Iranian general killed in Syria
A senior commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards has been killed while travelling from Syria to Lebanon, according to Iranian authorities.
A man identified as General Hassan Shateri was reportedly assassinated by what Iranian officials described as "the agents and supporters of the Zionist regime" while travelling from Damascus to Beirut.
It was not immediately clear in which of the two countries Shateri was killed but a Syrian rebel commander said an Iranian official was killed in an attack carried out by Syrian rebels in Zabadani in southwestern Syria, close to the Lebanese border.
"General Hassan Shateri was martyred by the agents and supporters of the Zionist regime on his way to Beirut from Damascus," the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted the Revolutionary Guards' spokesman, Ramezan Sharif, as saying on Thursday.
Iran's state English-language television, Press TV, reported that Shateri was killed on Tuesday and described him as the man who "led the Iranian-financed reconstruction projects in the south of Lebanon". By pointing the finger at "Israeli agents", Sharif was probably referring to Syrian rebels whom Iranian officials portray as terrorist armed groups backed by Tel Aviv.
Iran is a staunch supporter of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, providing both with military and financial support. Syria gives Iran physical access to Lebanon and Hezbollah, which is strategically important for Tehran's leaders because of the group's geographical position in respect to Israel. Iran does not recognise Israel as a country and usually refers to it as "the Zionist regime".
...The Syrian opposition has been surprisingly effective in dealing with the Tehran entities thug support network in Syria. They seem to have good intelligence on the movement of the Iranians as well as the ability to strike and make their get away. Perhaps that is one reason Iran is so eager to blame their difficulties on the Israelis.