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Iran says Israel raid on Damascus kills Guards’ Syria spy chief, amongst others


People collect close to the broken web site, that was hit by an Israeli navy strike in response to sources, in Damascus, Syria on January 20, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

An Israeli strike on Damascus killed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ spy chief for Syria and three different Guards members on Saturday, Iranian media stated, in an assault that flattened a multi-storey residential constructing.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights warfare monitor stated six individuals had been killed within the Israeli strike within the Mazzeh neighbourhood of the Syrian capital.

In current weeks, Israel has been accused of intensifying strikes on senior Iranian and allied figures in Syria and Lebanon — backers of the Palestinian militant group Hamas — elevating fears the Gaza battle may develop.

“The Revolutionary Guards’ Syria intel chief, his deputy and two other Guards members were martyred in the attack on Syria by Israel,” Iran’s Mehr information company stated, quoting an knowledgeable supply.

In an announcement, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) confirmed it misplaced 4 of its members within the strike that it accused Israel, its regional arch-foe, of finishing up.

The mid-morning strike, which prompted a big plume of smoke to billow into the sky, was additionally reported by Syrian state media.

The war-torn nation’s official information company, SANA, stated a residential constructing in Damascus’ Mazzeh neighbourhood had been focused in what it referred to as “an Israeli aggression”.

An AFP correspondent on the scene stated the destroyed constructing was cordoned off with ambulances, firefighters and Syrian Arab Red Crescent rescue groups all current on the web site.

Civil defence had been busy looking for survivors below the rubble of the completely collapsed constructing, he stated.

AFP video footage confirmed broken vehicles coated in rubble and with their home windows blown out close to the positioning of the strike.

“I heard the explosion clearly in the western Mazzeh area, and I saw a large cloud of smoke,” a resident advised AFP, requesting anonymity for safety considerations.

“The sound was similar to a missile explosion, and minutes later I heard the sound of ambulances,” he added.

Hundreds of Israeli strikes

When requested concerning the strike, the Israeli military advised AFP: “We do not comment on reports from the foreign media”.

During greater than a decade of civil warfare in Syria, Israel has launched a whole bunch of air strikes on its territory, primarily focusing on Iran-backed forces in addition to Syrian military positions.

But it has intensified assaults for the reason that warfare between Israel and Hamas, which like Lebanon’s Hezbollah motion is an ally of Iran, started on October 7.

The Observatory stated “an Israeli missile strike targeted a four-storey building, killing six people… and destroying the whole building where Iran-aligned leaders were meeting” in Damascus.

Its director, Rami Abdel Rahman, stated one of many victims was a Syrian civilian.

The British-based warfare monitor with a community of sources inside Syria stated the focused constructing belonged to the IRGC and that the neighbourhood is thought to be a high-security zone residence to leaders of the IRGC and pro-Iran Palestinian factions.

The Mazzeh space can also be residence to the United Nations’ headquarters, embassies and eating places.

“They were for sure targeting senior members” of Tehran-backed teams or Iranian forces, Abdel Rahman advised AFP.

Exchanges of fireplace

In December, an Israeli air strike killed a senior Iranian basic in Syria, the navy pressure stated.

Razi Moussavi was probably the most senior commander of the Guards’ international operations arm, the Quds Force, to be killed outdoors Iran since a US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020 killed the Force’s commander, Qasem Soleimani.

In the identical month, air strikes in japanese Syria, “likely” carried out by Israel, killed a minimum of 23 pro-Iran fighters, the Observatory stated on the time, reporting 4 extra lifeless within the nation’s north.

Recent months have additionally seen common cross-border exchanges of fireplace between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Israel hardly ever feedback on particular person strikes focusing on Syria, but it surely has repeatedly stated it won’t permit arch foe Iran, which backs President Bashar al-Assad’s authorities, to develop its presence there.

Since 2011, Syria has endured a bloody battle that has claimed over half one million lives and displaced a number of million individuals and plunged.

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