Since they were dispatched to Syria to buttress the Assad regime's forces in lethal battles over the northern city of Aleppo in mid-March, Iran's Special Forces have reportedly been suffering heavy casualties.
On Tuesday, the al-Qaida affiliated Nusra Front, which is playing a pivotal role in the fighting that has been taking place in the strategic village of al-Eis in southern Aleppo, released a video purportedly documenting the Iranian forces fleeing from the battlefield.
The video shows Iran's Special Forces, as well as fighters from Lebanese and Iraqi militias who fought alongside them, running away from the war-torn village amid Nusra's intensive bombardment on their positions.
According to unofficial Syrian reports, more than 30 soldiers from Brigade 65, Iran's Special Forces brigade, have been killed since their arrival in Syria, senior commanders among them.
The massive blow to Iran's forces has aroused many revelations of joy among Arab activists on social media networks. A number of them stated that, even though it did not announce this publicly, Iran has sent additional brigades to aid Brigade 65, which is famous for its green berets. Their thesis is based on images of the Iranian fighters who were killed, in which they wore berets in different colors.
Nevertheless, Sheikh Muhammad al-Mohaisany, the head of the Sharia Council of Jaish al-Fatah (the banner that Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham fight under), argued in a video released Tuesday that the Iranians killed fought within the ranks of the Revolutionary Guards and were not part of the Iranian army.
Relating to the Iranian forces, Mohaisany said: "the land is full of their blood, and they will suffer additional casualties."
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian expressed deep concern on Tuesday over what he said were increasing violations of the Syrian ceasefire, in what could be construed as a display of Iran's growing fears of a heavy defeat in Aleppo.