HomeTop StoriesSyria says an Israeli airstrike has destroyed the Iranian consulate building in...

Syria says an Israeli airstrike has destroyed the Iranian consulate building in Damascus, killing people

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An Israeli airstrike destroyed the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing or wounding everyone inside, Syrian state media said Monday.

Iran’s Arabic-language state television Al-Alam and the pan-Arab television station Al-Mayadeen, which has reporters in Syria, said the attack killed Iranian military adviser General Ali Reza Zahdi. Zahdi previously led Iran’s elite Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria until 2016.

There was no official confirmation from Iran.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told media after a meeting with Iran’s ambassador, Hossein Akbari, that “several” people were killed, without further information. Iranian state television said the Iranian ambassador’s residence was in the consular building, which was next to the embassy.

State news agency SANA, citing an unnamed military source, said the building in the heavily guarded Mazzeh district had been razed. Rescuers searched for bodies under the rubble.

Britain-based opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least six people were killed in the attack.

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The Israeli military did not immediately comment. Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks on targets in government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years.

Such airstrikes have escalated in recent months against the backdrop of Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and ongoing clashes between the Israeli army and Hezbollah on the Lebanon-Israel border.

While Israel rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, Israel has said it is targeting bases of Iran-linked militant groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

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Chehayeb reported from Beirut. Associated Press writer Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.

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