Senior Iranian commander shot in Syria

Senior Iranian commander shot in Syria
Another senior officer in a Iranian-backed militia force in Syria has been seriously injured by rebels, but Tehran denies that the man was killed.
1 min read
01 September, 2016
A number of Iranian senior officers have been killed in Syria [File photo: AFP]

Iran says that a retired general who was shot in Syrian is in a coma but not dead.

Tehran said that Brigadier Haj Ahmad Gholami was a volunteer fighting with Syrian regime forces in Aleppo, a term used to describe Iranian soldiers present in the country.

"According to latest news received on the brave commander... brother Brigadier Haj Ahmad Gholami is in a coma and therefore we request all dear ones and fighters to pray for his health," said a letter from his brigade published by Iran's Mizanonline news agency.

Gholami, an ex-general who served as a senior Revolutionary Guards commander in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, was reported dead by Iranian media on Wednesday after being shot in the Syrian city of Aleppo.  

Iran is the principal regional backer of President Bashar al-Assad, providing military as well as financial support.

It denies any of its professional soldiers are involved in combat, insisting its commanders act purely as military advisers.

But it also leads large volunteer forces, comprised of fighters from both Iran and neighbouring Afghanistan.

The Syrian regime has become reliant on militias - particularly foreign fighter - after five years of fighting has seen the army seriously decimated.