Iran’s elite fighting force, the Revolutionary Guard, lost a top commander while fighting against Islamic State forces, also known as ISIS and ISIL, in Iraq, reports the AP.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard made the announcement Sunday via its website, saying that the downed commander, Brig. Gen. Hamid Taqavi was “martyred while performing his advisory mission to confront ISIS terrorists in Samarra.”
According to the Revolutionary Guard, General Taqavi was aiding the defense of the city of Samarra, a Shiite-dominated city north of Baghdad. It was while helping Iraqi troops and Shiite volunteers that were defending the city that General Taqavi was killed, but there were limited details on exactly what happened, or how General Taqavi became vulnerable on the battle field.
At the same time, NPR reports, via a Revolutionary Guard statement, that General Taqavi was killed by one, or perhaps multiple snipers that were hiding behind a power transformer in Samarra, and that several others with him were wounded.
A funeral procession is scheduled for Monday in Tehran, as General Taqavi was highly regarded by both his country and the Revolutionary Guard.
“Taqavi played a valuable and unforgettable role in countering the enemies of Islam.”
Not since its long, harsh, and brutal war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988, has Iran lost such a high ranking officer as General Taqavi, who not only fought in that war, but also lost his father and brother to the fighting, according to the AP.
Iran claims that it has been helping in the fight against the Islamic State by sending military advisers to Syria and Iraq. Iran is a Shiite country, while the extremist terrorist Islamic State is Sunni. But Iranian officials say their aid in the fight against the Islamic State has been limited to the advisers and they haven’t committed any other troops to battle.
Iran believes its aid in the fight against the Islamic State has been very effective in helping push back the Islamic extremist group after it steamrolled through Syria and Iraq over the summer, capturing and terrorizing huge areas of both countries. Again, however, Iran emphasizes that its assistance has only been in the form of military guidance and training.
The U.S.-led coalition airstrikes keep coming, with at least 31 air strikes against the Islamic terrorist fighters on Friday in Syria and Iraq, according to the U.S.-led task force overseeing the air strikes.
According to a Combined Joint Task Force statement, numerous aircraft including bombers, fighters and remotely controlled aircraft took out 16 targets in Syria, and hit 15 more Islamic State positions in Iraq.
[Image via Reuters]