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Iranian officials justify soldier deaths in Syria

The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps addresses the number of Iranian soldiers' deaths recently in Syria.
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When Russian airstrikes began Sept. 30 against Syrian armed opposition fighters, they were reportedly accompanied by Syrian troops and Iranian advisers on the ground. However, after more than a dozen Iranian soldiers died in less than a month, including the highest-ranking Iranian general to be killed in the 4½-year-old civil war, Iranian authorities and media have been put in the position of explaining the death toll.

In an interview on Iranian television Oct. 26, the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Gen. Hossein Salami, spoke about the latest developments in Syria. When asked about the number of recent IRGC deaths, Salami said that a few months ago the Syrian government requested advisers to help rebuild its army for “a large [military] operation.”

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