RFL/RE – More than 1,000 Iranian fighters have been killed in the war in Syria, the head of Iran’s Foundation of Martyrs said on November 22.
“Now the number of Iran’s martyrs as defenders of shrines has exceeded 1,000,” Mohammadali Shahidi Mahallati, head of the Foundation of Martyrs, which supports the relatives of those killed fighting for Iran, was quoted as saying by the hard-line Tasnim news agency.
“Defenders of shrines” is a term used in Iran to refer to Iranian forces deployed in Syria to support the government of Iran’s regional ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Iran claims the fighters are “volunteers” who travel to Syria to defend religious sites and shrines revered by Shi’a.
Tehran is a major backer of the Syrian government, which it has helped remain in power through financial and military assistance.
With reporting by Tasnim and Reuters