Iran senior officials killed in Syria strike blamed on Israel

Four senior members of Iran’s security forces have been killed in a suspected air strike on the Syrian capital.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard blamed Israel for the attack, which it said killed four military advisers as well as a number of Syrian forces.

Israel has not commented. For years it has carried out strikes on Iranian-linked targets in Syria.

Such strikes have intensified since the Israel-Gaza war began following Hamas’s 7 October attacks on Israel.

Senior figures among the Revolutionary Guard – a major military, political and economic force in Iran – have been present in Syria since the civil war began there in 2011, helping to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad against widespread rebellion to his rule.

Saturday’s attack took place in the Mazzeh neighbourhood, south-west Damascus, an area home to a military airport, as well as the UN headquarters in Damascus, embassies and restaurants.

Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency said the attacks killed the IRGC’s Syria intelligence chief, his deputy, as well as two other Guard members.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based campaign group, said 10 people were killed in the strikes, including leaders of the Revolutionary Guard.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency quoted a military source as saying it had managed to stop some of the missiles, but that the attacks – which it said had hit a residential building – killed and injured some civilians. Buildings were also destroyed, it said.

A resident told AFP news agency that they saw “explosions” in the western Mazzeh area and “a large cloud of smoke”.

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

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