13 IRANIAN ELITE REVOLUTIONARY GUARD KILLED NEAR ALEPPO
13 elite Revolutionary Guard troops were killed in a battle with Islamist militants over a village near the Syrian city of Aleppo, Tehran said on Saturday 05/07/2016, in one of Iran’s biggest single-day losses since it sent forces to support President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia meanwhile said that a truce in Aleppo itself had been extended until Monday.
Despite ongoing savage indiscriminate aerial bombardments on civilian areas held by rebels in and around Aleppo Islamist forces, the Jaish al-Fatah brigade, allied to Jabhat al-Nusra, seized the village of Khan Touman, about 15 kilometres southwest of Aleppo, on Friday 07/06/2016 and dozens of people were reported to have been killed in the fighting.
Iran’s Fars news agency quoted a Revolutionary Guard official as saying that 13 Iranian military advisers had been killed and 21 others wounded. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that among the Iranian-backed militia fighters involved in the battles, six from Lebanon’s Hizbullah Shia movement and 15 Afghan Shia fighters were also killed.
Iran, along with Russia, has been a principal ally of Assad in the five-year-old civil war, while Gulf Arab states and the West have supported various rebel factions.
While Tehran previously said its support was limited to advisers, it has been more open about the extent of its role since Russia intervened on Assad’s side last year.
The strikes were in response to increasingly frequent Islamic State attacks against opposition forces in the area, Turkish security sources told Andadolu 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.
The war in Syria is far from over. The Sunni opposition, backed by Sunni Arab nations, proves itself as an adaptable tough enemy and the war in Syria is no longer about Syria but about the ongoing conflict between Sunnis and Shiites all over the Middle East.
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