Israeli airstrike on Iran consulate in Syria kills six reportedly including IRGC commander | Syria

Israeli warplanes have destroyed the Iranian consulate in Damascus, killing six people reportedly including a senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Reporters at the scene in the Mezzeh district of the Syrian capital saw smoke rising from the rubble of a building that had been flattened, and emergency vehicles parked outside. The Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers were both seen at the scene.

Iranian state media said Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander of the IRGC, was among the dead. An Israeli military spokesperson said: “We do not comment on reports in the foreign media.”

Syrian state television confirmed the consulate building had been attacked. Photograph: Firas Makdesi/Reuters

Syria’s foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, denounced the attack, saying it would not affect ties between the two allies. “We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack that targeted the Iranian consulate building in Damascus killing a number of innocent people,” Mekdad said in a statement carried by Sana, Syria’s official news agency.

“The Israeli occupation entity will not be able to impact ties between Iran and Syria,” he added.

Iranian media also reported that the strikes in Damascus completely destroyed the annexe building, but that the ambassador was unharmed. “Hossein Akbari, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus, and his family were not harmed in the Israeli attack,” the Nour news agency said.

Iranian media reported that an annexe building to the consulate had been destroyed. Photograph: Firas Makdesi/Reuters

Since the Iran-backed Palestinian faction Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October, Israel has ramped up airstrikes in Syria against Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia and the IRGC, both of which support the government of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said: “Israeli missiles … destroyed the building of an annexe to the Iranian embassy … in Damascus, killing six people.”

Syria’s official Sana news agency earlier reported that “our air defence systems confronted enemy targets in the vicinity of Damascus”.

The incident came days after the observatory reported Israeli strikes in Syria that killed 53 people, including 38 soldiers and seven members of Hezbollah. It was the highest Syrian army toll in Israeli strikes since the Israel-Hamas war began on 7 October, said the monitor.

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