Iran conducted the funeral on Monday for a senior commander in the Revolutionary Guard who got killed while in a battle against the Islamic State extremist group. The man, Brig. Gen. Hamid Taqavi will be transferred to his hometown Ahwaz, southwestern Iran, where he will be buried on December 30.
Taqavi is the highest ranking officer to have died abroad since the Iran-Iraq war in the 80s. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Security Council mourned the death of Taqavi and urged the country to stand up against terrorism. Iran has sent military advisers to assist Syria and Iraq to fight the Sunni-led rebels and other groups, but did not agree to send any combat forces and get involved directly.
Iran has claimed that it is playing a key role in helping push the Islamic State group back after they captured much of northern and western Iraq. Iran is stressing that its officers are providing only military advice and training without engaging the IS group directly.
After the 2003 US led invasion of Iraq, America has repeatedly accused Iran of backing Shiite militias implicated in attacks on American troops and Sunni civilians.