Number of Iranian, Afghani fighters killed in Syrian civil war hits 400
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 27
By Umid Niayesh, Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
So far some 400 fighters (56 of them were Iranians, the rest Afghani) which have been killed by Syrian opposition groups including Islamic State (IS) have been buried in Iran, the country's official IRNA news agency reported.
On June 25, five fighters from Fatemiyoun military division who had been recently killed in Syria were buried in the country's eastern holy city of Mashhad, according to the report.
The Fatemiyoun division is a Shia military unit, whose members mostly have Afghan nationality , meanwhile the aforementioned fighters allegedly were Iranians.
In recent months, Iranian media have reported the killing of several Iranians including high-ranking IRGC members in the Syrian conflict. According to the reports, some of the slain Iranian fighters had gone to Syria to defend a holy Shiite shrine in the suburbs of Damascus.
Iran is a close ally of the Syrian government and has always shown its support for the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The Islamic Republic views the Syrian regime as its main strategic ally in the region and as part of an "axis of resistance" against Israel.
Syrian opposition claim that Iranian military forces are fighting against them, while Iran dismisses the claims, saying that Iran only has advisors in Syria, to transfer its military experience to the Syrian army.
During the conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, more than 150,000 people have been killed in the country and over 4.2 million have become refugees in Syrian territory and two million have fled to neighboring countries.