Hossein Hamedani Killed: Islamic State Launches Surprise Attacks, Despite Russia’s Counteroffensive

Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards General Hossein Hamedani was recently killed. Though the death of the general has been corroborated, inconclusive reports cite conflicting reasons. However, it is strongly believed that the surprise attacks launched by the Islamic State might have resulted in his death.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards General Hossein Hamedani was killed on Thursday near Aleppo in Syria. Yahoo News reports he was advising the Syrian army on their battle against Islamic State fighters. The Guards who confirmed the death of the general said he had, “played an important role… reinforcing the front of Islamic resistance against the terrorists.”

Reports indicate Hamedani was advising President Bashar al-Assad’s army on strategies that would have helped them launch an offensive on the militant group Islamic State that has been growing rampant by the day. In fact, the general’s death might have resulted from the surprise attack that was launched by the militant group. The terrorist group managed to overpower regional military and seized a string of villages from rival insurgents north of Aleppo city Friday, reported MSN.

The Iranian official state media reported that a high-ranking military officer in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was killed by the Islamic State group on the outskirts of Aleppo city. However, it did not confirm whether the official was Hossein Hamedani or not. An Iranian state television report indicated the general was killed while “carrying out an advisory mission.”

Hossein Hamedani

Iran’s official news agency IRNA, as well as the Guard, strongly believes and blames Islamic State for the death of General Hossein Hamedani. But none of the agencies offered any further details.

Iran has always been the main regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The country has steadily offered military and economic aid during Syria’s four-year-old civil war. Hossein Hamedani was made the deputy chief commander of the Guard in 2005. He was known to use forceful tactics during his term in IRGC, the group extremely loyal to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iranian lawmaker Esmail Kosari added that Hamedani died while helping the Syrian armed forces and the voluntary forces in their fight against the Islamic State. He has been pivotal in enhancing cooperation between the organized military forces and the volunteers.

“For years, Hamedani played a very important role in Syria as an adviser… he played an important role in preventing the fall of Damascus. Then he returned home at the end of his assignment. He returned to Syria for a few days because of his deep knowledge about the area… and he was martyred in Syria.”

The IRGC has suppressed numerous protests and silenced pro-reforms activists. Incidentally, Hamedani headed the IRGC, when the group clashed with the local police, the Guards and its Basij militia allies. Hamedani has faced numerous international sanctions for allegedly violating human rights, but that hadn’t deterred him from becoming a general. Iranian military officials have lauded Hamedani in the past for his zealotry and unflinching conviction about Islam and the 1979 Islamic revolution of Iran.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards

It is interesting to note that Iran has never openly acknowledged the active presence of its military forces in Syria. The administration only admitted that it does offer “military advice” to President Bashar al-Assad’s army. However, Reuters claims its regional sources indicated hundreds of Iranian soldiers had arrived since late September in Syria. This is being considered as one of the biggest deployment of Iranian forces yet, and they are expected to take part in a major ground offensive planned in west and northwest Syria.

Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani was killed while overseeing the Quds Force, a Special Forces unit fighting rebels in Syria, reported the Independent. These rebel forces have been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. This attack by the Islamic State comes despite Russia claiming it has been targeting the militant group.

[Image Credit | Behrouz Mehri, Majid, Atta Kenare / Getty Images]