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Top Iranian Commander, Six Militiamen Reported Killed In Syria

Iranian media reported on February 5 that Revolutionary Guard Corps Brigadier-General Mohsen Ghajarian was killed in fighting in Syria, along with six Basij militia volunteers.

The news agencies said the deaths occurred in the northern province of Aleppo, where the Syrian government, backed by Russian air strikes, has been staging a major offensive this week to encircle the rebel-held city and cut off its supply route from Turkey.

"Six volunteer Basij members were martyred in Syria while fighting against takfiris near Aleppo while defending Shi'ite holy shrines," Tasnim news agency said, using a derogatory term for ultraradical Sunni Muslim militants, in a likely reference to Islamic State.

Tehran has claimed it sends military advisers and volunteers to help Assad's forces, but denies sending its own troops.

Even so, Iranian media have reported the deaths of more than 100 Iranian "volunteers" in Syria since October.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP