High-Ranking Iranian Commander Killed by Israeli Airstrike

A picture taken early on January 21, 2019 shows Syrian air defence batteries responding to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus. - Israel struck what it said were Iranian targets in Syria today in response to rocket fire it blamed on Iran, sparking concerns of an escalation after a monitor reported 11 fighters killed. Israel openly claimed responsibility for the strikes against facilities it said belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, continuing its recent practice of speaking more openly about such raids. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo credit should read STR/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo credit should read STR/AFP via Getty Images)


Irans state media have related that Israel has taken down Iran’s senior commander, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, during an airstrike in Syria on Monday. 

“[Israel has] gone beyond the red line,” Iranian Ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari said Monday on an Iranian state media broadcast. “Iran has never left any crimes of the Zionist regime without an answer. So, definitely, the Zionists and their allies know that in proportion to the crime they have committed, they need to await a proper response on the basis of Iran’s choosing at the right place and time.”

Zahedi was the highest ranking Iranian military official killed since the war between Israel and Hamas began on October 7th.

The Iranian held many responsibilities regarding Israel’s borders, and he was the highest level interlocutor for Tehran with the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Meanwhile, Israel has targeted Iranian military forces in Syria a number of times over the years since Iran deployed forces to help assist Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. 

“The exact number and names of those killed will be published following the clearing-out of the rubble,” the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The strike comes just days after Israeli strikes in Syria killed 53 people, including 38 soldiers and seven members of Hezbollah. It was the highest Syrian army death toll in one airstrike since the war first began. 

Additionally, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s team declined to confirm if Israel gave the U.S. a last-minute warning of the impending strike. 

“We are in conversations with partners in the region, gathering more information,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters. “But at this point, we don’t have confirmation either of the target or the responsible party.”



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