on Monday 1 April, 2024

IRGC says seven members killed in Israeli attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus

Smoke rises after what Iranian media said was an Israeli strike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024. (Reuters)
by : Yemen Details

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) confirmed on Monday that seven of its members, including two senior commanders, were killed in an Israeli airstrike targeting Iran’s consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus.

In a statement carried by state news agency IRNA, the IRGC said that commanders Mohammad-Reza Zahedi and Mohammad-Hadi Haji Rahimi were killed in the attack, describing them as “Iran’s senior military advisors in Syria.”

The statement added that five of their accompanying officers were also killed in the attack, naming them as: Hossein Amanollahi, Mahdi Jalalati, Mohsen Sedaghat, Ali Agha Babaei, and Ali Salehi Roozbahani.

Zahedi was responsible for overseeing operations in Lebanon and Syria for the Quds Force, the IRGC’s foreign operations arm, while Haji Rahimi served as his deputy, according to state media.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian earlier said that the assault on Iran’s consulate constitutes a breach of all international conventions.

During a phone call with his Syrian counterpart, Amir-Abdollahian held Israel responsible for the ensuing consequences of this attack, according to IRNA.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said Tehran “reserves the right to respond and will decide on the type of response and the punishment of the aggressor.”

Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, said the attack was carried out by F-35 fighter jets. Iran’s Arabic-language al-Alam TV channel said the strike “completely destroyed” the consulate, which was situated adjacent to the Iranian embassy.

In recent years, Israel has conducted hundreds of airstrikes against both Iranian-backed groups and Syrian military forces inside Syria.

Iran, a staunch ally of President Bashar al-Assad, has played a key role in the Syrian conflict since its beginning in 2011, dispatching thousands of Iranian and foreign fighters to back the Syrian regime.

The attack in Damascus comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, with Iran and several Tehran-backed militant groups facing off against Israel and the US on multiple fronts since the outbreak of war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas on October 7.