Iran confirmed Monday evening that four of its military advisers were killed in an overnight airstrike on a base in Syria, which has been attributed by Tehran, Moscow and Washington to Israel.
The semi-official Fars news agency named the four killed Iranian military as Seyed Ammar Moussavi, Medi Lotfi Niyasar, Akbar Zawwar Jannati, Mehdi Dehqan Yazdeli.
Yazdeli is reportedly a member of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force, a division that operates drones.
Israel has not confirmed or denied mounting the raid, but Israeli officials said the Tiyas, or T-4, air base near Homs was being used by troops from Iran, and that Israel would not accept such a presence in Syria by its arch foe.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday evening that Israel has "one clear and simple rule and we seek to express it constantly: If someone tries to attack you – rise up and attack him."
The Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s most powerful military force have been fighting in support of Syrian president Bashar Assad for several years. More than 1,000 Iranians have been killed in Syria, including senior members of the Guards.
Iran calls its fighters in Syria the defenders of the shrine as it says the forces are there to protect the Zeinab Shrine, a Shi’ite holy site near Damascus.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said at least 14 people were killed in the Sunday’s raid, including some fighters of various nationalities.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi condemned the attack, calling it “an obvious breach of international laws that would make the Syrian crisis and regional equations more complicated.”
Syria's Foreign Ministry sent a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and to the chairman of the Security Council on Monday afternoon, noting that "The Israeli attack constitutes an indirect response to the success of the Syrian Arab Army in eliminating armed terrorist groups from the Damascus suburbs and other Syrian areas," the letter read.
"Israel's continued aggression wouldn't be possible without the US administration's absolute support, and the immunity it gives it to continue its acts of terror and to threaten peace and security in the Middle East and in the entire world."
It also said Israel is “practicing state terrorism and threatens security and peace in the region and the world,” adding that Syria will not hesitate to “practice its right to defend its land, people and sovereignty by all means that are in accordance with the UN charter.”