made by mostly Sunni rebels fighting to overthrow Assad.

Despite the denials, Iranian media occasionally reports the deaths of Iranian volunteer fighters killed in Syria.

Among them was Guards commander Mohammad Jamali Paqale who was killed in November while "defending" the Shiite holy site of Zeinab shrine in Damascus.

Iran is backing Assad to win a third seven-year term in a Tuesday election that rebels, their Western and Arab backers and critics are dismissing as a farce.

The poll will only be held in government-controlled areas inside Syria and not in large swathes of territory that are in rebel hands.

"This election will strengthen the legitimacy of the Bashar Assad government," Ali Akbar Velayati, the senior foreign policy adviser to Iran's supreme leader, said Friday.

"His people have realized (Assad) has prevented Syria from disintegrating or falling to occupation," Velayati added.

Also on Saturday, at least 20 Syrian soldiers and militia were killed in a fresh attack by Islamist rebels, who planted explosives in a tunnel under an army position in Aleppo, a monitor said.

The historic Old City area has seen horrific violence ever since a major rebel offensive on Aleppo in July 2012.

It is a flashpoint area that sees daily fighting, and the army has set up multiple positions there.

"Islamist rebels detonated a tunnel near the Zahrawi market in the Old City of Aleppo, killing at least 20 army soldiers and pro-regime militiamen," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Fighting broke out after the explosion, and at least one rebel was killed, said the Britain-based Observatory.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic Front, Syria's largest rebel alliance, which groups thousands of fighters across the strife-torn country.

The Front posted a link to a video on its Twitter account, showing a huge blast throwing a massive cloud of debris up into the air.

In recent weeks, the Islamic Front has frequently used tunnels to plant massive amounts of explosives beneath army positions.

The tactic has been used mainly in Aleppo and neighboring Idlib provinces.

The latest blast came a day after the Observatory said some 2,000 people have been killed since January in regime bombing of rebel-held areas of Aleppo city and nearby towns and villages.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 160,000 people.

Comments 22
Missing ArabDemocrat.com 31 May 2014, 14:23

Cedre - You do know that Michel Aflaq has been sentenced to death by the Assad regime and fled the country when the latter came to power!

Missing peace 31 May 2014, 17:14

condoleances to M8ers... lol

Missing peace 31 May 2014, 18:04

condoleances for your lost brain too....

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 01 June 2014, 02:29

I agree with "theresistance4.0", there are thousands - indeed tens of thousands - of hate-filled brainwashed people who are willing to kill people in the name of Imams that have been dead 1,400 years ago. If you want to have a historical perspective read up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safavid_conversion_of_Iran_to_Shia_Islam

Thumb geha 31 May 2014, 17:34

As for this dead commander: my he rot in hell.

what business does he have in Syria killing its babies, women and men?
Syria is for Syrians, and any foreigner killed there while fighting: may he rot in hell.

Missing bigjohn 31 May 2014, 20:08

"Syria is a battle ground of sunnis vs shiite"...If that was the case, it would have ended a long time ago. The Takfiri "Islamic Front" alliances and AL Nusra front make up the majority of the Syrian and foreign fighters in Syria. Most of the Sunnis in Syria and the Sunni world are not Takfiris. Secular Baathists are not "Shiites" and ALL of those who are fighting the Takfiris in Syria are mostly NOT Shiites.

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 01 June 2014, 02:33

bigjohn - you conflate Takfiri with Salafis. Most Islamic front are Salafists but they are not Takfiris. Indeed, it is they (and other rebel goups) who are fighting ISIL (who are Takfris). The same ISIL that hardly fights the regime and indeed seem to collaborate with him. People like you need to justify their support for this monster and it is why you make up lies. I may not like any organization that professes religion (including the Hizb and the Islamic front) but this does not give me the right to make up lies about them.

Missing bigjohn 01 June 2014, 08:49

I know there is a difference between Salafists and Takfiris. Some salafists in lebanon are allied with HA. I disagree with you that the "Islamic Front" are not mostly Takfiris. You just need to read and here what they are saying. BTW, you can call HA in the 1980's under Toufaili as Shiite takfiris.

Missing bigjohn 31 May 2014, 20:23

Rafehh...There is still many pro Michel Aflak supporters in Syria (mostly Christians). They are united in defeating the Takfiris (sorry).

Default-user-icon The Truth (Guest) 31 May 2014, 20:26

He was defending the holy shrines by killing women and children and the funeral announcement sounds just like the mysterious funerals of Hizb Allah fighters before they admitted to fighting in Syria.

Thumb theresistance4.0 31 May 2014, 22:34

Says Terrorist LOL! ^^^ = Dummy
| | |

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 01 June 2014, 02:19

These shrines have been there for 1400 years!!! And now they need the Mullahs of Iran to protect them!??? You want to justify supporting the slaughter and murder of this regime by supposedly protecting few graves!!! You are indeed a sick man.

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 01 June 2014, 02:21

bigjohn - I doubt it if they have any say in anything considering that they mostly been hunted down by this regime.

Thumb geha 01 June 2014, 05:44

mystic

I am not a muslim, but I know a few things about it.

there are no shrines in Islam but the 2 stated above.

the shrines you are talking about are the same things the Prophet Mohammed faught against.
if shia believe that those are shrines, then they are not muslims at all and what they practice is something different from Islam.

Missing lebcan 01 June 2014, 06:37

@geha, many muslims deviate by following Innovations (Bidha) i.e. celebrating the birthday of Mohammad (sws) is a Bidha. Why because it is close to Shirk (associating partners with Allah).
The Shia Sect is the farthest from Islam and the most Bidha ridden sect in the faith.
Islam has NO sects. As a matter of fact Mohammad (sws) said that, that Islam will split into 72 deferent sects but ONLY one will be accepted by Allah (S.T) but one and its called ISLAM! and the one who follows is a MUSLIM... Not Sunni not Shia... If we were to ask Mohammad (sws) what his sect was he would say... WHAT???

Thumb scorpyonn 01 June 2014, 08:06

Good riddance to the cancer from Tehran. I hope they all perish in Syria along with their Lebanese lapdogs who pay homage to them

Thumb kanaandian 01 June 2014, 08:25

terrorist killed by terrorists.

Missing bigjohn 01 June 2014, 08:36

Rafehh...the Takfiris in Syria have blown up Shiite shrines, Christian shrines, and EVEN statue of Nizar qabbani. Now, if you are talking about foreign intervention, then ALL foreigners need to leave, and there are MORE on the "opposition" side than the regime.

I know there is a difference between Salafists and Takfiris. Some salafists in lebanon are allied with HA. I disagree with you that the "Islamic Front" are not mostly Takfiris. You just need to read and here what they are saying. BTW, you can call HA in the 1980's under Toufaili as Shiite takfiris.

As far as the pro Aflaq faction in Syria, they were not allowed to be active. I know some because they are related to my cousin who lives in Syria. And, the same goes to communists and other left groups. They are allowed to be active today in fighting the Mostly Takfiris.

Missing bigjohn 01 June 2014, 08:52

Hey anonymetexasusa I read this news from the western media. Why don't you check it yourself?

Missing ArabDemocrat.com 01 June 2014, 08:53

bigjohn - I happen to know lot of Baathists and despise this regime. I suggest you read what Michel Aflaq wrote about this regime (http://albaath.online.fr/Volume%20IV-Chapters/Fi%20Sabil%20al%20Baath-Vol%204-Ch97.htm)

As for the some shrines that has been destroyed, these were done by ISIL (Dahesh) and it is the revolutionaries fighting this scourge and not the regime or the Hizb and the countless Iran-trained and funded Shia militias. Indeed every time the rebels go after ISIL, the regime goes after the rebels. The regime, the Hizb and the fanatical Shia militias are too busy fighting the rebels to care about the real Takfiris of ISIL.

The numbers you claim are old. It is now well understood that the regime has many more foreign fighters supporting it than all the rest combined. ISIL is next and the Nusra a distant third.

Missing bigjohn 01 June 2014, 09:16

As far as the Baathists I am talking about NOW with REAL people, NOT the 1960's when the Baath party broke up. I have been to Syria many times and have cousins who are married to Syrians. I have visited people in Syria who are pro Asad, anti Asad, pro Aflaq, SSNP, Communists, Tashnaq, etc. I have read what he said about the Assad regime and what he was NOT allowed to say about Sadam huesein when he was in power. Aflaq lived the rest of his life in Iraq.

The regime are going after the Nusra front and the islamic Front because they are the ones controlling the strategic areas of Aleppo, damascus, idlib, and other Areas. ISIL are mostly in eastern Syria. The deliberate slaughter of minority areas through shelling, car bombs, massacres of civilians have been mostly done by Al Nusra and the Islamic front...not the ISIL.

Missing bigjohn 01 June 2014, 09:28

anonymetexasusa I did provide a link to the daily star about the LAF dropping barrel bombs!?