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Iran Guards say Israeli strike kills senior general in Syria

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Tehran, Iran — A senior general with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was killed Monday by an Israeli strike in Syria, the military force said, with Tehran vowing to make Israel “pay for this crime”.

Iranian state media also reported the death of Razi Moussavi, describing him as “one of the most experienced advisors” of Quds Force, the foreign arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

There was no immediate comment from Israel, which has repeatedly said it will not allow arch-enemy Iran to expand its presence in Syria.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi expressed condolences for Moussavi’s death, saying Israel “will certainly pay for this crime”.

The general “was killed during an attack by the Zionist regime a few hours ago in Zeinabiyah district in the suburbs of Damascus,” official news agency IRNA reported, using a different name for Sayyida Zeinab south of the Syrian capital.

Moussavi was “active in the field of providing logistical support to the axis of resistance in Syria,” IRNA said, referring to groups backed by Tehran and arrayed against Israel.

The IRGC in a statement said Moussavi was killed in a “missile attack” and also vowed to avenge his death.

The statement noted that Moussavi was a companion of General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s revered Quds commander who was killed in Baghdad in a US drone strike in 2020.

Next week Iran will mark the fourth anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination, and Moussavi was the most senior Quds Force general killed since.

‘Three missiles’

Iran’s state TV said Moussavi was targeted by “three missiles” and aired footage showing smoke rising from the area of the strike.

A Britain-based monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported Israeli strikes on positions used by Iranian groups and by Lebanon’s powerful Tehran-aligned Hezbollah in the Sayyida Zeinab area.

Residents reported hearing loud explosions and seeing columns of smoke rising from farms in the area.

Since Syria’s civil war began in 2011, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on its northern neighbour, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters as well as Syrian army positions.

On December 2, the IRGC accused Israel of killing two of its members in Syria, where the force said they had been on an advisory mission, without providing further details.

Israel, which rarely comments on reported strikes in Syria, has intensified attacks there particularly against Hezbollah since the start of its war against Hamas — also backed by Iran — triggered by the Palestinian militant group’s October 7 attacks.

The Islamic republic, which supports Hamas financially and militarily, has hailed the deadly attacks on southern Israel as a “success” but denied any direct involvement.

Iran does not recognise Israel and has made support for the Palestinian cause a centrepiece of its foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution.


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