Skip to main content

Iran vows revenge after Revolutionary Guard officers 'killed by Israel in Syria'

Apparent Israeli air strikes targeted Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saidnejad in Damascus
Damage in Damascus on 7 March after Syria's state media reported an Israeli attack (Reuters)

Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Wednesday promised revenge against Israel after two of its officers were killed in Syria by suspected Israeli air strikes.

In a statement published on Sepah News, the Revolutionary Guard said: “Guard colonels Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saidnejad were martyred - as crime committed by the Zionist regime during a rocket attack in the suburbs of Damascus, Syria, yesterday morning."

It added that Israel “will pay for this crime”.

Syria’s official Sana news agency said Israel had carried out the strikes at around 5am on Monday, hitting the south of the capital. 

British-based activist group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Israeli strikes had killed two pro-Iran militiamen and wounded six others. 

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

The curious case of the Israeli rabbi in Iran
Read More »

This is not the first time Iran has accused Israel of killing members of its armed forces in Syria. In 2019, Tehran said four military “advisers” were killed by Israeli “aggression” in central Syria. The Revolutionary Guard has also previously announced the death of some of its members “on a mission” in Syria. 

During this recent attack, Tehran says that it deployed its forces in Syria at the invitation of Damascus and only as advisers. 

Last month, Israeli raids near the capital killed two Syrian soldiers and four Iran-backed militiamen, the Observatory said. 

Since the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has undertaken hundreds of air strikes inside the country, targeting government positions and allied Iran-backed forces and fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah

While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes in Syria, it has acknowledged mounting hundreds of them since 2011. According to the Observatory, Israel has carried out raids in Syria at least seven times this year. 

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.