A one-time commander during the 8-year Iraqi imposed war on Iran in the 1980s, General Taqavi lost his life in Samarrah while defending the shrine of Imam al-Askari (pbuh) through his performance of “an advisory mission in the fight against the Takfiri and the ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) terrorists,” the Public Relations Department of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) stated on Sunday.
According to the statement, the ranking IRGC officer was killed in the vicinity of the Shiite shrine in Samarrah.
Samarrah, located around 110 kilometers north of capital Baghdad, hosts the holy shrines of two Shiite Imams.
The funeral of General Taqavi was held at the IRGC General Staff Headquarters in Tehran.
High-ranking officials attended the funeral, including the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, former defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi, as well as IRGC Quds Force Lieutenant Commander General Esmail Qa’ani.
Iran was the first country which helped Iraq confront the threat of ISIL terrorists this summer. Tehran has already made it clear that its assistance to Iraq is confined to consultation and advisory help.
The Iranian officials believe that Iraq and Syria are capable enough to defend their countries and there is no need for Iran to send any combat forces to either country.
Syria and Iraq are entangled in battle against the ISIL militants, who made swift advances in northern and western Iraq over the summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
Meanwhile, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the popular forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, have blunted the edge of the ISIL offensive.
Amid tensions in Iraq, Iran is known as the first country to help the Arab country and has always voiced support for Iraq’s solidarity and prosperity.