Hassan Akbari the senior guard of Ayatollah Khamenei has reportedly been killed in Syria
It has been reported by PressTV that Hassan Akbari, an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) officer and the senior guard of Ayatollah Khamanei, has been killed “due to weapon malfunction during a training mission.” Since Akbari was such an important person in Iran and since presumably he is a highly trained soldier, as he was one of Khamenei’s most trusted guards, I was highly skeptical that the PressTV report was telling the whole story regarding Akbari’s death.
After a bit of internet sleuthing, it seems that there is in fact more going on with the story. As reported by the Jerusalem Post and other news outlets, according to sources in the Syrian opposition Akbari was killed while in Syria. Apparently he was in Aleppo province preparing “a comprehensive report about the fighting for Khamenei.”
It may seem odd that Khamenei’s top body guard would be given such a task, but it is sensible given the fact that the Ayatollah obvious has a great degree of trust in Akbari. Furthermore according to reports by DEBKAfile, ever since the Russians have initiated their partial withdrawal from Syria, Iran has taken a more important role in the planning and operation of the Syria conflict. On April 30, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi “arrived in Damascus … to assume direct command of the Iranian, Syrian and Hizballah forces fighting in Syria.” It could very well be that Akbari was laying the ground work for Firouzabadi’s arrival.
Ultimately we do not know the exact circumstances surrounding the death of Akbari, but it seems to me that the corresponding PressTV report is merely a cover story. Don’t let the talk of peace in Syria fool you, the Syrian Civil War is grinding on as ever before, and could very well intensify as Iran takes a more prominent role, which could prompt Turkey and/or Saudi Arabia to intensify their intervention in Syria, leading to the escaltion of Sunni-Shiite Civil War currently wracking the Middle East.