Report: Iranian military commander killed in Syria

TEHRAN, Iran Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency says a commander in its powerful Revolutionary Guard has been killed in Syria.

The agency said Monday that Mohammad Jamali was killed by "terrorists" a few days ago but didn't provide details. Calling the commander a "martyr," the agency said his funeral will be held in Kerman in southeastern Iran on Tuesday.

Iran is one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's main allies. Tehran has provided his government with military and political backing for years and has kept up its support since the uprising there began in March 2011.

Syrian President Assad is an Allawite, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, which is dominant in Iran. Most of Syria's rebels are Sunni.

On Monday, Mehr reported that a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard (or IRGC) denied a Parliamentarian's claim that there are "hundreds" of Iranian military forces fighting in Syria.

"We strongly deny having any IRGC and Iranian battalions in Syria," Mehr quoted Brig. Gen. Ramazan Sharif. "As we have said before, Iran has not deployed any military force in Syria, and we only provide military advisory services for Damascus."

Last year, the Guard's chief commander, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, said only high-level advisers were in Syria.