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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Israeli strike on Syria destroys building used by Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, kills four Iranians 

Observatory’s chief, Rami Abdurrahman, said three Iranians were commanders, adding that four other people are still missing under rubble

AP/PTI Damascus (Syria) Published 21.01.24, 09:30 AM
Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike on Damascus, Syria, on Saturday

Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike on Damascus, Syria, on Saturday Sham FM via Reuters

An Israeli strike on the Syrian capital on Saturday destroyed a building used by the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, killing at least four Iranians, Syrian and Iranian state media reported.

Iranian state television said four advisers from the Revolutionary Guard had been killed in the strike in Damascus, without identifying them, adding that Israel was behind the strike. Nour News, which is believed to be close to the country’s intelligence apparatus, identified two of the dead as General Sadegh Omidzadeh, the intelligence deputy of the guard’s expeditionary Quds Force in Syria, and his deputy, who goes by the nom de guerre Hajj Gholam.

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An opposition war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said at least six people — five Iranians and a Syrian — were killed in the missile attack that struck while officials from Iran-backed groups were holding a meeting.

The Observatory’s chief, Rami Abdurrahman, said three of the Iranians were commanders, adding that four other people are still missing under the rubble.

Syrian state TV reported that the “Israeli aggression” targeted a residential building in the tightly guarded western Damascus neighbourhood of Mazzeh, home to several diplomatic missions. Saturday’s strike was close to the embassies of Venezuela and South Africa.

An official with knowledge of the situation said that the building was used by Revolutionary Guard officials, adding that the “Israeli missiles” destroyed the whole building and that 10 people were either killed or wounded in the attack. The official is from an Iran-backed group, but asked that his name and affiliation not be used because he was not authorised to speak publicly about security affairs.

The Israeli military did not comment on the strike.

Security forces deployed around the destroyed four-storey building as ambulances and fire engines were seen in the area. A search for people trapped under the rubble was underway. Windows were also shattered in nearby buildings.

A grocer near the scene of the strike said he heard five consecutive explosions at about 9.15am, adding that he later witnessed the bodies of a man and a woman being taken away as well as three wounded people.

“The shop shook. I stayed inside for few seconds then went out and saw the smoke billowing from behind the mosque,” the man, who asked that his name not be used for security reasons, told The Associated Press.

“What happened was terrifying. I collapsed,” said Khaled Mawed, who lives nearby.


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