A senior commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), was killed during an airstrike over the weekend in Syria, according to local officials and reports.
Iraqi security and local militia officials “could not confirm the identity of the commander, who they said was killed alongside three other men travelling in a vehicle with him,” Reuters reported. “The vehicle was carrying weapons across the Iraqi border and was hit after it had entered Syrian territory, two Iraqi security officials separately said.”
“Iraqi security sources told Saudi-based al-Arabiya News that a drone killed Muslim Shahdan, a senior commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, in a targeted strike on his car,” The Times of Israel reported. “The reports did not say who was behind the strike, which reportedly happened early Sunday or late Saturday.”
The strike over the weekend comes as IDF chief Aviv Kohavi said on Sunday that Israel would “continue to operate forcefully as needed against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and we will continue to maintain full preparedness against any expression of violence against us.”
The Middle East Eye reported that Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV channel, which is close to the Syrian government and Hezbollah, claimed that there was no assassination of an IRGC commander.
The strike comes immediately following a targeted hit on Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last week inside Iran.
“Driving a carefully circuitous route to the home of his in-laws in a city outside Tehran, Mr. Fahrizadeh’s car was stopped Friday by a car bomb in a Nissan so laden with explosives that it knocked out a power line, according to Iranian news media and witness accounts,” The New York Times reported. “A squad of gunmen then leapt from a black S.U.V., overpowered his bodyguards and unleashed a barrage of gunfire before speeding away as Mr. Fakhrizadeh lay dying in the street.”
Iranian state media claimed that there were no operatives that opened fire on the vehicle and instead claimed that “the shots were fired from an automatic machine gun which was mounted on the pickup truck and operated by remote control,” Israeli reporter Barak Ravid said in summarizing the claims made by Fars News Agency. “Fakhrizadeh was hit by three bullets – one hit him in the spine. Seconds later the Nisan pickup truck exploded in what looks like a self destruct mechanism. According to Fars news, Iranian security forces identified the owner of the pickup truck who left Iran on October 29th.”
It was not clear who was responsible for killing the IRGC commander in Syria over the weekend.
The Trump administration has killed numerous top terrorists over the last couple of years, including Osama Bin Laden’s son, a top Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen, ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and many more.
This report has been updated to include additional information.