Attack in Syria kills 11 senior Iranian military officers, injures top advisor to Damascus: report


An Israeli airstrike on the Damascus airport has reportedly killed nearly a dozen senior Iranian military officials, which one expert told Fox News Digital would prove Israel’s ability to maintain a multi-faceted defense of the region. 

“While there is no independent confirmation of Guard Corps names or ranks, the IRGC has long seen Syria as a critical regional hub to project power into the Eastern Mediterranean and connect its constellation of proxies called the ‘Axis of Resistance,’” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said. 

“It should come as a shock to no one that Guard Corps elite are operating there, especially amid a regional war, which they are directing far away from their own soil,” he added. 

“Similarly, should the strike be independently verified, it would be more proof of Israel being able to hold back and deter elements of the Axis of Resistance in other geographies while fighting to defeat Hamas in Gaza,” Taleblu stressed.

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Syrian media claimed that Israel had targeted sites in southern Syria and near Damascus in waves that aimed to disrupt and Iran’s operations in the country. 

A picture shows the Syrian flag swaying in the wind at the Damascus International Airport on the outskirts of Syria’s capital on October 1, 2020. (Louai Beshara/AFP via Getty Images)

A report from The Jerusalem Post claimed the strike killed 11 leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at the airport on Thursday night. 

The IRGC leadership targeted also reportedly included Nur Rashid, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards in eastern Syria, who only suffered injuries from the attack. The group had supposedly visited the country to meet with high-ranking delegates from Syria. 

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Israel has reportedly launched strikes against IRGC personnel in Damascus across the past week: Iranian leaders claimed that one such strike on Monday killed senior IRGC commander Sayyed Razi Mousavi, who was responsible for coordinating a military alliance between Iran and Syria. 

IRGC assassination Iran

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force Commander Esmail Qaani (L) attends the funeral ceremony, held for senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Razi Mousavi, killed during the Israeli attacks on Damascus, in Tehran, Iran, on December 28, 2023.  (Iranian Leader Press Office/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Iran state media interrupted programming to announce Mousavi’s death and described him as one of the oldest advisers for the IRGC in Syria. 

Israel has not shied away from Iran’s aggressions, which Tehran pushes in the region through its various proxy groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. 

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett this week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed said that Israel has even retaliated inside Iran for terrorist attacks committed in 2022, saying that he told his security chiefs during his administration that his goal was “to avoid, if reasonably possible, local clashes” with Iran proxies. 

Naftali Bennett Tel Aviv

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet gives a statement to the press he will not take part in the coming general elections on June 29, 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel. The dissolution of Israel’s parliament, prompted by the collapse of its eight-party governing coalition, will force the fifth election in the last four years.  (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

“As prime minister, I made another decision regarding Iran,” Bennett wrote. “I directed Israel’s security forces to make Tehran pay for its decision to sponsor terror.”

“Enough impunity,” he stressed. “After Iran launched two failed UAV attacks on Israel in February 2022, Israel destroyed a UAV base on Iranian soil.”

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“In March 2022, Iran’s terror unit attempted to kill Israeli tourists in Turkey and failed. Shortly thereafter, the commander of that very unit was assassinated in the center of Tehran,” he added.

Fox News Digital’s Greg Wehner contributed to this report. 



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