A senior commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards was killed by a sniper's bullet in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra as he was training Iraqi troops and Shiite militiamen fighting militants of the self-declared Islamic State, Iran says.
Brig. Gen. Hamid Taqavi, who Reuters says was a veteran of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, was killed by one or more snipers hiding behind a power transformer in Samarra, according to a Revolutionary Guard statement. Several others with him were wounded.
It said Taqavi "became a martyr while fulfilling his duty as a military adviser" in the fight against the Islamic State "terrorists."
He was on a mission in cooperation with the "Iraqi army and popular mobilization (forces) to counter the ISIL Takfiri militants in the vicinity of the shrine of (the eleventh Shia Imam) Hasan al-Askari (peace be upon him)," it said.
"Iran has repeatedly stressed that it will not interfere militarily in Iraq and Syria, but the Islamic Republic continues to provide support to both countries against ISIL in the form of defense consultancy and humanitarian aid.
"At the onset of the ISIL advances in Iraq, the Islamic Republic took rapid steps to mobilize popular forces in the country.
"Tehran has also refused to join the so-called US-led coalition against ISIL in Iraq and Syria."