Iran Daily: Frustrated By Syria Losses, Revolutionary Guards Make Up “700 Terrorist Casualties”

By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – 30 May 2016 – Frustrated by losses south of Syria’s biggest city Aleppo, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have made up a story about hundreds of slain Syrian rebels. Fars News Agency, the IRGC’s outlet, posted on Monday:

    A senior Iranian military advisor who is helping the Syrian army in its anti-terrorism fight disclosed that hundreds of Takfiri terrorists have been killed and wounded in Khan Touman front in Aleppo province in Northern Syria in the last 30 days.    “A sum of 700 Takfiri militants were either killed or wounded in Khan Touman in the past month,” Brigadier General Hamid Reza Rostamian told FNA on Sunday.

    He also said that at least 10 tanks and armored vehicles of the Takfiri terrorists were also destroyed in the same period.In early May, rebels and the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra captured Khan Tuman, near the Aleppo-to-Damascus highway, and killed scores — pro-opposition accounts claimed more than 100 — of Iranian troops and Iranian-led Iraqi and Afghan militia. The victory followed the rebel-Nusra seizure of al-Eis, on the international highway, at the start of April.

The Iranian-led force tried twice in the following days to retake Khan Tuman, but failed on each occasion and suffered more casualties. In their first admission of multiple losses in Syria’s five-year conflict, the Guards said 13 of its troops were killed and 21 wounded. An Iranian MP said “five or six” more soldiers were captured.Meanwhile, Fars insisted that the loss was actually a great victory, with “at least 400 terrorists…killed or wounded”.Last week, the Iranians tried again to move into the southern part of Khan Tuman but were repelled. With the advances since early April, rebels have regained most of the territory lost to a regime-Iranian-Hezbollah offensive, enabled by intense Russian airstrikes, last autumn.Russian and Iranian outlets have exchanged accusations over the heavy losses at Khan Tuman, with the Iranians criticizing the lack of Russian air cover and websites linked to the Russian military criticizing the IRGC’s command:

Fars News insists this morning, “The most important matter is that the Syrian military forces have been capable of changing their positions in Khan Touman from defensive to offensive.”