Semi-official Iran news agency says Revolutionary Guard colonel killed in Syria's civil war

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A semi-official news agency in Iran is reporting that a Revolutionary Guard colonel has been killed in Syria's civil war, the latest Iranian casualty as it supports embattled President Bashar Assad.

The report Tuesday by the Fars news agency identified the colonel as Mostafa Ezzatollah Soleimani, who it said died in fighting in Syria's contested province of Aleppo. In October, two senior Revolutionary Guard commanders, Guard, Gen. Farshad Hasoonizadeh and Gen. Hossein Hamedani, were killed near Aleppo.

Along with Russia, Iran is a key Assad ally and has provided his government with military and political backing for years, recently saying it has increased the number of advisers it has on the ground there. However, Tehran denies the presence of Iranian combat troops in Syria.