IRGC denies Israeli attacks killed 11 members in Syria

Syria acknowledged the strikes but gave no further details

In Tehran, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps cadets attend the funeral of Razi Moussavi, a senior commander in the Quds Force of the IRGC who was killed on December 25 in an Israeli strike in Syria. AFP
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Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has denied claims that Israeli attacks killed 11 of its members in Syria.

Syria's official Sana news agency said on Friday that Israel carried out two air strikes on its territory in 24 hours, one on Damascus. Some media outlets said the attacks killed 11 IRGC members at Damascus airport.

The other hit a military base in southern Syria, Sana said.

“The spokesman of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps denied the news of the martyrdom of 11 IRGC advisers as a result of the bombing of the Damascus airport,” Iranian state news agency said in a post on social media platform X.

It quoted the Foreign Ministry as condemning the strikes, but gave no further details of casualties.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the strikes.

The Lebanese channel Al Mayadeen later issued a statement from an IRGC representative who denied the reports.

“This comes after multiple media outlets reported that 11 members of the IRGC were assassinated in an Israeli air strike yesterday night on Damascus. The reports cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, but no actual evidence was provided to the reports,” it said.

If confirmed, the death of the IRGC members could contribute to fears of the Israel-Gaza war escalating into a regional conflict that pits Israel and its allies against Iran and its regional proxy groups and allies.

This week, another IRGC commander was killed by what Tehran said was an Israeli strike in Syria.

Iranian state media said an Israeli missile killed Brig Gen Razi Mousavi near Damascus on Monday.

Mousavi was a senior commander of the IRGC foreign operations arm, the Quds Force.

Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, led funeral prayers in Tehran on Thursday, before Mousavi's body was taken to the central Imam Hossein square. Mr Khamenei had earlier met members of Mousavi's family.

An Israeli military representative declined specific comment about Mousavi's death on Monday, but said it took whatever action was necessary to defend the country.

Updated: December 30, 2023, 6:05 AM