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Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander killed in Israeli-linked strike in Syria

Opposition group to Assad claims villa bombed in coastal city of Baniyas rented to Iranian officers who fled from another area attacked by Israel; 3 reportedly killed in strike, including senior Iranian figure; Damascus remains mum

Scene of attack on Syrian coastal city of Baniyas

Three people, including an “Iranian commander and two other escorts of non-Syrian nationalities,” were killed in an attack attributed to Israel on a villa in the Syrian coastal city of Baniyas, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based opposition war monitor, reported on Friday.
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Saudi channel Al Hadath quoted Iranian media reports identifying the slain commander as Rada Zarai of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force.
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בכיר איראני בשם רדא זארעי שלפי הדיווחים חוסל על ידי ישראל ב תקיפה ב בניאס סוריה
בכיר איראני בשם רדא זארעי שלפי הדיווחים חוסל על ידי ישראל ב תקיפה ב בניאס סוריה
Scene of attack on Syrian coastal city of Baniyas; Iranian commander Rada Zarai, reportedly killed in attack
Since the beginning of 2024, SOHR has reported 20 attacks on Syrian territory it attributes to Israel - 14 airstrikes and six rocket attacks by ground forces. Those attacks reportedly destroyed 39 targets, including weapons and ammunition warehouses, headquarters, command centers and vehicles.
Syrian state television reported on Wednesday explosions in the area of Sayyida Zeinab, a hub known for hosting Iranian military officials south of the capital Damascus. According to the reports, air defense systems intercepted "hostile targets."
An official statement from the Syrian Defense Ministry claimed that air defenses shot down most of the missiles "in an Israeli attack on the rural area of Damascus," resulting in property damage.
The SOHR reported that Hezbollah operatives were killed in the attack, which it attributed to Israel.
Since the outbreak of the war, Hezbollah's activities in territories under the control of Bashar Assad's regime have been coming to light. However, the area also sees operations by Iranian forces and pro-Iranian militias loyal to the so-called Axis of Resistance, supported by Tehran's theocratic mullah regime.
Hezbollah operatives are stationed along Lebanon's southern border and in regions bordering Syria, living in villages close to the border fence and mobilizing as necessary. Their presence in Lebanon's Al-Bekaa district, adjacent to the Syrian border, potentially enables straightforward access to activities like weapons transfers and training.
Numerous pro-Iranian militias are operating in Syrian territory, some of which have been involved in attacking U.S. bases in recent months. According to a recent report by Sky News Arabia, Hezbollah utilizes units of the local army for its operations in Syria and uses civilian homes in the Sayyida Zeinab area to establish temporary command centers that change location periodically.
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