An Israeli airstrike in Syria killed an Iranian IRGC officer. Tehran vowed revenge. Photo/Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
TEHERAN – Iran vowed revenge after claiming an officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was killed in an airstrike Israel near Damascus, Syria, on Friday.
The Israeli military has not responded to Iranian threats, in keeping with its unofficial policy of rarely commenting on attacks in the region.
“The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has announced the martyrdom of Milad Haydari, one of the IRGC’s advisers and military officers,” the IRGC said in a statement about the Israeli attack.
Tehran branded the Israeli attack a criminal act, which it insisted it would not go unanswered.
As Iran’s influence in Syria grew thanks to its support for President Bashar Assad in the civil war that started in 2011, Israel frequently attacks what it says are Iranian-linked targets in that country.
Tehran has kept its officers, who it says only serve as advisers. According to a Reuters report on Saturday (1/4/2023), Iran has lost dozens of IRGC officers during the conflict.
Hezbollah, Lebanese militant groups and various Iraqi paramilitary groups, all backed by Iran, have strengthened positions in and around Damascus, as well as in Syria’s north, east and south.
According to local media reports, Israel launched a barrage of missile attacks shortly after midnight local time, early Friday morning.
Syria claims to have shot down a number of enemy missiles.
The Iranian and Syrian Foreign Ministries both strongly condemned Friday’s Israeli air strike.
Last week, the Pentagon said an Iran-linked militia group killed an American contractor and injured several Washington soldiers in a drone strike on a base hosting US troops and the anti-ISIS coalition.
Washington retaliated the same day with attacks on facilities used by Iran’s IRGC in Syria.
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