Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds force in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has been seriously injured in Aleppo, Syria, an unconfirmed report said Tuesday.
The report by the Persian-language opposition AsrIran website, referenced by Al-Arabiya, reported that Soleimani was seriously injured along with two other personnel in an anti-tank rocket attack 12 days ago, during battles in the northern Syrian city. The AsrIran website is considered close to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an umbrella organization of five Iranian opposition groups based in Paris.
The report said that Soleimani had received first aid in Syria and was then transported to Tehran, where he is currently being treated in a military hospital. The report was confirmed by Amir Mousavi, director of the Center for Strategic Studies and International Relations in Tehran.
The Iranian pro-regime Tasnim News Agency denied the report, quoting Revolutionary Guards spokesman General Ramezan Sharif as saying that rumors of Soleimani’s injury are a “sheer lie” and that they are “aimed at influencing the public opinion and the Resistance Front.”
Sharif claimed that Soleimani is perfectly healthy and is continuing in his mission of “energetically assisting the Islamic Resistance in Syrian and Iraq.”
Last week, Iranian officials denied earlier reports that Soleimani had been killed in an attack in Syria.
Soleimani was reportedly dispatched to Syria in recent weeks to reaffirm the Islamic State’s support for Syria’s embattled president, Bashar Assad. Iran has been aiding Assad in a civil war which has lasted over five-and-a-half years and killed more than a quarter of a million people.