‘Major Escalation’: Alleged Israeli Airstrike Kills Top Iranian General In Syria
TOPSHOT - Emergency personnel extinguish a fire 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.
LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images

An alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria on Monday killed a top general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

Iran said that Israeli F-35s launched six missiles at a building next to Iran’s embassy in Damascus and killed Mohammed Reza Zahedi, the top commander of the Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria, according to the a report from Jerusalem Post.

The report said that Iranian press was claiming that Zahedi was meeting with leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group inside Gaza, when the strike was launched.

Charles Lister, director of the Syria program of the Washington-based Middle East Institute think tank, wrote on X that the strike was a “huge development & a major escalation.”

In addition to killing Zahedi, Lister said that at least two other IRGC-QF generals were killed in the strike, including Gen. Hossein Aminullah and Maj. Gen. Haj Rahimi.

Zahedi is the top Iranian military official that has been killed over the last six months following Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack against Israel. The New York Times said that he is among the most high-ranking Iranian commanders that Israel has ever killed.

Joe Truzman, senior research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-partisan institution focusing on national security and foreign policy, told The Daily Wire that the airstrike targeting Zahedi and other top IRGC leaders carried two critical implications.

“Firstly, it serves as a clear message that Israel will not tolerate violent actions against the Jewish state by the IRGC,” Truzman said. “Secondly, the decision to strike the Iranian consulate on Syrian soil demonstrates Israel’s willingness to take risks to defend itself despite the high potential for retaliatory actions by Iran or its proxies in the region.”

Iran claimed the attack was on its embassy and called it “a flagrant violation of international laws, diplomatic norms, and the requirements of the Vienna Convention” and vowed that “this attack will have our fierce response.”

Iran and its top terrorist proxy Hezbollah have repeatedly targeted American and Israeli embassies around the world in terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds, including the bombing the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983 that killed 63 and the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29.

Iran was also behind a plot that was foiled to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a car bombing in Washington, D.C., in 2011 at a popular restaurant where top U.S. officials routinely eat.

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