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Iran Reports Fresh Casualties In Syria

Mohsen Hojaji, Iranian IRGC member, killed in Syria by ISIS-- Aug 2017

Iranian media reported on Wednesday about new casualties among forces sent by Iran to Syria.

A news agency, Holy Defense, reported that during the past few days five Iranian troops were killed at the hands of what it called, “Takfiri, Wahhabi forces”.

Takfiri is a term used by Iranian Shi’ites for hardline Wahhabis who totally reject other Muslims.

Holy Defense says that all five casualties served in the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, IRGC.

Mizan news agency, which belongs to the justice department, reports that one of the dead servicemen, Mohsen Hajaji, was captured by the Islamic State group on the Syrian-Iraqi border before being killed.

Mizan adds that IS has published photos from his death.

A spokesman for an Iran-backed Iraqi militia, Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, had said on August 8 that 36 of its fighters and several Iranian IRGC troops had been killed in an air attack by US led forces on Monday on the Syria-Iraq border.

However, the U.S.-led coalition denied its forces had been involved.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said at a news conference in Baghdad that an initial investigation showed the Islamic State launched the attack against the Shi'ite militia.

The IS group also had said on August 7 that it killed scores of Iraqi soldiers in an attack in the area.

It is not clear if the casualties reported by Iranian news agencies on Wednesday are related to this incident or have been killed in other clashes.

The Islamic Republic has deployed both IRGC and regular army troops to Syria and Iraq, in addition to Shi’ite fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The non-Iranian fighters are organized in separate units; the Fatemiyoun Brigade and the Zeynabiyoun Division.

Many of the Afghans and other non-Iranian Shi’ite fighters killed in Syria have been buried in Iran.

Earlier this year, the head of Iran’s Shahid (Martyr’s) Foundation announced that 2,100 Shi’ite recruits have been killed.