Iran's semi-official Fars news agency says a onetime bodyguard for former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been killed while fighting in Syria.

The agency reported Friday that Abdollah Bagheri Niakari was killed while fighting alongside Syrian government forces against "terrorists" in the northern city of Aleppo.

Earlier this month, two senior commanders in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Farshad Hasoonizadeh and Gen. Hossein Hamedani, were killed near Aleppo.

Iran is a longtime ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has provided crucial economic and military backing throughout the uprising and subsequent civil war. Iran says it has sent military advisers to Syria but no combat troops.

Ahmadinejad was president from 2005-2013 and was best known in the West for his fiery speeches condemning Israel and questioning the Nazi Holocaust.