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Iran Republican Guard troops killed near Aleppo

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Civilians and armed forces members carry the flag draped coffin of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Gen. Mohsen Ghajarian
Civilians and armed forces members carry the flag draped coffin of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Gen. Mohsen Ghajarian

Dubai - Several Iranian soldiers were killed near Aleppo, the Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday, in what appeared to be one of Iran’s biggest losses in Syria since it deployed forces to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Islamist insurgents on Friday seized the strategic village of Khan Touman, some 15 km (9 miles) southwest of Aleppo. Dozens of people were reported to have been killed in the battle.

Fars news agency on Saturday quoted a Revolutionary Guards official as saying that 13 Iranian military advisors had been killed and 21 wounded in the fighting.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that monitors the conflict, said that Syrian and Russian jet planes have intensified their bombing of insurgent posts.

Jaish al-Fatah and affiliates have published on social media videos and photos of what appear to be the bodies of Iranians or other Shiite militias who were killed in Khan Touman.

Some videos include footage of their wallets, personal documentation and Iranian currency.

There are indications that some of the casualties might be Afghans who are trained in Iran and are deployed alongside Iranian soldiers in Syria.

A top advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader on Saturday reiterated Tehran’s continued support of Syria’s president in a meeting with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

“Iran will use all its means to fight against terrorists who are committing crimes in the region,” Ali Akbar Velayati, Ayatollah Khamenei’s top adviser on international affairs, was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

The war in Syria has killed more than 250,000 people though, with tens of thousands unaccounted for, some say the death toll may be as high as 400,000.

Source: Reuters, 7 May 2016