On Sunday, the Jaysh al-Izza (Army of Glory) faction conducted an exchange with Assad’s forces and Iranian militias at the al-Tarnbah crossing near Saraqib, east of Idleb. Mustafa Bakour, a colonel in Jaysh al-Izza, told al-Souria Net that negotiations took place with the Iranian side, and it was agreed to exchange three Jaysh al-Izza fighters –who are one of the groups operating behind enemy lines– with the body of a senior Iranian general and a few members of Assad’s forces.
“Five Iranian soldiers and an officer have been liberated, through negotiator Hajj Hisham Khouzami,” the latter, who was in charge of the negotiation process by the regime and Iran, said in his Facebook post.
Khazami is the architect of exchanges between opposition factions on the one hand, and Assad’s forces and Iran on the other,” and he considers himself the “general representative of the Syrian state and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”
Al-Souria Net team was able to identify the Iranian officer, Brigadier General Dariush Dersti, which was confirmed by Colonel Mustafa Bakour.
Who is Dersti?
Born in Tehran in 1963, he joined the IRGC in the 1990s, where he held several positions. The most prominent of these decisions was that of the technical director of the Special Forces in the Revolutionary Guard. He was responsible for recruiting young people into Iran’s Basij forces.
Dersti moved to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s forces after 2011, before being killed in the battles of Tal Nasiriyah in the northwestern countryside of Hama, in September of 2016.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.