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[Published: Tuesday April 02 2024]

 Israeli airstrike on Iran's consulate in Syria killed two generals, officials report

DAMASCUS, 02 April. - (ANA) - An Israeli airstrike has destroyed the consular section of Iran's embassy in Damascus, killing two generals and five officers, according to Syrian and Iranian officials.
Iranian state media reported Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was killed and that Tehran believed he was the target of the attack.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard reported the strike killed two of its generals and five officers on Monday.
Iranian Ambassador Hossein Akbari condemned Israel, adding that first responders were still searching for any other bodies under the rubble.
He said two police officers who guard the building were wounded.
The ambassador vowed revenge for the strike "at the same magnitude and harshness".
In comments to the media after meeting Akbari, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said "several" people were killed.
Mekdad in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, condemned Israel over the attack.
Iranian state television said the Iranian ambassador's residence was in the consular building, which stood next to the embassy.
State news agency SANA, citing an unnamed military source, said the building in the tightly guarded neighbourhood of Mazzeh was levelled.
Israel, which rarely acknowledges such strikes, said it had no comment.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets in government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years.
Such airstrikes have escalated in recent months against the backdrop of Israel's war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and ongoing clashes between Israel's military and Hezbollah on the Lebanon-Israel border.
Though it rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, Israel has said it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.
An Israeli airstrike in a Damascus neighborhood in December killed a longtime adviser of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Syria, Seyed Razi Mousavi.
A similar strike on a building in Damascus in January killed at least five Iranian advisers. Last week, airstrikes over the strategic eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour near the Iraqi border killed an Iranian adviser.
AB/ANA/02 Avril 2024 - - -

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