Iran suffers worst single-day casualties in Syrian war

Special to WorldTribune.com

Iran suffered its biggest daily battlefield loss of the Syrian war on May 6 when 13 troops were killed and another 21 from Iran-backed militias died in fighting near Aleppo.

The casualties occurred when Islamist insurgents known as Jaish al-Fatah, which included Al Qaida-linked Nusra Front jihadists, launched an attack on Khan Touman village, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) southwest of Aleppo.

A rebel fighter from the Jaish al-Fatah brigades prepares to fire artillery during clashes with pro-Syrian forces. /AFP/Getty Images
A rebel fighter from the Jaish al-Fatah brigades prepares to fire artillery during clashes with pro-Syrian forces. /AFP/Getty Images

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had confirmed from its sources on the ground the death 13 Iranian “advisers.” Iran claims any military personnel it has in Syria are there in advisory roles.

The Observatory said that 21 Iranian-backed militia fighters were killed in the battle, six from Hizbullah and 15 Afghan Shi’ites.

A senior adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on May 7 that Teheran would continue to support Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Iran will use all its means to fight against terrorists who are committing crimes in the region,” Ali Akbar Velayati was quoted as saying by Fars.

Meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition airstrikes killed 48 Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) jihadists in northern Syria on May 7, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said, quoting the Turkish military.

The strikes were in response to increasingly frequent attacks by ISIL against opposition forces in the area, Turkish security sources told Andadolu. The Turkish border town of Kilis, which lies just across the frontier from ISIL-controlled territory in Syria, has been hit by regular rocket fire in recent weeks.

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