Tehran on Wednesday, July 31, for the first time began naming Iranians killed in what were called “Israeli and United States attacks” in Iraq. The Iranians have never before identified the men killed in Israeli strikes – either in Syria or Iraq. Neither have they directly tied those attacks to the United States.
One Iranian notice lists Abu Alfazi Sarabian, “a senior commander of the Al Qods Brigades of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps,” as having lost his life on July 19 in the Israeli attack on the pro-Iranian 52nd Brigade of the Hashd Shaabi Iraqi militia at a Badr Brigades base, near the town of Amerli in the province of Salahudin northwest of Baghdad.
According to Western intelligence sources, the base was struck by three Israel Harop explosive drones, ferried by Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter bombers through Jordan’s air space up to the Iraqi town of Ar-Rutbah. From there, the drones were launched against their target.
Iraqi sources report that the Iranian officer Sarabian died in an explosion in an area used to store solid fuel for missiles, without explaining what a senior Iranian officer was doing there, or which missiles required solid fuel. DEBKAfile’s military sources interpret the Iraqi disclosure as tantamount to corroboration of the function of the Badr Brigades base as hosting IRGC Iranian ballistic missiles which are powered by solid fuel.
All the Iranian victims of the Israeli attack were described as being granted full honors at military ceremonies in Tehran, before being flown for burial directly to their home towns. Abu Alfazi Sarabian’s remains were carried to Kermanshah.