The battle on May 6 in the village of Khan Touman, located southwest of Aleppo near Route 5, the main highway leading to Damascus, will go down in the annals of the Syrian war as the biggest defeat suffered by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hizballah, as well as the battle that changed the face of the war.
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that an Iranian force consisting of IRGC troops and Hizballah was ambushed by fighters from the Jaysh al Fath organization, part of the Nusra Front.
Until this battle took place, Iranian and Hizballah commanders in Syria did not know that the rebels had received a shipment of MILAN antitank missiles provided by Turkey and funded by Saudi Arabia.
The encounter with the advanced weapon system brought the IRGC and Hizballah to rout.
The Iranians admitted that 17 of their fighters fell in the battle, including 13 from the IRGC’s “Karbala” Division that is usually based in Iran, and 22 were wounded. Among the dead were two Iranian brigadier generals. At least ten IRGC troops were taken prisoner by the rebels. Five or seven Iranian troops were executed immediately, and an unknown number were taken from the area to an undisclosed location.
So the stakes in the proxy war between the United States and Russia keeps escalating. Who wins?