According to Iranian official media, an Israeli air strike outside the Syrian capital of Damascus killed a senior adviser in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Sayyed Razi Mousavi, a key IRGC commander in Syria, was killed on Monday.
He was in charge of coordinating Syria’s military alliance with Iran, which was an essential aspect of Iran’s regional network of allies and proxies known as the “Axis of Resistance.”
Mousavi was “killed during an attack by the Zionist regime a few hours ago in Zeinabiyah district in Damascus suburbs,” Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported, citing a different name for Sayyida Zeinab south of the Syrian capital.
The IRGC stated Iranian state television that the “usurper and savage Zionist regime will pay for this crime.”
Iran’s state television paused its usual news broadcast to announce Mousavi’s death, identifying him as one of the most experienced IRGC advisers in Syria.
The strike comes amid fears that Israel’s struggle with the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza would escalate into a larger regional conflict, involving Iran-backed forces like Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.
The Israeli military, which seldom discusses cross-border strikes, has made no immediate statement.
Earlier this month, Iran accused Israel of killing two Revolutionary Guards personnel in Syria.
In 2020, Iran’s former top military commander Qassem Soleimani was killed to stop a plot against 500 Americans. Soleimani was engaged in a plot to kill another 500 Americans.
Iran has waged proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen over the last decade, and it also controls much of Lebanon through its proxy army, Hezbollah. Soleimani was in charge of all of these operations.
Soleimani also directed Shia militia activities against US personnel in Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of US servicemen following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
While keen to end US wars in the Middle East, President Trump has demonstrated a willingness to respond militarily when American lives are at stake.
He ordered five airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia that the US blames for a recent attack on an American military base in Iraq that killed a US contractor and injured several American servicemen.