The commander, Haj Hossein Dehghan Azad, was one of the leading IRGC officers in Deir Ezzor, according to several sources.
The incident allegedly took place in the town of al-Bukamal in southern Deir Ezzor where the Iranian commander was based. According to the pro-opposition agency, two of Haj Azad’s personal guards were also killed in the attack.
These claims were dismissed by official Iranian sources, which said Haj Azad died of natural causes. The 48-year old commander was reportedly suffering from a complicated medical condition.
The commander death fueled many rumors due to the high tension in Deir Ezzor. ISIS cells stepped up their attacks in the governorate’s southern and western countryside recently. There were also many reports of Israeli activities in the region.
Early on January 13, a series of Israeli strikes targeted a network of military positions between Deir Ezzor city and al-Bukamal. The rumors of Haj Azad assassination resurfaced after the large attack.