Iran holds ceremony commemorating Revolutionary Guards commander killed in Syrian civil war

Iran's state news agency says authorities have held a commemoration for a commander of the powerful Revolutionary Guards who was killed in Syria.

IRNA said local officials attended Sunday's ceremony to mark the death of Gen. Abdollah Eskandari.

IRNA said the country's defense minister sent a condolence message in which he said Gen. Eskandari was killed as he joined defenders of the Sayida Zeinab shrine.

The shrine is sacred to Shiite Muslims and is located just south of the Syrian capital.

Iran is a regional Shiite power and a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad. It has provided training, weapons and cash to help support Assad.

Rebels and anti-government activists also say Iran has combat sent troops. Iran says its officers serve solely in an advisory role.