On Monday, a state-run Iranian news outlet reported that Sayyed Razi Mousavi, a senior adviser for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Syria, had been killed near the capital city of Damascus in an airstrike. Mousavi has been described as one of the longest-tenured IRGC officials in Syria and the chief coordinator of Iran’s military alliance with the country. His death was later corroborated by sources in a report from Reuters.
Israel has long carried out military strikes in Syria, which it shares a border with to the north, claiming to be focused on targets affiliated with Iran, which has sent military forces to the country since the early stages of the Syrian civil war. The frequency of these attacks has accelerated since t he October 7 Hamas attack
that killed around 1,200 Israeli residents.
The IRGC has pinned the blame for the strike on Israel, while the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has declined to comment on the matter.
“I won’t comment on foreign reports, these or others in the Middle East,” IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari previously told a Reuters reporter about the situation. “The Israeli military obviously has a job to protect the security interests of Israel.”
The Iranian military has been stern in its response
to Israel over its alleged hand in Mousavi’s death, with an IRGC statement warning
that “the usurper and savage Zionist regime will pay for this crime.” On Tuesday, the military agency issued another warning to Israel, this time in the form of a crudely animated video depicting the assassination of Prime Minister Netanyahu in an explosion at an Israeli command center.
Iran's IRGC Released Animation Video:
Netanyahu at command center and gets assassinated when a time bomb planted under his desk explodes. pic.twitter.com/KagAdXX244
— Globe Eye News (@GlobeEyeNews) December 26, 2023
Newsweekreached out to the IDF press office via email for comment.
Appearing on state-run TV news, Hossein Akbari, Iran’s ambassador to Syria, had been posted to the Iranian embassy in Damascus and was allegedly killed by Israeli missiles while on his way home.
In a statement on Mousavi’s death, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that Israel would “certainly pay the price” and called the senior adviser’s death “a sign of the Zionist regime’s frustration and weakness in the region.”
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said in his own statement, “Iran reserves the right to take necessary measures to respond to this action at the appropriate time and place.”
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