Four killed in Israeli strike on top Iran general in Syria: New toll

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Three more fighters were killed in the Israeli strike that left a senior general with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) dead near the Syrian capital, a war monitor said on Tuesday.

The strike on Monday targeted Seyed Razi Mousavi, the most senior commander in the Quds Force -- the foreign arm of the IRGC -- to be killed outside Iran in nearly four years.

“Two foreign fighters and one Syrian fighter were also killed in the Israeli strike,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

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Mousavi was targeted shortly after he entered a farm in an area controlled by Iran-backed groups, said the British-based monitor with a network of sources on the ground.

Residents in the Sayyida Zeinab district south of Damascus, where the strike hit, reported that Iran-backed groups have tightened security there.

On Monday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi expressed condolences for Mousavi’s death, saying Israel “will certainly pay for this crime.”

An IRGC statement said that Moussavi was a “companion” of Qasem Soleimani, the former Quds Force leader killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad nearly four years ago.

There was no immediate comment from Israel, which has intensified attacks in Syria, particularly against Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, since its war with Hamas, which Tehran supports, began in October.

Iran has long backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, with Tehran and the groups it supports helping him claw back territory lost in more than a decade of war.

Israel rarely comments on reported strikes in Syria but has repeatedly said it will not allow arch-enemy Iran to expand its presence there.

More than half a million people have been killed in Syria’s war, which erupted in 2011 after a brutal crackdown of anti-government protests.

-With AFP

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