Yet another senior Iranian general has been killed fighting in Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Iranian news agencies revealed late on Friday.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Maj. Gen. Hadi Kajbaf was killed in April around 60 miles south of Damascus, near the rebel-hold town Busr al-Harir, according to the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim as cited by Reuters. His body was shipped back to Iran last Friday.
Another three Iranian soldiers were killed alongside the general, including a mid-ranking Shi'ite cleric, reported the state-run Fars News Agency.
Kajbaf's rank was the highest in Iran's military, meaning he was among the most senior losses the Islamic regime has suffered in Syria, and of a more senior rank than the IRGC brigadier general killed in January by an IDF strike near the Golan Heights as he was reportedly planning an attack on Israel.
Kajbaf's son Sajad Kajbaf told Tasnim that his father's body was to be flown to Iran on Friday night after a day's delay; he did not detail how Iran got the body back after rebel forces seized it upon his father's death.
Iran has been key in keeping Assad's regime afloat during the internecine civil war raging in Syria, dispatching both its own soldiers as well as its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah to the country where they have suffered painful losses.
Experts have revealed Iran is spending $35 billion a year propping up Assad's regime, and is likewise deploying thousands of its troops in the country. They say the reason for this is that Iran needs to maintain a route of access through Syria to the Mediterranean by which it can supply weapons to Hezbollah and strengthen its growing regional influence.
In late April Iran reportedly told Syria to open a war front against Israel on the Golan Heights to continue expanding its regional influence at all costs.