Muhammad G’malizda, a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), has been reported to have been killed in the Syrian Civil War, according to the State-backed Iranian Mehr news agency.
G’mazlida was killed sometime over the last few days by “Wahhabi terrorists”, the agency said, giving no more details. Wahhabism is an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam, but Iranian state outlets regularly use the term to describe the wider Syrian rebel movement in general. The report once again highlights the extent towards which the IRGC, which is a special branch of Iran’s military, has been directly involved in the ongoing conflict on behalf of Syrian Regime President Bashar Assad.
Fighters from both sides of the Sunni-Shia divide have been streaming across Syria’s border’s to join opposing sides of the ongoing conflict there, which has killed well over 100,000 people. The rebel movement is made up primarily of Sunni Muslims, while the regime counts mainly on the support of Shia Muslims and members of President Assad’s Allawite sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam.
The IRGC was allegedly established after the 1979 Iranian Revolution to defend and enforce Iran’s religious systems, which follow a sect of Shi’a Islam. It is estimated to number some 125,000 military personnel.
This is not the first time that the IRGC has been involved in a neighboring military conflict. Besides for the Iran-Iraq war, the terrorist force was also involved in both the First and Second Lebanon Wars.
IRGC officials recently reiterated Iran’s hardline stance against involvement with the US in international talks to stall their nuclear weapons program, declaring that “Death to America” is still their slogan. The remarks came in advance of Iran’s annual celebration of the toppling of the US Embassy in Tehran, commemorated today, November 4.