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5 Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders assassinated in alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria

Israel hasn’t commented on the strike in the Syrian capital Damascus

People inspect the damage at the site of an alleged Israeli strike in the Mazzeh neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, Jan 20, 2024. (Photo: SANA/Handout via REUTERS)

Five commanders in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed by an airstrike in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Saturday, the IRGC confirmed while blaming Israel for the attack.

“The Revolutionary Guards’ Syria intel chief, his deputy, and two other Guards members were martyred in the attack on Syria by Israel,” according to Iran's Mehr news agency, quoting an unnamed source.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi blamed Israel for the strike and vowed revenge. “The Islamic Republic will not leave the Zionist regime’s crimes unanswered,” he told Iranian state broadcaster IRIB.

There remained some disagreement at the time of publication as to the names of the IRGC officers who were eliminated, as the media reported that the intelligence officer Gen. Sadegh Omidzadeh was among those killed, while the IRGC named the five victims as Hojatollah Omidvar, Ali Aghazadeh, Hossein Mohammadi, Said Karimi and Mohammad Amin Samadi.

The officers were killed when a four-story building in the al-Mazzeh neighborhood was completely destroyed by “precision-targeted Israeli missiles,” according to a source cited by the Times of Israel.

Syrian opposition groups said that the building had served as a meeting place between Iranian officials and members of Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group, leading to speculation that some of their senior members had been targeted.

PIJ representatives in Syria quickly rejected these reports, stressing that none of their members were wounded in the strike and that its leader, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, is in good health.

The purported target of the attack, Sadegh Omidzadeh, was of the same rank as his late fellow IRGC General, Brig.-Gen. Razi Mousavi.

Mousavi was officially in charge of the Iranian-Syrian military alliance but also fell victim to an anonymous airstrike in a suburb of Damascus at the end of December.

Per its usual policy, Israel has not officially commented on the alleged assassination.

The strike was condemned by Hamas, an ally to both Iran and Syria, which called it “a heinous crime and a violation of sovereignty.”

Soon after the alleged Israeli strike, an American airbase in Iraq came under heavy fire from projectiles fired by Iranian-supported militias, with at least two U.S. soldiers being lightly wounded.

Over 20 projectiles fired at the Ain al-Asad American base signal a preliminary response by Iran to the strike that eliminated five senior members of its Revolutionary Guards.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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