update deskMiddle East

Two killed in alleged Israeli strike near Damascus

The attack hit a site used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

An alleged Israeli attack on the outskirts of Damascus, Jan. 29, 2024. Credit: Tasmin News Agency.
An alleged Israeli attack on the outskirts of Damascus, Jan. 29, 2024. Credit: Tasmin News Agency.

Two people were killed and several others were injured in an alleged Israeli attack on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday, according to Reuters, citing Iranian media.

The report cited an intelligence source as saying the strike hit a site used by Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Syrian state media later reported that “a number of Iranian advisers” were killed in the strike.

Arabic-language media reported three missiles hitting an area close to the Sayyeda Zeinab Shi’ite shrine complex.

Last week, Iran vowed to avenge the deaths of five IRGC officers in Syria, blaming Israel for a missile attack on a residential building in Damascus.

A senior Quds Force intelligence officer in Syria, Haj Sadiq (Yusuf Omidzadeh), was killed in the strike, according to reports, along with his adviser and three others. Several Syrian troops were also killed in the attack on the city’s Mazzeh neighborhood, according to an IRGC statement, with the fifth IRGC adviser later succumbing to wounds sustained during the airstrike.

Jerusalem rarely takes responsibility for attacks on terrorists in Syria.

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi said in a statement that the attack “will not remain unanswered” and Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that Tehran “reserves the right to respond in kind to Israel’s organized terrorism at the right time and place in addition to pursuing these aggressive and criminal acts through political, legal and international channels.”

Earlier in January, the Israel Defense Forces struck targets in Syria after five rockets were fired across the border into the Golan Heights.

According to the IDF, the rockets all hit open areas. Some of the rockets struck a road near Golan communities.

A day earlier, Israeli Air Force fighter jets shot down two apparent drones launched towards northern Israel from Syria.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq took responsibility for the attack, saying that it was “in support of Gaza.” The umbrella group of Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Syria is composed of Kata’ib Hezbollah (“The Battalions of the Party of God”), Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (“Movement of the Party of God’s Nobles”) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (“The Battalions of the Master of Martyrs”).

It was at least the third drone attack on Israel by the Iran-backed militias since the start of the current Hamas war, 

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