ISIS kills senior Iranian general in Syria

ISIS achieved a major operational success last week when it killed a leading Iranian general who commanded the military force sent on a mission to destroy them.

By: AP and World Israel Staff
Hamedani funeral

A group of Iranian Revolutionary Guard members mourn during the funeral ceremony of Gen. Hossein Hamedani in Tehran. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

A senior Iranian commander in the country’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), who was an essential player in the Iranian military mission in Syria, was killed last week by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization in Syria.

The general was described as “a key figure in the fight against terrorism” by Iranian sources.

Lawmaker Ismail Kowsari, a member of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, told the semi-official Fars news agency that General Hossein Hamedani played a significant role in coordination between the Syrian army and Iranian-backed volunteer forces.

He said the commander was on a “temporary” advisory mission to Syria. Hamedani was a specialist in asymmetrical and irregular warfare, who reportedly led the Guard’s Syria strategy and commanded the special Quds forces fighting in the civil-war-torn country alongside Syria’s state troops against the various Sunni rebel factions.

Hamedani was killed together with his security detail by ISIS on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo Thursday night, Iranian state media announced Friday.

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Iran held a funeral Sunday for Hamedani, according to a state TV report. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif both said his death was “a great loss” to Iran.

A senior American official is quoted as saying that Hamedani’s death as a “psychological blow” to the Iranians.

He was the second senior Guard commander killed in Syria since the beginning of the year. In January, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Allahdadi was killed by an airstrike reportedly carried out by Israel.

Iran is one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main allies and has provided his government with military and political backing for years. Tehran admits that Revolutionary Guard officers are on the ground in Syria in an advisory role, but denies the presence of any combat troops in the country.