Top Iranian commander killed in alleged Israeli strike in Damascus

A building close to the Iranian embassy in Damascus was reportedly targeted by the IDF


Emergency and security personnel work at the site of strikes which hit a building next to the Iranian embassy in Syria's capital Damascus, on April 1, 2024. Syrian state media said Israeli strikes hit an Iranian consular annex in the capital on April 1, while a war monitor reported eight people were killed and Iranian state media said a senior commander of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was among the dead, amid rising regional tensions due to the Gaza war. (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA / AFP) (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahedi, a top commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force responsible for Syria and Lebanon, was killed in an alleged Israeli strike on a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus on Monday, Reuters reported.

Zahedi is the most senior regime official to be killed since the death of leading Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran in an assassination attributed to Israel four years ago.

A former commander of the IRGC’s terrorist ground forces, Zahedi had been sanctioned by the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Monday’s attack on the building in Damascus’s upscale Mezzeh area also killed at least five other people, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.

The structure reportedly targeted by the Israeli Air Force was said to house the Iranian consulate and the ambassador’s official residence.

According to Syrian state media agency SANA, the attack caused “major destruction to the building, as well as damage to neighboring buildings.” The outlet claimed that air defenses responded to the strike.

Al Jazeera cited sources in Tehran as saying that Iranian Ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari and his family were not hurt in the strike.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met with Akbari near the embassy shortly after the airstrike, Iranian media reported. Mekdad also phoned Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

A news channel affiliated with Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Monday evening described the reported attack as a “dangerous escalation that takes the region to open war.

“It is an attack on Iranian territory since the embassy is considered Iran’s territory,” said the IRGC’s Sabereen News in a statement posted to the Telegram messaging app seen by Iran International.

Overnight Saturday, an IAF fighter jet intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” approaching Israeli territory from Syria. Earlier on Saturday, Hebrew media reported an Israeli airstrike in southwestern Syria.

On Friday, an alleged Israeli strike in Aleppo in north west Syria killed dozens of people, mainly Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah terrorists.

Israel has allegedly struck hundreds of targets in Syria in recent years as part of an effort to prevent further Iranian military entrenchment in the country. Jerusalem rarely acknowledges such attacks.

On February 4, Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari revealed that the IAF has attacked more than 50 targets belonging to Hezbollah and other Iran-backed terrorist groups in Syria since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive