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Iranian senior commander reportedly killed by Israeli airstrike in Syria | CBC News

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Israeli warplanes struck the Iranian consulate in Damascus on Monday, and a Lebanese security source told Reuters a senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, had been killed in the attack.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency said five people were killed in the Israeli strike. Syria’s SANA state news agency reported an unspecified number of deaths and injuries.

Reuters reporters at the scene in the Mezzeh district of the Syrian capital saw smoke rising from rubble of a building that had been flattened, and emergency vehicles parked outside.

Syrian state television confirmed the consulate building had been attacked. Earlier, Iranian media reported that a building close to the embassy had been hit, and Iran’s student news agency reported that the target was the consulate and ambassador’s residence.

Israel, which has repeatedly hit Iranian targets during the six-month war in Gaza, declined to comment on the incident, following its usual practice. “We do not comment on reports in the foreign media,” an Israeli military spokesperson said.

Since the Iranian-backed Palestinian faction Hamas’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7, Israel has ramped up airstrikes in Syria against Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, both of which support the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

A Global Affairs Canada spokesperson, asked about any impacts on Canadian diplomatic operations, said there are no Canadian diplomats in Damascus. The Embassy of Canada in Syria suspended its operations in 2012. 

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said U.S. President Joe Biden is aware of the strike and “the team is looking into it.” 

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