Iran state media eulogize IRGC Special Forces member, cleric killed in Syria

Iranian media have confirmed the deaths of two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members in recent weeks. The circumstances of their deaths thus far remain unknown.

On September 19, Tasnim News eulogized 24-year old Ali Asqar Elyasi, “a commando of the 10th Seyyed Al Shuhada Division [Alborz Province],” who was killed “in south Aleppo” on September 12. The news agency posted a video that it says was taken several days prior to the individual’s death.

Elyasi is heard on the video saying that the footage was taken in the center of Aleppo city. He directly addressed “those [in Iran] who question why we are in Syria” and “say that we [fighters] go there for money.” Showing destroyed buildings, he said that “this is how Kermanshah, Hamedan, [and other Iranian cities] would be” if the Islamic Republic were not fighting in Syria. He said the “buildings were unfortunately demolished after the terrorists infiltrated them.”

Tasnim News emphasized that he “was martyred on the first night of Muharram,” a holy month for Shia Muslims. The first ten nights are commemorations and mourning for third Imam Hossein, culminating in Ashura, the day of his fall in battle alongside 72 companions in the 7th century. His death sealed the Sunni-Shia schism. 

Earlier this week, IRNA reported on the funeral ceremony of Hojjat ol-Eslam Farhad Talebi, “who was martyred in defense of the shrine of the Ahl-e Bayt [Household of the Prophet]” in Syria. He was buried in his hometown of Lamard, Fars Province, on September 16. Talebi was a member of “Seyyed Alaeddin Hossein 102nd Battalion” from Shiraz, Fars Province, according to Tasnim News. Officials confirmed his death on September 13.

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

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