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Iranian MP Boasts of Hundreds of Troops in Syria

An Iranian parliamentarian has confirmed Iran's military presence in Syria.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/5/2013, 5:43 AM

Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari
Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari
AFP/Atta Kenare

An Iranian parliamentarian has confirmed Iran's military presence in Syria, the ISNA news agency reported on Monday.

The MP, Javad Ghoddousi Karimi, reportedly boasted that hundreds of Iranian battalions are fighting in Syria, where they are fighting alongside troops loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad.

Syrian commanders, backed by Iranian forces, are announcing the army's victories against rebels fighters, he added.

The announcement came hours after it was reported that Muhammad G'malizda, a senior commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was killed in the Syrian civil war.

According to the State-backed Mehr news agency, G'mazlida was killed sometime over the last few days by “Wahhabi terrorists.”

In response to Karimi’s comments, the IRGC denied that it has battalions in Syria, ISNA reported.

"Iran only has advisors in Syria, to transfer its military experience to Syrian army,” the news agency quoted the head of the IRGC’s public relations department, General Ramazan Sharif, as having said.

Sharif criticized both Karimi and Iranian media, saying that they should be sensitive on issues which may be used by “enemy media in psychological war,” according to ISNA.

Iran is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and, despite its recent denial, has in the past admitted that it provides him with military support during his fight against rebels.

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.

In addition to its own troops, Iran has also dispatched members of its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, to fight alongside Assad’s troops.