Four soldiers in Iran’s regular army were killed in Syria, the Tasnim news agency reported on Monday, only a week after Tehran announced the deployment of army commandos to help Bashar al-Assad in the civil war there.
Tehran is Assad’s main regional ally and has provided military and economic support to his fight against rebel groups.
To date, most Iranians involved in the Syrian war have been from the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Iran is believed to have sent hundreds as military advisers.
But an officer in the Iranian army’s ground force said last week that commandos from the army’s Brigade 65 and other units were sent to Syria as advisers.
"Four of the first military advisors of the Islamic Republic’s army...were killed in," Tasnim reported.
Tasnim has named one of them as Mohsen Qeytaslo, a commando, but has not identified the rest.
Commenting on the deployment of Brigade 65 to Syria, the commander of ground forces, Brigadier General Hamidreza Pourdastan, said on Monday it was Iran’s new strategy to send more advisers to the Syrian war.
Tabank, an Iranian news site aligned with the Revolutionary Guards, reported the Iranian army officers killed in Syria but did not specify where the officers were killed.
The reports about the officer’s death dispute previous statements of the Iranian Army Ground Forces’ Deputy Commander, who said that the Special Forces that are sent to Syria will be in an advisory role and will not participate in combat.
On Wednesday, Iranian media reported that the Iranian Special Forces arrived in al-Hader village in Aleppo’s southern suburbs to prepare for their participation in combats to recapture a number of villages in the region the Syrian regime has recently lost.
In March, after the heavy losses inflicted on Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guards in the fights against Syrian opposition over Aleppo, the Iranian army announced that it would send its Special Forces brigade to Syria, to reinforce its forces in Aleppo.
Source: News Agencies, April 11