Eight Iranians, two of them Revolutionary Guards forces, have been killed in Syria in recent days after Tehran increased its advisory missions to help Damascus, a guards spokesman said Friday, according to AFP.
"Two guards forces, Abdollah Bagheri and Amin Karimi, were killed yesterday and today on a mission in Syria," General Ramezan Sharif was quoted by the semiofficial Fars news agency as saying.
Bagheri, 33, was former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's personal bodyguard and was killed in the northern city of Aleppo.
General Sharif said five or six volunteers were also killed, according to the Youth Journalist Club, a state television website.
He also rejected rumors on social media that 15 Iranians were killed recently in Syria.
Shiite Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, standing by him since an uprising against his regime broke out in 2011.
Iran provides Assad with financial aid and military advisors against a range of opposing forces in a civil war that has that has killed more than 250,000 and displaced millions.
Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.
Iran, however, has rejected that it has any fighters on the ground in Syria. Instead, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian insisted this week that Tehran only has “military advisors” in the war-torn country.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)