Top IRGC officer killed in a Damascus airstrike

Top IRGC officer killed in a Damascus airstrike

Shafaq News/ An officer of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officer and five others have been killed in an airstrike in Damascus, sources reported on Monday.

A source told Shafaq News that the airstrike targeted a building next to the Iranian embassy, which is believed to be the residence of the Iranian ambassador himself.

The ambassador's residence is also reportedly used as the Iranian consulate in Damascus, where Tehran has a strong presence in support of its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A source cited "early reports" saying that the airstrike killed Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior adviser to the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, along with five others.

"The airstrike appears to have targeted a meeting between Zahedi and leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement," the source said.

Reports from Syria on Monday said that explosions were heard near the capital Damascus, amid reports that the Iranian embassy had been targeted.

The Syrian news agency SANA reported hearing "an explosion near Damascus," adding that "the explosions occurred in the Mazzeh area of Damascus and the Syrian air defenses are confronting hostile targets."

Other sources said that "a building next to the Iranian embassy was targeted."

The Israeli government has not commented on the airstrike. However, Israeli officials have previously said that they will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria. It also repeatedly carried out airstrikes against Iranian and Syrian targets within Syria.

The strikes have escalated since the outbreak of the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas and the cross-border conflict between the Israeli army and Hezbollah on the Israeli-Lebanese frontier. Tehran supports both Hamas and Hezbollah.

IRNA, the official Iranian news agency, blamed Israel for the attack.

"Published pictures show the Zionist regime's attack on Damascus, the building adjacent to the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been destroyed," IRNA said.

The Iranian Ambassador Hossein Akbari and his family were unharmed during the Israeli attack, as stated by Iran's Nour news agency.

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