Beheading of IRGC fighter unites Iranians

Al-Monitor- Imagery of the decapitated body of Mohsen Hojjaji, a fighter from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was dispatched to Syria, surfaced on Iranian social media Aug. 9. Earlier, the Islamic State (IS) had shared video of Hojjaji’s capture on the Syrian-Iraqi border during a surprise attack that left a number of people dead. Iranian officials and social media users immediately sent their condolences to his parents and wife and vowed to “cleanse” the region of IS.

While it is often the more gruesome IS videos that go viral, it was Hojjaji’s picture the moment he was captured that took off. The picture is particularly haunting and looks like something out of a film. Hojjaji, dressed in military fatigues, is held by an IS fighter with a knife in his hand. In the background, black smoke rises from the overtaken camp.

Many who saw it drew comparisons between the expressions of Hojjaji and his captor. Hojjaji, who likely knew his death was imminent, seems resigned to his fate. The IS fighter, with blood running down his cheeks, appears almost anxious. Zahra Abbasi, Hojjaji’s wife, told the Iranian press, “Look into my husband’s eyes. There is no fear in these eyes. It is all bravery, courage. He is like a mountain.”

Read more here