A December 25 Israeli airstrike in Syria reportedly killed a senior advisor from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Reuters reported.
According to sources who spoke with Reuters, the airstrike, which occurred outside of Damascus, killed Sayyed Razi Mousavi, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards advisor responsible for coordinating Iran’s military alliance with the Syrian government.
When asked during a nightly press conference about Iranian state media reports that Mousavi was killed in the strike, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said he would not comment on “foreign reports.” He said the IDF must protect “the security interests of Israel.”
Following the strike, Iranian state television interrupted its regular newscast to announce Mousavi’s death, describing him as one of the longest-serving advisors in Syria who was “among those accompanying Qassem Soleimani,” the Quds Force commander who was killed in a January 2020 US drone strike.
Iran’s ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari told Iranian state TV that Mousavi was a diplomat posted at the embassy and had been killed in the missile strike after returning home from the embassy.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi blasted Israel for the attack, calling Mousavi’s assassination a sign of Israel’s “weakness” and “frustration,” and warned that the “Zionist regime” would “certainly pay a price.”
In a statement read on Iranian state TV, the Revolutionary Guards warned that Israel would “pay for this crime.”
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Tehran had the “right to take necessary measures” in response to the strike “at the appropriate time and place.”
For years, Israel has carried out strikes against Iranian-linked targets in Syria, a country where Iran’s influence has increased since it backed President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war that erupted more than a decade ago.
In early December, Iran claimed that Israeli airstrikes in Syria killed two Revolutionary Guards advisors.
Iran has deployed hundreds of Revolutionary Guards to serve as advisors in Syria to help organize and train thousands of Shi’ite fighters from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan who are backing the Syrian government in the civil war.