TEHRAN — A commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps has been killed in Syria while defending a Shiite shrine, a semiofficial news service reported Monday.
Mohammad Jamali Paghalleh, identified as a member of the Islamic corps, was “martyred” while defending the Sayyida Zainab shrine southeast of Damascus, according to Iran’s Mehr news service. No other details were provided.
The golden-domed Sayyida Zainab, said to house the tomb of the granddaughter of the prophet Muhammad, has drawn numerous militiamen from outside Syria to defend it from attack. The site, revered by Shiites, has suffered damage from periodic mortar strikes by mostly Sunni Muslim rebels. The shrine remains a favored destination of Shiite pilgrims from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.