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On March 10, 2020, Syrian jihadi commander and "military trainer" Al-Asif 'Abd Al-Rahman posted, on his Telegram channel, messages suggesting that Iran could be using patients infected with coronavirus as "a biological weapon against jihadi factions in Syria.
Referring to the Iranian-backed militias that are fighting alongside Syrian regime forces, 'Abd Al-Rahman wrote: "Heroes, take into account that when the battle starts, and it seems that it will start soon... those captured or killed might be among those infected with the coronavirus."
He went on to explain that such a strategy is likely, as the Iranian authorities are capable of convincing patients infected with the virus that it is better to die as a martyr than from illness and receive no credit for righteous deeds.
"There is no doubt that the Iranian occupier will particularly send patients infected with the virus to lead the attack, under the motto 'martyrdom is more rewarding than dying of the coronavirus and reaping no benefit."
Adding that Iran could be using patients as biological weapons whether they are alive or dead, he argued that in the past the Mongols used this tactic during their invasion of Europe in the 13th century. He cited the example of the Ukrainian city of Caffa, known today as Feodosia, which was decimated by a virulent pandemic during the Mongol siege in 1343.
He said: "They may use these infected [patients] whether they are alive or dead as a biological weapon, similar to the use [made of the sick by] the Mongols, who catapulted the bodies of patients infected with the plague into besieged fortresses such as in the city of Caffa in Europe, where epidemics ran rampant."
 Telegram, Alaseef0, March 10, 2020.