London- The last count of the human losses that Iran suffered in Syria and Iraq until today is around 2,100 casualties, according to an Iranian official.
Mohammad Ali Shahidi, the head of Iran’s Foundation of Martyrs and Veteran Affairs, said on Tuesday: “There have been so far some 2,100 martyrs in Iraq or other places defending the holy mausoleums.”
He spoke at a conference on martyrdom culture in Tehran.
The number offered by Shahidi is the latest official figure released by an Iranian official during the six years of military intervention in both Syria and Iraq.
However, Shahidi did not provide details on the nationalities of those killed, and whether this figure is only related to Iranians or included the Shi’ite militias that Iran has mobilized in both countries.
The count is also considered the highest number announced by a high-ranking official while suspicion prevails concerning the total number of Iranian forces that have arrived in Iraq and Syria as part of the “holy mausoleums.”
Shahidi’s comments came following statements issued last November by Yahya Rahim Safavi, a senior advisor to the Supreme Leader on military affairs, who said that “Hezbollah” lost thousands of men in their war in Syria.
Safavi had also confirmed that Hossein Hamadani, another IRGC commander who was killed in October 2015, had set up a force of local militias to fight in Syria that now numbers 20,000 men.
In a related development, a spokesperson from the US Central Command told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saturday’s incident on a contact between US and Iranian ships is the sixth to occur in 2017.
His comments came hours after the US Defense Department criticized the “unprofessional” behavior of the Iranian navy after the US navy surveillance ship Invincible was harassed by Iranian naval vessels in two incidents last week in the Strait of Hormuz.