Israel kills senior Iranian general in Syria strike

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“The barbaric Zionist regime will pay” for the death of Seyed Razi Mousavi, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have said
FILE PHOTO: An Israeli air force F-35 fighter jet flies over Hatzerim air force base near Beersheba, Israel, June 29, 2023 ©  AP / Tsafrir Abayov

Israeli warplanes struck the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday, killing a senior Iranian commander. Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that the general, Seyed Razi Mousavi, was in Syria to support the anti-Israel “resistance front.” 

News of the strike was first reported by Iran’s Tasnim news agency, and confirmed shortly afterwards by the IRGC. “A few hours ago, during the criminal missile attack of the child-killing Zionist regime on Damascus, Brigadier-General Seyed Razi Mousavi, one of the IRGC’s senior military advisers, was martyred,” the IRGC’s statement said.

At the time of his death, Mousavi was “responsible for supporting the resistance front in Syria,” the IRGC said, referring to the broad coalition of anti-Israel groups backed by Iran, which include Hezbollah in Lebanon and various Shia militias in Iraq and Syria.

“The usurping and barbaric Zionist regime will pay for this crime,” the statement concluded.

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Mousavi was a close associate of Qasem Soleimani, who commanded the IRGC’s Quds Force from the late 1990s until his assassination by the US in 2020. The Quds Force primarily operates outside Iran, supporting and training Tehran’s allies, including those in the “resistance front.” 

Its current commander, Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, promised in November to aid Hamas in its fight against Israel, stating that Tehran would “not allow this brutal enemy and those standing behind him to conquer Gaza and its heroic people.” However, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has reportedly informed the Palestinian militant group that Iran’s support will not extend to direct military intervention.

The Israeli military has not commented on Sunday’s airstrike, and usually remains quiet about its operations in Syrian skies. Israeli planes have conducted semi-frequent missions in Syria since the war with Hamas began on October 7, striking airports and sites allegedly used by Iran-aligned militia groups.

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