Israel attacks the Revolutionary Guard and destroys the Iranian consulate in Damascus

At least eight people were killed this Monday, including a senior leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Brigadier General Mohamed Reda al Zahedi, in an attack attributed to Israel against the Iranian consulate building, located in a fortified neighborhood in western Damascus.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
31 March 2024 Sunday 22:22
10 Reads
Israel attacks the Revolutionary Guard and destroys the Iranian consulate in Damascus

At least eight people were killed this Monday, including a senior leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Brigadier General Mohamed Reda al Zahedi, in an attack attributed to Israel against the Iranian consulate building, located in a fortified neighborhood in western Damascus. Syrian and Iranian media reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose headquarters are in the United Kingdom but which has a wide network of collaborators on the ground, reported that in addition to Zahedi, identified as the leader of the Quds forces of the Revolutionary Guard in Syria and in In Lebanon, two Iranian advisors and five members of the Revolutionary Guard were killed, in a preliminary report.

"At around 17:00 p.m. today, the Israeli enemy carried out an air offensive from the occupied Syrian Golan against the Iranian consulate building in Damascus. Our air defenses repelled the missiles of the attack, shooting down some of them," he said. an unidentified military source to the official Syrian news agency SANA. According to the agency, the attack "completely destroyed the building and affected everyone inside, resulting in deaths and injuries," without giving further details.

The Iranian ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, and his family were unharmed in the attack on the diplomatic headquarters, which also served as the diplomat's residence. Akbari earlier told Iranian state television that there were "between five and seven dead. We cannot give an exact figure until the rubble is removed."

The ambassador affirmed that Tehran will respond “harshly” to Israel for the attack. “The Zionist regime (Israel) acts against international laws, so it will receive a harsh response from us,” Akbari said in statements to Iranian state television.

The diplomat witnessed from the window of the Iranian embassy the attack on the consulate, which according to him, was carried out with F-35 fighters.

Reuters journalists in the Mezzeh district of the Syrian capital saw smoke rising from the rubble of the razed building and emergency vehicles parked outside. An Iranian flag hung from a flagpole in front of the rubble. Syria's foreign minister was seen at the scene of the attack alongside the Iranian ambassador.

Mezzeh is a district located in the west of Damascus and one of the most affluent in the capital. where several embassies and homes of wealthy families are located. Likewise, it is known as a fortified district, where leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard militia and Palestinians close to Iran often reside and visit.

Israel, which has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets during the six-month war in Gaza, declined to comment on the incident, as is customary. An Israeli military spokesman said: "We do not comment on foreign media reports."

This Monday was the bloodiest attack against Iranian soldiers in Syria so far in 2024, where to date eight people had been killed by Israeli bombings, including two generals of the Revolutionary Guard.

During the morning of Monday, Israeli aircraft also simultaneously attacked a dozen military objectives of the Shiite militia Hezbollah in the Rachaya al Foukhar area, in southern Lebanon, the Israeli Army reported, in the midst of escalating tensions in the border.

"Recently, Israel Defense Forces fighter jets simultaneously attacked some 10 Hezbollah terrorist targets, including a weapons storage facility, launch sites and terrorist infrastructure, in the Rachaya Al Foukhar area," a statement said. military

The Lebanese militia has not claimed any attack on Israel, where alarms have not been raised in the northern area either.

Hostilities on the divide began on October 8, the day after the war broke out in the Gaza Strip, in solidarity between Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamist militias in the enclave, although the exchange of fire has intensified greatly in recent weeks. , which raises fears of an open war between the parties.

The border between Israel and Lebanon is experiencing its highest peak of tension since 2006 with an intense exchange of fire for more than five months that has claimed the lives of at least 370 people, most on the Lebanese side and in the ranks of Hezbollah. which has confirmed 249 militia casualties, some in Syria.

In Israel, 18 people have died in the north (10 soldiers and 8 civilians), while on the other side of the border at least 352 people have died, including 43 members of other militias, a Lebanese soldier and 59 civilians, including ten minors. and three journalists, in addition to Hezbollah fighters

Israel reported on Sunday that it had killed in a drone strike a top commander of Radwan, Hezbollah's elite corps, Ismail Al Zin, who headed the anti-tank missile unit and was responsible for "dozens of attacks against civilians, communities and Israeli security forces.

Hezbollah confirmed the death of commander Al Zin, as well as seven attacks towards Israel, with rockets, missiles, artillery and drones, including one Burkan missile towards Malkia, in which an Israeli soldier was slightly injured.

The Israeli army also claimed on Sunday to have identified "numerous rockets" from southern Lebanon to Cheeba Farms and Arab al Aramshe, in northern Israel - among the attacks claimed by the Shiites - to which it responded by bombing several complexes. Hezbollah military personnel "where terrorists operated" in Meiss el Jabal and Blida, as well as launching posts in Markaba and an observation post in Kfarkela.