An Israeli attack in Syria this week killed two officers in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the Islamic republic’s ideological army said on Tuesday, vowing revenge.
“Guard colonels Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saidnejad were martyred – a crime committed by the Zionist regime during a rocket attack in the suburbs of Damascus, Syria, yesterday morning,” said a statement issued on Sepah News, the Guards’ website.
Israel, it said, “will pay for this crime”.
Both Iran and Russia have provided financial and military support to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime since Syria’s conflict began in 2011.
On Monday a war monitor, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Israeli strikes killed two pro-Iran militiamen and wounded six others.
The target of the strikes was “a weapons and ammunition depot operated by Iran-backed militias near Damascus international airport”, it said.
Syrian state media said the Israeli missiles killed two civilians, something the Observatory, which relies on an extensive network of sources inside Syria, said it could not confirm.
Tehran says it has deployed its forces in Syria at the invitation of Damascus and only as advisers.
This is not the first time Iran has accused Israel of killing members of its armed forces in Syria.
While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes in Syria, it has acknowledged mounting hundreds of them since 2011.
The Israeli military has defended them as necessary to prevent its arch-foe Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.
The conflict in Syria started with the brutal repression of peaceful protests and escalated to pull in foreign powers and global militants. It has killed nearly 500,000 people.
Iran vows to avenge
Iran said on Wednesday that an Israeli airstrike in Syria that killed four people including two Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers would be avenged.
Holding Israel accountable for such attacks “is one of the main goals of the resistance (forces) in the region,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.