A senior member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Ground Force was killed in Syria in the early hours of Monday, according to Iranian state media.
Iran’s state-run media claimed that General Abolfazl Alijani was killed as he was serving as a "military advisor" in the country, adding that he was from the central city of Esfahan (Isfahan).
It is noteworthy that the general was not a member of the extraterritorial Quds (Qods) Force but an IRGC Ground Force officer.
Calling him a ‘martyr,’ the state media said his body is to be transferred to Iran in the coming days for his funeral.
There have been recent Israeli strikes, but they do not align with the timing of his death as announced by the Iranian media. The latest such attack was on August 14, when a series of Israeli airstrikes hit Iranian targets close to Russia's main Syrian bases on the Mediterranean coast and areas near the ancestral home region of the Syrian president.
Iran has been deeply involved in the Syrian civil war for more than a decade, deploying tens of thousands of its own forces as well as hired Afghan, Iraqi and Pakistani Shiite fighters, who helped save Bashar al-Assad’s regime, with help from Russia.
However, since 2017 Iran has been trying to set up a presence on the Israeli border, possibly to create a new front to complement what the Lebanese Hezbollah has in southern Lebanon against Israel.
The Israeli air force has conducted hundreds of strikes against Iranian bases in Syria since 2017, targeting mostly weapons transfers and warehouses.