London, 20 Apr – Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh, a former General in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and former governor general of Yazd Province, was injured in Aleppo, Syria, on 12 April, Iranian state media agency Tabnak news reported.
Fallahzadeh was in a vehicle that was hit by a mortal shell and transferred to Tehran for treatment the following day, said the report on 14 April. Iran has committed 60,000 IRGC and foreign militia fighters to the Syrian Civil War, aiding Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, according to the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
There were also reports that five IRGC fighters with the foreign operations Quds Force were killed in Syria on 15 and 16 April:
“Alireza Safarpour from Armored Unit 60 of Gonbad-e Kavous County (northern Iran); Hosseinali Kiani and Aqil Shabik from Sistan and Baluchistan Province (southeastern Iran); Ali Bayat, a commander of Afghan forces in the Fatemyoun Division which operates under IRGC-QF command; and Abdollah Tohidi from Pardis County (Tehran Province) also an Afghan under QF command”, Iran News Update wrote.
Maryam Rajavi, head of the NCRI, stated in a recent interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iranian government was in a mutual existence with the Syrian government and would fall once Assad did. Rajavi also noted that the Iranian government was committing to a strategy of survival based on suppression, interference and belligerence.
Some analysts say the IRGC has been expanding into parts of Syria that have been vacated by Russia due to its fears that the Free Syrian Army will gain the upper hand as was prior to September 2015. Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has been gripped by conflict since 2012.