Middle East

Iran buries Guards commander 'killed in Syria'

Mourners carry the coffin of Brig-Gen Mohammad Jamali-Paqaleh in Kerman (5 November 2013)
Image caption Mehr reported that Gen Jamali-Paqaleh was killed "in the recent days"

A funeral has been held in south-eastern Iran for a Revolutionary Guards commander who was reportedly killed by rebel forces in Syria.

Brig Gen Mohammad Jamali-Paqaleh was buried with full honours in Kerman.

He had volunteered to "defend the Syrian people against terrorists" and "protect the [Shia] holy shrine of Sayyida Zainab" outside Damascus, the semi-official Mehr news agency said.

Iran has denied sending combat troops to support President Bashar al-Assad.

On Monday, a Guards spokesman insisted that its personnel were only in the country to "provide advice and transfer its experience in the defence field".

Mehr reported that Gen Jamali-Paqaleh was killed "in the recent days", without giving a specific date or location.

He was a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War, and trained at the same Guards facility as Gen Qasem Soleymani, the head of its elite overseas operations arm, the Quds Force.

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Media captionFootage sheds light on Iran's involvement in Syrian conflict

At his funeral, the Guards' deputy chief Gen Hoseyn Salami vowed that the era of military intervention in Islamic countries by "arrogant" world powers had "come to an end".

"They will have to succumb to the rooted determination of the Iranian and other Muslim nations," he was quoted as saying by the Isna news agency.

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