Qataslou was among the soldiers sent to Syria by the Islamic Republic’s Army. He was a commander of a Basij base in Pakdasht County, in southern Tehran, dubbed Baqiatollah Base.

Mehr News Agency reported last week that Amir-ali Arasteh, deputy coordinator of the Iranian Army, referred to the presence of military advisors, particularly the 65th Brigade, in Syria. “We dispatched forces from the 65th Brigade to Syria as advisors, but this deployment does not pertain to only the 65th Commando Brigade, as we have also sent other units” Arasteh stated.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said in a statement on April 8, that “in a move unparalleled since the Iran-Iraq war, Khamenei has deployed his military on a large scale for the export of terrorism and warmongering abroad”. The latter statement was in response to Amir Ali Arasteh, deputy coordinator of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces stating that his forces from the 65th Commando Brigade and other units have been dispatched to Syria.

Assad al-Zoubi, the head of the Syrian opposition coalition delegation in Geneva said: “The number of Iranian forces in Syria has reached 69,000. This includes members of the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] and military experts who work in ballistics programs, chemical and communications divisions, and numerous others who fight alongside Assad’s forces.  Subsequently, these 69,000 troops have been deployed in Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Latakia, Damascus and Daraa provinces.”