Iran Confirms Death of Two Generals, Five Officers in Alleged Israeli F-35 Strike in Syria

F-35 planes fired six missiles at the Iranian consulate in Damascus: Iranian Embassy in Syria
  • bureau
  • 06:20 AM, April 2, 2024
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Iran Confirms Death of Two Generals, Five Officers in Alleged Israeli F-35 Strike in Syria
IRGC General Mohammad Reza Zahedi

Iran has confirmed the deaths of two of its generals and five accompanying officers in an alleged Israeli F-35 airstrike targeting the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1.

The Iranian Embassy in Syria said in a statement that “F-35 planes fired six missiles at the Iranian consulate in Damascus” and that “the exact number and names of those killed will be published following the clearing-out of the rubble.”

Although Israel has not claimed responsibility, Iran and Hezbollah are already accusing Jerusalem of escalating Israel’s war against Iran’s regional proxies. Removing Zahedi could be seen as a blow to the management of the Lebanese terror groups’ rocket attacks on Israel.

According to reports from the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Brigadier General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi were among those killed in the strike. Zahedi is the highest-ranking Iranian killed since the current conflict started, surpassing even commander Sayyed Reza Mousavi, who was killed in December.

The IRGC also confirmed the deaths of five IRGC officers who were accompanying the generals at the time of the attack.

The Israeli Air Force targeted the Mezze quarter in the western part of the Syrian capital, where Iranian military advisers from the IRGC were stationed. The strike has heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, with Tehran vowing to retaliate and "punish the aggressor."

In response to the airstrike, the Iranian Foreign Ministry stated that Tehran reserves the right to respond and determine the appropriate course of action in retaliation for the attack on its consulate. Iranian leaders condemned the targeting of a diplomatic mission and promised a harsh response to what they described as an unprecedented act.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that a total of 11 people were killed in the attack, including several long-serving diplomats and senior military figures. Among the victims was Brigadier General Hossein Amirollah, the chief of general staff for the al-Quds force in Syria and Lebanon.

Iran's ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, condemned the attack and vowed that Iran's response would be of equal magnitude and harshness. He accused Israel of launching the strike using F-35 jets and emphasized Iran's commitment to supporting Palestinians in Gaza despite the aggression.

The strike represents a significant blow to Iran's military hierarchy, removing key figures involved in the al-Quds force's operations in Lebanon and Syria. General Zahedi, who commanded units in both countries, played a crucial role in Tehran's relationship with Hezbollah and the Syrian government.

The incident comes amidst escalating violence between Israel and Hezbollah along the Israel-Lebanon border and increased attacks by Iranian-backed militias on U.S. and Israeli positions in Iraq.

The United States and the United Nations have expressed concern over the reports of the attack, with the U.S. stating that it is aware of the situation but has no further comment at this time.

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