Iran accuses Israel of killing Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammed Reza Zahedi in airstrike on consulate in Syria

Emergency and security personnel gather at the site of strikes in Syria's capital Damascus.
Emergency and security personnel gather at the site of strikes in Syria's capital Damascus. Photo credit: Getty

A top commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard has been killed in an airstrike on the country's consulate building in Damascus, Syria, according to Iranian officials and state-affiliated media, which blamed Israel for the attack.

Iranian Quds Force commander Mohammed Reza Zahedi was among those killed in the incident on Monday (local time), reported Fars News, which is managed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Speaking on camera to reporters in Damascus, Iranian ambassador Hossein Akbari alleged that the building "was targeted with six missiles from Israeli F-35 warplanes".

"Between five and seven people were killed in the attack. I was in my office in the embassy at the time and witnessed the destruction myself," Akbari said.

Syrian state media Syrian Arab News Agency also reported that "an Israeli act of aggression targeted on Monday afternoon a building in Mezzeh neighborhood in Damascus", causing "massive destruction".

Asked for comment on the incident by CNN, the Israel Defense Forces said it does not comment on foreign reports.

Footage of the aftermath of the blast, published by Iranian state media Press TV, showed damage to the building, fire and smoke at the scene.

The foreign ministers of Iran and Syria also accused Israel of authoring the attack, with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian calling it a "violation of all international obligations and conventions" and demanding a "serious response by the international community".

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad described the alleged attack a "gross violation of international regulations, especially the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations", according to a readout of his call with Amir-Abdollahian.

Zahedi, the slain commander, was previously the commander of IRGC's ground forces, the commander of IRGC's air force, and the deputy commander of the IRGC's operations.