Iranian General Killed in SyriaCommander Hossein Hamedani died at Islamic State hands as Iran steps up its involvement in the Syrian civil war.http://www.theatlantic.com/Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), was killed by Takfiri terrorists ISISYouTube Videohttps://youtu.be/MdTKcs7F-uQCNN Videohttp://www.cnn.com/2015/10/09/politics/ ... yria-isis/
In May 2014, Hossein Hamedani, a top general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, made a statement at a council meeting in Hamedan, the western Iranian province.
“Today we fight in Syria for interests such as the Islamic Revolution,” he said, adding, “Our defense is to the extent of the Sacred Defense”— a reference to Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s.
FARS, Iran’s state-run news agency, later struck his remarks from their account of the meeting because it contradicted Tehran’s official line—Iran is not militarily involved in the five-year-old Syrian civil war. As Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty noted, Hamedani’s boasts that Iran had created “a second Hezbollah” and that Iran’s efforts meant the Assad regime in Syria was no longer “at the risk of collapse” were also removed.
On Friday, Iran announced Hamedani had been killed this week in Syria in an ISIS attack. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the general and some of his bodyguards were killed outside a military airport near Aleppo.
President Hassan Rouhani praised Hamedani as a “martyr” and said his death was a “big loss.”
The New York Times reported that Hamedani’s “death illustrated both the level of Iran’s direct involvement on the government side in the Syrian civil war, and the pervasive violence of the conflict.”
Even as Iran has denied it, the country’s level of involvement in the Syrian civil war has always been substantial. However, as the Assad regime has continued to lose its grip on territory and control, the Iranians have scaled up their presence to bolster the Syrian leader. Just last week, The Wall Street Journal noted Iran’s latest major expansion of troops, which was being coordinated with Russia’s launching of airstrikes in Syria, and an offensive by Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
The costs of Iran’s involvement in Syria are also increasing. The news of Hamedani’s death dovetails with a statement by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter confirming reports that four cruise missiles fired by Russia from the Caspian Sea had errantly landed in Iran. Russian media have dismissed that claim.CNN Reportshttp://www.cnn.com/Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), was killed by Takfiri terrorists ISIS
Washington (CNN)The death of a top Iranian military commander in Syria this week has dealt a "psychological blow" to elements backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to a U.S. intelligence official.
The killing of a commander in the Revolutionary Guards Corps at the hands of ISIS also highlights the extent of Iranian involvement in Syria and the dire straits in which Assad finds himself, Washington-based analysts say.
Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani was killed outside Aleppo, Syria, where he was advising the Syrian army in its fight against extremists, Iranian state media reported Friday.
Iranian media carried messages of condolence from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who described Hamedani's death as a big loss and applauded the senior commander for his bravery.
"He was in charge of [Iranian] operations inside Syria," said former CIA officer Reuel Marc Gerecht. "He's been involved in this from A to Z, so in the short term, it's probably a fairly significant loss."
The current U.S. intelligence official said the general's death would be a setback for fighters supporting the government.
"There's no doubt that it is a psychological blow to pro-regime forces in Syria," he said.
Analysts say the high-level loss highlights the extent of Iran's involvement in the fighting.
"The fact that you have a senior Iranian general shows both the desperation of the regime, as well as now the degree of Iranian involvement now in Syria," said Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The United States and Iran both say they are fighting ISIS terrorists, but in practice they have different goals: The United States is supporting rebels trying to oust Assad, while Assad's close ally Iran became involved to defend his regime.
"I'm not sure it's the Iranian objective to beat ISIS," said Gerecht. "I think the primary Iranian objective is to ensure that Assad does not fall."
Iran has become increasingly public about its aid to Syria's government, at first not disclosing flights to Syria in 2012 which Washington believed to be full of advisers and weapons. Now, however, Iranian officials praise their officers for assisting and advising Syrian regime forces.
"It's harder for the Iranians to hide when it's someone like that who has real visibility," said Dennis Ross, former adviser on Iran to President Barack Obama.
In an interview with Iranian TV last weekend, Assad publicly thanked the Iranians -- along with Russia, which last week began bombing his opponents -- for their support.
"We want help from our friends, and this is what Iran is offering, and what Russia is offering," he said, hailing Russia's recent initiative to form a coalition between Russia, Syria and Iran.
During the summer, the commander of Iran's elite Quds force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, traveled to Moscow.
Tabler says he believes Iran was instrumental in bringing Russia into a coalition to come to the regime's aid -- and planning a two-tiered military comeback campaign to do it.
"Iran and their Shia militias, and Hezbollah, are the ground component to Russia's air involvement," he said.
"While most attention seems to have been focused on Russian intervention in the last week or so in Syria," he continued, "actually it is combined with a giant Iranian offensive that was planned months ago with the Russians -- and that is unfolding."
But the involvement is not cost-free for Iran.
"The losses for the Guard Corps are increasing," said Gerecht. "We see the funeral announcements all the time of (Iran Revolutionary) Guard members who are perishing in Syria."
In addition, U.S. officials told CNN on Thursday that four missiles Russia had aimed into Syria landed in Iran instead, resulting in some destruction of property and possibly civilian casualties. Russia and Iran both denied the reports, but any such "friendly fire" would complicate Russia and Iran's partnership.
The U.S. intelligence official noted the cost to Iran in continuing its support of Damascus, raising the question of how much in resources Iran will be willing to devote to its Syrian operations.
"Though it appears that Tehran is committed to doubling down on supporting the Syrian regime, its expanding role in the conflict will put more Iranian lives at risk to support a failed dictator," he said.Press TV Reportshttp://www.presstv.ir/Rouhani extends condolences over IRGC commander killing in Syria
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has offered his condolences on the killing of Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), by terrorist groups in Syria.
In a message on Friday, Rouhani said the killing of the brave IRGC commander during an advisory mission to help strengthen the resistance movement in the fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group and its allies was “a big loss and caused deep grief.”
The Iranian president said Hamedani played a leading role in establishing the IRGC and successfully commanding different operations during eight years of sacred defense against the Iraqi invasion in the 1980s.
Rouhani extended his condolences to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Armed Forces, particularly the IRGC forces, and to all Iranians.
The IRGC announced in a statement carried by Sepah News on Friday that Hamedani had been killed by Takfiri Daesh terrorists during an advisory mission on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo the night before.Other Iranian officials' reactions
In a Friday message, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Hamedani’s killing by the Takfiri terrorists was a great loss, calling on the international community to prioritize the urgency to fight terrorism.
IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari also praised the deceased for his role in the resistance against the US and the Israeli regime.
He said Hamedani was killed by the mercenaries of the US and the Israeli regime in the region who are supported by certain countries including Saudi Arabia, and are killing the Muslim people of Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Bahrain.
In his message, Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the killing of the IRGC commander would undoubtedly ramp up determination of the resistance front to eradicate terrorism.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said the killing of the Iranian commander will only speed up the eradication of Daesh.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, said Hamedani played a key role in improving regional and international security and fighting terrorism.
In separate messages, Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani, Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani and Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei also expressed their condolences over Hamedani’s death.
The Syrian military has been fighting the terrorist groups for over four years. Iran has been offering Syria military advice in its fight against terrorist groups.
Since March 2011, about 250,000 people have lost their lives and millions more been displaced by the turmoil in Syria.