An Israeli airstrike on the Syrian capital killed at the least 4 Iranian advisers, officers say



DAMASCUS, Syria — An Israeli strike on the Syrian capital on Saturday destroyed a constructing utilized by the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, killing at the least 4 Iranians, Syrian and Iranian state media reported.

The Syrian military mentioned the constructing within the tightly guarded western Damascus neighborhood of Mazzeh was completely destroyed, including that the Israeli air pressure fired the missiles whereas flying over Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Israeli navy didn’t remark.

Just a few hours later, an Israeli drone strike on a automotive close to the southern Lebanese port metropolis of Tyre killed two Hezbollah members who have been within the car and two individuals who have been in a close-by orchard, an official with the group and state information company mentioned. A kind of killed was Ali Hudruj, a neighborhood Hezbollah commander, mentioned the official, who spoke on situation of anonymity in step with laws, with out giving additional particulars.

Nour Information, which is believed to be near Iran’s intelligence equipment, recognized two of the useless in Damascus as Gen. Sadegh Omidzadeh, the intelligence deputy of the guard’s expeditionary Quds Drive in Syria, and his deputy, who goes by the nom de guerre Hajj Gholam. The guard later issued a press release figuring out the useless as Hojjatollah Omidvar, Ali Aghazadeh, Hossein Mohammadi and Saeed Karimi. It gave no ranks for them. The distinction in info couldn’t be instantly reconciled.

An opposition conflict monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, mentioned at the least six folks — 5 Iranians and a Syrian — have been killed within the missile assault that struck whereas officers from Iran-backed teams have been holding a gathering. The Observatory’s chief, Rami Abdurrahman, mentioned three of the Iranians have been commanders, including that 4 different individuals are nonetheless lacking underneath the rubble.

Iranian Overseas Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani condemned the Israeli strike in a press release saying that “with none doubt, the blood of those high-ranking martyrs won’t be wasted.” He added that Tehran “reserves its proper to answer the organized terrorism of the pretend Zionist regime on the acceptable time and place.”

Iran additionally tried once more to hyperlink Israel to the Islamic State group, one thing its leaders have been attempting to do since a suicide bombing by the extremists in early January in Iran killed greater than 90 folks.

Safety forces deployed across the destroyed four-story constructing as ambulances and fireplace engines have been seen within the space. A seek for folks trapped underneath the rubble was underway. Home windows have been additionally shattered in close by buildings.

A grocer close to the scene of the strike mentioned he heard 5 consecutive explosions at about 10:15 a.m., including that he later witnessed the our bodies of a person and a lady being taken away in addition to three wounded folks.

“The store shook. I stayed inside for few seconds then went out and noticed the smoke billowing from behind the mosque,” the person, who requested that his identify not be used for safety causes, informed The Related Press.

“What occurred was terrifying. I collapsed,” mentioned Khaled Mawed, who lives close by.

The strike got here amid widening tensions within the area as Israel pushes forward with its offensive in Gaza. Israel’s assault there, one of many deadliest and most damaging navy campaigns in current historical past, has killed practically 25,000 Palestinians, in line with Gaza well being authorities, brought about widespread destruction and uprooted over 80% of the territory’s 2.3 million folks from their properties.

Israel launched the offensive after an unprecedented cross-border assault into Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 folks and took some 250 others hostage. Roughly 130 hostages are believed by Israel to stay in Hamas captivity. The conflict has stoked tensions throughout the area, threatening to ignite different conflicts.

Final month, an Israeli airstrike on a suburb of Damascus killed Iranian basic Seyed Razi Mousavi, a longtime adviser of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Syria. Israel has additionally focused Palestinian and Lebanese operatives in Syria over the previous years.

Iranian and Syrian officers have lengthy acknowledged Iran has advisers and navy specialists in Syria, however denied there have been any floor troops. Hundreds of fighters from Iran-backed teams took half in Syria’s battle that began in March 2011, serving to tip the stability of energy in favor of President Bashar Assad.

Israel has carried out lots of of strikes on targets inside government-controlled components of war-torn Syria in recent times.

Israel not often acknowledges its actions in Syria, nevertheless it has mentioned that it targets bases of Iran-allied militant teams, similar to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has despatched 1000’s of fighters to assist Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Earlier this month, a strike mentioned to be carried out by Israel killed high Hamas commander Saleh Arouri in Beirut.

Over the previous weeks, rockets have been fired from Syria into northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, including to tensions alongside the Lebanon-Israel border and assaults on ships within the Purple Sea by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.


Mroue reported from Beirut. Related Press author Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, contributed.

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