Iraqi militia acknowledges fatalities in Syrian town of Khan Touman

On May 6, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its allies lost the town of Khan Touman in Syria to Jaish al Fath in an ambush. Initial reports pointed to the deaths of up to 80 Shia combatants on the pro-Assad regime coalition including nationals from Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. On May 11, Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia militia Harakat al Nujaba, or Movement of the Noble, announced the names of 11 members who were killed in the ambush. Their bodies will be transferred to Iraq for burial on May 12.

According to Iranian media outlets—which have attempted to downplay the loss—Nujaba has launched IRAMs at Fath’s positions since May 9, purportedly destroying two BMB armored vehicles and a 23-millimeter cannon mounted on a technical truck, killing several fighters. Iranian outlets also claim that the group captured a Jabhat al Nusrah drone.IRGC-affiliated Tasnim reported on May 16 that the Syrian army and “resistance forces” have killed dozens of Fath combatants in operations south of Aleppo including in Zerbeh and Khan Touman.

Nujaba will likely be a participant in an expected IRGC-led counteroffensive to retake the latter. The Revolutionary Guard has staked its reputation on this operation’s success.     

Amir Toumaj is a independent analyst and contributor to FDD's Long War Journal.

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