Senior Iranian commander killed in Israeli strike, says Iran state media

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Brigadier
General Mohammad Reza Zahedi was an important figure in the Quds Force, the
overseas branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

He joined the
IRGC 44 years ago and quickly rose to a top rank. He served as the commander of
the Syria and Lebanon operation of the IRGC from 2008 to 2016, during which his
forces fought in support of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

Iranian media have been sharing a picture of him with Imad Mughniyeh, the
number two in Hezbollah’s leadership who was assassinated in a car bomb in
2008.

Iran has blamed Israel for Zahedi’s death, in a sign of escalating
tensions between the two countries.

In a phone call with his Syrian
counterpart, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian condemned the
strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

He said Israel had “violated all
its international commitments and conventions” and that it would be held
responsible for such “criminal actions”.

Iranian foreign ministry’s website quoted Abdollahian saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “completely lost his mental balance” after “repeated defeats in Gaza”.

Hossein
Akbari, Iran’s Ambassador to Damascus, said that the attack on the Iranian
consulate showed “Israel did not recognize any international laws and was ready
take any kind of inhumane action to achieve its goals”.

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