The war in Gaza is reverberating on several fronts in the Middle East after having left nearly 25,000 dead in more than a hundred days of hostilities against the Palestinian Hamas militia. In the deadliest attack attributed to Israel in Syria since the start of the conflict, at least five members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards lost their lives this Saturday in Damascus.
According to Iranian television, the dead included the head of intelligence services and other senior officials of the Iranian mission that advises the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The explosion caused by a wave of missiles, likely fired by Israeli fighter-bombers from Lebanese airspace, completely razed the four-story building that served as the residence of Iranian military advisers in the Mazzeh neighborhood, west of the Syrian capital, in an area close to a former military airport.
Iran condemned the Damascus attack, calling it a “desperate attempt to spread instability in the region”, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Tehran. “Iran reserves the right to respond in an appropriate time and place to the organized terrorism of the fake Zionist regime,” the statement said. official statement broadcast via the social network X, formerly Twitter.
In their usual line of silence regarding Syria, spokesmen for the Israeli armed forces refused to confirm responsibility for this attack, which bears the mark of retaliation by the Jewish state. Israeli warplanes have bombed hundreds of targets in Syria since 2011, when a long and bloody civil war broke out in the Arab country, although only a handful of these actions have been claimed.
Sources from the Syrian security services cited by Reuters named Israel as the author of the launch of “precision missiles”, some of which were intercepted by Damascus’ defensive systems, and assured that five people of Iranian nationality had died in the attack.
Members of Islamic Jihad
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He Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, An NGO with informants on the ground indicated that members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Iran’s main allied militia in the Gaza Strip, also live in the Mazzeh area where the attack took place. A spokesperson for the Observatory assured that at least 10 people died, not including those who may have been trapped in the rubble, when the destroyed building collapsed. She counted five Iranians, including three commanders of the Revolutionary Guards, three Syrian employees, an Iraqi and a Lebanese.
Iranian television reported that there were casualties among “Syrian forces”, without providing further details. Last December, two attacks attributed to Israel killed three members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Damascus metropolitan area.
Saturday’s missile operation comes after Iranian ballistic missiles destroyed Israel’s “espionage headquarters” in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in which four civilians were killed, government officials said. regional Kurdish region of northern Iraq. The Revolutionary Guards said last Tuesday that the target was “one of the main headquarters of the Israeli spy agency Mossad in Iraqi Kurdistan.” The action was taken in response to Israeli bombings that killed Revolutionary Guard commander Razi Mousavi in December while he was in Damascus.
In neighboring Iraq, an Iraqi soldier was seriously injured and several American soldiers were lightly injured after the attack of around twenty missiles fired this Saturday against the Ain al Asad Air Base, in western Iraq and near Baghdad. Most of the missiles were intercepted by the base’s air defense system, according to Iraqi military sources cited by Efe, who point to the pro-Iranian Islamic Resistance militia in Iraq as responsible for launching the projectiles.
Offensive in the north and south of Gaza
Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, Israel continues a large-scale offensive in Khan Younis in the south and parts of Jabalia in the north, despite the army’s withdrawal from the latter area a few weeks ago . According to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, the Palestinian death toll in the Israeli offensive now stands at 24,927. After more than a week of almost total communications cutoff, telephone and internet connections have been reduced. were gradually restored this Saturday in the Gaza Strip.
This Saturday, the Israeli air force dropped leaflets over Rafah (southern Gaza), calling on Palestinians displaced by the war to help them find the more than 130 Israeli hostages still held by Palestinian militias, kidnapped during the attacks from October 7.
On the open front in the north with the pro-Iranian militia Hezbollah, at least four people were killed this Saturday in an Israeli drone attack which targeted a vehicle in southern Lebanon. According to official sources in Beirut, the victims were Palestinian militiamen linked to Hamas in exile.
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