A general in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who fought in Syria and Iraq accidentally killed himself on Sunday while cleaning a gun, The Associated Press reported.
The Guards’ website said Gen. Ghodratollah Mansouri has accidentally shot himself in the head while cleaning his pistol.
The report said Mansouri was veteran of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and a “defender of the shrine,” a reference to Iranians who fight the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
Since 2014, Mansouri was a regional commander of the Guards’ ground forces in the northeastern city of Mashhad, some 900 kilometers east of the capital Tehran, according to AP.
Hundreds of Iranian forces have been killed fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Iran is a key supporter of the Assad regime in Syria, having providing the regime with both financial aid and military advisors against a range of opposing forces since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.
Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made clear last summer that Iran would withdraw its “military advisers” from Syria and Iraq only if their governments wanted it to.
More recently, Iran's defense minister visited Damascus and said his country will continue its support of the Syrian government, while stressing the nature of the two countries' cooperation won't be decided by a "third party."