Iran Blames Israel for Airstrike that Claims Lives of Senior Revolutionary Guard Officials in Syria
In a suspected air strike on the Syrian capital, five senior members of Iran’s security forces were killed, according to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. The attack, which targeted military advisers and Syrian forces, has been attributed to Israel, although Israel has not officially commented. Israel has a history of conducting strikes on Iranian-linked targets in Syria, with such actions escalating since the start of the Israel-Gaza war after attacks by Hamas on Israel in October.
The Iranian foreign ministry condemned the attack as “aggressive and provocative,” urging the international community to denounce Israel’s actions. The Revolutionary Guard has played a significant role in supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria since the onset of the civil war in 2011.
The strike occurred in the Mazzeh neighborhood, southwest of Damascus, an area housing a military airport, the UN headquarters, embassies, and restaurants. Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency reported that the attack claimed the lives of the IRGC’s Syria intelligence chief, his deputy, and other Guard members.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that 10 individuals, including Revolutionary Guard leaders, were killed in the strikes. The Syrian Arab News Agency reported civilian casualties and building destruction, indicating that some missiles were intercepted.
The incident follows a pattern of recent attacks in the region, with a suspected Israeli airstrike near Damascus killing a senior IRGC commander last month. The heightened tension in the Middle East, marked by the Israel-Gaza conflict and ongoing geopolitical crises, raises concerns about the potential for a broader regional conflict involving Iran and Israel.
The situation in the Middle East remains delicate, with various actors engaging in military actions, and the potential for a wider conflict looms amid strained relations between Israel and Iran, as well as other ongoing conflicts in the region.
Four senior members of Iran’s security forces have been killed in a suspected air strike on the Syrian capital. https://t.co/kUWQL26BIr
— Saudi Gazette (@Saudi_Gazette) January 20, 2024