Iran Guards officer killed in Israeli strike on Syria: website
April 1, 2023 09:50 AM
An officer from Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards was killed in Israeli air strikes on Syria early on Friday, a website affiliated with the Guards said.
During more than a decade of civil war in Syria, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes on Syrian territory, primarily targeting Iran-backed forces and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, as well as Syrian army positions.
In its latest aerial assault, Israel launched "several missiles from the occupied Golan Heights" against positions near Damascus, Syrian state media said.
Sepahnews, the website of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said one of the force's officers was killed in the Israeli raid.
"Milad Heidari, one of the military officers and advisers of the Guards in Syria, was martyred at dawn on Friday in the Zionist regime's criminal attack on the outskirts of Damascus," it said.
Israel would "undoubtedly... receive a reply to this crime", the report added, while also criticising "the silence of international bodies" against Israeli "aggression" in Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, had earlier said the missiles fired from the Golan targeted a weapons and ammunition depot of the Syrian military and pro-Iran groups in southwest Damascus.
Syria's state news agency SANA said several missiles had been intercepted by air defences.
The aerial attacks were the second round of Israeli strikes carried out near Damascus in less than 24 hours, after two Syrian soldiers were wounded in an attack on Thursday morning.
Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and claims only to deploy military advisers in the conflict-ravaged country.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani condemned Friday's attack, saying it targeted "certain centres located in Damascus and its suburbs".
Israel rarely comments on the strikes it carries out on Syria, but it has repeatedly said it will not allow arch-foe Iran to extend its footprint in its northern neighbour.
The Syrian war broke out in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful anti-government protests and escalated to a deadly armed conflict that pulled in foreign powers and global jihadists.
Some 500,000 people have been killed and about half of Syria's pre-war population has been forced from their homes.