Alleged Israeli strike kills Iranian Quds Force leader in Syria

The structure reportedly targeted by the Israeli Air Force was said to house the Iranian consulate and the ambassador’s official residence.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Syria, Iran
The slain commander of the Revolutionary Guard's Quds Forces in Syria and Lebanon, Brigadier General Mohammad Zahedi. Source: Social media via JNS.
The slain commander of the Revolutionary Guard's Quds Forces in Syria and Lebanon, Brigadier General Mohammad Zahedi. Source: Social media via JNS.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahedi, a top commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force responsible for Syria and Lebanon, was killed in an alleged Israeli strike on a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus on Monday, Reuters reported.

Zahedi is the most senior regime official to be killed since the death of leading Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran in an assassination attributed to Israel four years ago.

A former commander of the IRGC’s terrorist ground forces, Zahedi had been sanctioned by the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Monday’s attack on the building in Damascus’s upscale Mezzeh area also killed at least five other people, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.

Among the casualties was Gen. Haji Rahimi, who served as Zahedi’s deputy, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency confirmed.

The structure reportedly targeted by the Israeli Air Force was said to house the Iranian consulate and the ambassador’s official residence.

According to Syrian state media agency SANA, the attack caused “major destruction to the building, as well as damage to neighboring buildings.” The outlet claimed that air defenses responded to the strike.

Al Jazeera cited sources in Tehran as saying that Iranian Ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari and his family were not hurt in the strike.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met with Akbari near the embassy shortly after the airstrike, Iranian media reported. Mekdad also phoned Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Following the phone conversation with Mekdad, Amir-Abdollahian publicly blamed the strike on the “Zionist regime” and vowed the Islamic Republic would respond “at the appropriate time and place.”

A news channel affiliated with Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps described the reported attack as a “dangerous escalation that takes the region to open war.

“It is an attack on Iranian territory, since the embassy is considered Iran’s territory,” said the IRGC’s Sabereen News in a statement posted to the Telegram messaging app seen by Iran International.

Overnight Saturday, an IAF fighter jet intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” approaching Israeli territory from Syria. Earlier on Saturday, Hebrew media reported an Israeli airstrike in southwestern Syria.

On Friday, an alleged Israeli strike in Aleppo in northwest Syria killed dozens of people, mainly Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah terrorists.

Israel has allegedly struck hundreds of targets in Syria in recent years as part of an effort to prevent further Iranian military entrenchment in the country. Jerusalem rarely acknowledges such attacks.

On Feb. 4, Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari revealed that the IAF has attacked more than 50 targets belonging to Hezbollah and other Iran-backed terrorist groups in Syria since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel.

With reporting by JNS.

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