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Iran Denies Word on Gholami’s Death in Aleppo, Demands Turkey to Withdraw from Jarablus | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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General Ahmad Gholami along with members of the Revolutionary Guard near Aleppo, RajaNews

London-Iranian media reported on Wednesday a top general being killed in action while serving in northern Syria.

However, Iran denied a day later general Ahmad Gholami’s death, saying he was still in a coma after being shot in the head.

Gholami, who had served as a commander during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s, died on Tuesday “while fighting the ‘takfiri’ terrorists in Aleppo, Syria,” reported the Fars news agency, which is close to the hardline Revolutionary Guards.

Media outlets did not give details on Gholami’s presence in Syria, yet, did mention that the commander was serving as an advisor among Iranian ranks in Syria.

Also Wednesday, Iran’s diplomatic cable, namely Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi, reiterated contempt and concern towards Turkey setting boots on the grounds in Syria.

Claiming that a Turkish intervention violates Syrian sovereignty, Ghasemi demanded that Ankara seizes the military offensive immediately.

“The Turkish army must quickly stop its military operations,” he said.

Then again Tehran has long had military advisers and volunteers on the ground in Syria in support of the regime, while Moscow has deployed special forces, artillery and warplanes.

Turkey’s cross-border offensive, aimed against Kurdish militia expansion alongside its borders as well as the ultra-hardline ISIS terror group, marks the first major ground intervention by a foreign power carried out without the blessing of Damascus.

Ankara regards the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) it has been fighting in southeastern Turkey for three decades.

Ghasemi said that Turkey’s military presence in Syria would complicate things further.

Iran has been meeting extensively with Turkey over the last week in hopes of talking it out of entering Syria’s Jarablus.

“In the fight against terrorism, any resort to methods that cast a shadow over the political sovereignty and legitimate power of the central government is unacceptable,” Ghasemi said.

“Although the fight against terrorism… it cannot and must not justify military operations on another country’s territory without coordination with its central government,” he added.