Former bodyguard of Iran’s ex-president killed in Syria

Escorted by his bodyguards, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves to his well wishers at a pro-Palestinian rally in Tehran. (File photo: AP)

A former bodyguard of Iran’s hardline former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been killed in Syria while defending a religious site near Aleppo, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Friday.

“Abdollah Bagheri Niaraki, who for a while was the bodyguard of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was martyred near Aleppo yesterday (Thursday),” Fars reported, adding that he had been fighting to defend a shrine.

It did not say whether he was a member of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Iran is the main regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has provided military and economic support during Syria’s four-year-old civil war.

Tehran denies having any military forces in Syria, but says it has offered “military advice” to Syrian army in their fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants and other rebel groups.

Four Iranian commanders were killed this month fighting in Syria. Another Iranian IRGC commander was killed in Syria in June.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49