Report: Iran special forces suffering heavy losses in Syria

Special to

More than 30 soldiers from an elite brigade of Iranian commandos were killed in battle in Syria just days after being deployed, reports say.

Senior commanders from Iran’s special forces Brigade 65 were among those killed, according to unofficial Syrian reports.

Iranian special forces.
Iranian special forces.

On April 12, Al Qaida affiliate Nusra Front released a video purportedly showing Iranian forces fleeing from the battlefield in the strategic village of al-Eis in southern Aleppo.

The video shows what Nusra said are Iranian special forces, as well as fighters from Lebanese and Iraqi militias who fought alongside them, running away from al-Eis amid Nusra’s intensive bombardment on their positions.

Arab activists, in posts on social media networks, said Iran has sent additional brigades to aid Brigade 65, which is known for its green berets. The activists said images of the Iranian fighters who were killed, in which they wore berets in different colors, was evidence of Iran’s deployment of reinforcements amid heavy losses.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on April 12 expressed deep concern over what he said were increasing violations of the Syrian ceasefire. Analysts say the official response could be construed as a display of Iran’s growing fears of a major defeat in Aleppo.

Iranian media have confirmed the deaths of 228 Iranian troops in Syria since October 2015.

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