Iranian Commander Assassinated: Martyr or Meddler?
SAEED KARIMI NEJAD/AFP/Getty Images
The assassination of a commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on February 12 in Syria has sparked new questions on Iran’s involvement in that country. Iranian officials and news sources have named the man as Gen. Hassan Shateri. As a high-ranking member of the Revolutionary Guard, what was he doing in Syria?
General Shateri was murdered in an ambush as he drove along the road from Damascus to Beirut, Lebanon. Exact details surrounding the assassination are hazy at best, and no rebel group has come forward to claim responsibility. Iran has labeled Shateri as a martyr who died at the hands of Israeli-backed terrorists.
The Syrian Observatory of Human rights says the commander was shot by rebels.
Iran claimed General Shateri was heading up construction work in the region. The general was in charge of the Iranian Commission for Reconstruction in Lebanon. The Lebanese paper As-Safir stated that Shateri was in Aleppo to study reconstruction projects.
Last month, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, said Iran was sending military assistance to the Syrian president. “They are sending arms, they are sending other kinds of experts, and in fact we know that they are sending Iran Revolutionary Guard members,” said Ford.
Rebels in Syria have accused Iran of meddling in their civil war by sending militia members to assist the weakening Syrian President Bashar Assad. Last year, rebels captured 48 Iranians whom they claimed were Revolutionary Guards. They were released in a prisoner exchange.
Iran has strongly backed President Assad during the civil war. The leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard said it was providing non-military support and would get involved militarily if there was foreign intervention. The presence of high-ranking Iranian generals within Syria shows that the Iranians are stepping up their attempts to bolster the crippled regime of President Assad.
Despite their best efforts, the Iranians are destined to lose their grip on Syria, as they are struggling against Bible prophecy. Psalm 83 indicates that Syria is set to unite with other Arab nations, not with Iran. For more on why Iran will not retain influence in Syria, read “A Mysterious Prophecy” by Gerald Flurry.