Two Revolutionary Guard Generals Killed in Syria – Iran Blames Israel: Latest Updates and Analysis

2024-04-02 04:04:28
Abroad Syria

Two Revolutionary Guard generals killed in explosion – Iran blames Israel

As of: 06:04 a.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes

Syria Israel

The entire consular department building was destroyed

Quelle: AP/Omar Sanadiki

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Seven members of the Revolutionary Guard were killed in an attack on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus. Among them were two brigadier generals. Syria and Iran speak of an Israeli attack.

Two generals of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) were killed in an explosion in the Syrian capital Damascus. Mohammed Reza Sahedi, a brigadier general in the IRGC’s foreign unit, was killed, Iran’s state broadcaster reported. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed the death on Monday evening. Sahedi’s deputy Mohammed Hadi Haji also died, as did five other members of the Revolutionary Guard. Sahedi was responsible for operations in Syria and Lebanon, according to the Iranian news agency Tasnim.

According to the Syrian Defense Ministry, the building hit was the consular section of the embassy. The state news agency Sana reported that the building was leveled in the attack. “Everyone in the building was killed or injured” in the attack. The embassy building itself remained undamaged. Iran’s ambassador Hussein Akbari and his family were reportedly unharmed. The Syrian air defense responded to the attack and shot down some missiles, it said.

The cause of the explosion remains unclear. Syrian and Iranian media spoke of an air strike by the Israeli military. When asked, the Israeli army said it does not comment on reports in the foreign media.

Syria Israel

Quelle: AP/Omar Sanadiki

Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the attack and blamed its arch-enemy Israel for the attack. “The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to take countermeasures and will decide on the nature of the response,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, according to a statement from his ministry. Experts have already expressed concern that some in Iran could see the attack as a declaration of war. Iran’s head of state Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi remained silent. Their reaction to the air raid is now awaited with both excitement and concern.

After the incident, Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations spoke of a “flagrant violation of the UN Charter, international law and the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular institutions.” In a statement published on X (formerly Twitter), the mission called Calls on the UN Security Council to condemn in the strongest terms the Israeli “terrorist attack” and to take all necessary measures to prevent further attacks. Among other things, Iran is calling for an emergency meeting of the Security Council on the incident.

Rockets flew 1200 kilometers

At the end of December, Iranian General Sejed-Rasi Mousavi, a senior IRGC member, was killed in a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus in a suspected Israeli airstrike. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards responded in mid-January with massive rocket attacks in retaliation against targets in Syria and Iraq.

The rockets flew around 1,200 kilometers. This was also interpreted by observers as a clear signal to Israel. It would be roughly the same distance that rockets from the west of the country would need to reach Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

The Islamist Hamas, which is at war with the state after its October 7 terrorist attack in Israel, called the alleged Israeli airstrike in Damascus a “terrorist-Zionist attack” and expressed its “full solidarity with Iran and Syria in the face of it brutal Nazi aggression.”

Demonstration in Teheran

After the explosion in Damascus: Iranian demonstrators in Tehran burn flags

Those: dpa/Vahid Salemi

Hamas is calling on the UN Security Council to “take active action against the occupation and its criminal leaders to stop their aggression against the Gaza Strip and the region, which is adding fuel to the fire and undermining international stability and security,” it said Statement from the group on Tuesday night.

In the Iranian capital Tehran, hundreds of government supporters gathered in the city center late on Monday evening for spontaneous protests, eyewitnesses reported. The crowd demanded revenge for the killing of the generals. They chanted, among other things, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”

Israel’s air force repeatedly bombs targets in neighboring Syria in an attempt to prevent Iran and its allied militias such as the Lebanese Hezbollah from expanding their military influence in the country. Attacks have increased since the Gaza war began almost six months ago. Iranian military personnel are officially only active in Syria in an advisory capacity. However, Tehran is considered the Syrian government’s most important ally alongside Russia. A civil war has been raging in the country since 2011.

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The Revolutionary Guards are Iran’s elite armed forces and are considered significantly more powerful than the regular army. Founded after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the unit is intended to prevent a coup and protect the state ideology. The IRGC also operates abroad with the so-called Al-Kuds Brigades. Israel is considered the archenemy of the Iranian government.

In southeastern Syria, pro-Iranian militias from Iraq attempted to attack US troops with a drone late on Monday, according to activists. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the drone was shot down by US troops. Initially, no group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Al-Tanf military base used by US troops near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders.

It remained unclear whether there was any damage or injuries. The US military did not initially comment on the incident.

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