ISIL kills top Iranian commander in Syria

Iranian military says Brigadier General Hossein Hamadani was killed by the rebels near Aleppo overnight.

    ISIL kills top Iranian commander in Syria
    Iranian military commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani [File: AFP/Getty]

    An Iranian Revolutionary Guards general has been killed near Aleppo, where he was advising the Syrian army on their battle against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, the guards said in a statement.

    The Guards on Friday said General Hossein Hamadani was killed on Thursday night and that he had "played an important role ... reinforcing the front of Islamic resistance against the terrorists".

    Iran is the main regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has provided military and economic support during Syria's four-year-old civil war.

    Iran denies having any military forces in Syria, but says it has offered "military advice" to Assad's forces in their fight against "terrorist groups".

    Hamadani was a veteran of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and was made deputy chief commander of the elite forces in 2005.

    'Iranian troops in Syria'

    In the biggest deployment of Iranian forces yet, Reuters news agency reported last week that hundreds of troops had arrived since late September to take part in a major ground offensive planned in west and northwest Syria.

    Iranian politician Esmail Kosari said Hamadani helped coordination between Syrian armed forces and the voluntary forces in their fight against ISIL.

    "For years, Hamadani played a very important role in Syria as an adviser ... he played an important role in preventing the fall of Damascus. Then he returned home at the end of his assignment," Kosari told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

    "He returned to Syria for a few days because of his deep knowledge about the area ... and he was martyred in Syria."

    Assad's longtime ally, Russia launched its air campaign in September, saying it would also target ISIL. But its planes have also hit other rebel groups opposed to Assad, including groups backed by Washington.

    The United States and its allies have been waging a year-long air campaign against ISIL in Syria, while pushing to diplomatically edge Assad from power.

    Washington has ruled out military cooperation with Russia in Syria, accusing Moscow of pursuing a "tragically flawed" strategy that would force it to limit military talks to basic pilot safety.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Almost 300 people died in Mogadishu but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.