Revolutionary Guards commander Sayyed Razi Mousavi — assassinated by Israel — in Syria with the head of the Guards’ Qods Forces, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by the US in January 2020
UPDATE, JAN 4:
The US military has killed an Iran-backed Iraqi militia leader, blamed for recent attacks on American personnel on bases in Iraq.
Iraqi police sources and witnesses said a drone fired at least two rockets at the headquarters of the al-Nujaba’a militia in eastern Baghdad. The rockets hit a vehicle and killed four people, including a local group commander and one of his aides.
UPDATE, JAN 2:
The Israel Defense Forces have confirmed its strikes inside Syria early Tuesday morning.
The IDF — which regularly targets positions of the Assad regime, Iran, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah —says it attacked in response to rocket fire on northern Israel on Monday night.
Thee IDF said it hit “infrastructure” of the Assad regime’s military. It did not give the location.
The regime military said that Israel had again struck areas near Damascus, where the Israelis killed a leading Iranian commander, Seyyed Razi Mousavi, on December 25. The attack came from the direction of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights at 4:35 a.m.
UPDATE, DEC 31:
Four fighters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah and two other Iran-backed militia were killed in the strikes early Saturday inside northeast Syria near the Iraq border (see Update, Dec 30).
The three airstrikes near Abu Kamal were close to a border crossing used by Iran and its allies to move forces and weapons into Syria.
Hezbollah confirmed the deaths of its fighters “on the road to Jerusalem.
The strikes targeted an eight-truck convoy, destroying at least four trucks, said “sources who have contacts with Syrian and Iraqi border officials”. Three buildings used by an Iran-backed militia were also targeted.
Israel — which recurrently strikes Iranian, Hezbollah, and Assad regime forces — is suspected of the attack.
UPDATE 2030 GMT:
Israel has carried out further airstrikes inside Syria on Saturday, hitting Assad regime targets near Aleppo city.
Syria: Israel carried out multiple airstrikes this afternoon bombing area S. of Aleppo-city. A large warehouse is among the targets destroyed.
Israel is now bombing Assad-held Syria almost on daily basis (5th attack this week). pic.twitter.com/HLV61PNdtU
— QalaatM (@QalaatM) December 30, 2023
The Assad regime has retaliated by shelling civilians in opposition-held Idlib city in northwest Syria.
Here comes the usual Assad's "retaliation" to Israeli airstrikes: bombing civilians in Idlib.
Center of the city was just hit with heavy artillery. Casualties feared.
Watch Assad's terror deliberately aiming at civilians👇 pic.twitter.com/REyClbgePb
— QalaatM (@QalaatM) December 30, 2023
UPDATE, DEC 30:
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are “strongly denying” a report in Al Arabiya, a Saudi Arabian State outlet, that 11 commanders were killed in an Israeli strike inside Syria.
Citing unnamed sources, Al Arabiya asserted that the Israelis again struck the Iranian military’s main complex near Damascus International Airport.
The Assad regime’s Defense Ministry and military earlier reported Israeli airstrikes in southern Syria and near Damascus.
Five Iran-backed militiamen were reportedly slain by airstrikes on their position in northeast Syria near the Iraqi border. No claim of responsibility has been made, but a leading analyst of operations inside Syria is pointing to Israel.
E. Syria: airstrikes targeted last night S. outskirts of AbuKemal, near the border with Iraq. Trucks carrying weapons were destroyed. US accused, but modus operandi rather points at Israel. There are confirmed casualties (at least 5 dead) among pro-Iran/IRGC fighters. pic.twitter.com/FKIzwPG4jH
— QalaatM (@QalaatM) December 30, 2023
On Friday, Iranian authorities executed three men and a woman accused of spying for Israel.
Wafa Hanare, Aram Omari, Rahman Parhazo, and Nasim Namazi were condemned as members of a “sabotage group linked to the Zionist entity”. They were hanged in Urmia Prison in northwestern Iran.
The executed were among 10 people arrested in 2021 and 2022 on declarations that they communicated with Israel. A fifth defendant has been sentenced to death, and the other five received 10-year prison terms.
UPDATE 1539 GMT:
US military forces carried out strikes on three locations with Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq on Monday, retaliating for militia rocket and drone attacks on American personnel.
Earlier in the day, a drone attack on Erbil airbase in Iraq wounded three US troops, one critically.
President Biden ordered the retaliatory strikes.
Since mid-October, the Iranian-backed militias have carried out almost-daily assaults.
A senior official of the Iran-backed Iraqi militia Kata’ib Hezbollah declare that the attacks are because US support for Israel’s attacks in Gaza and American “occupation” of Iraq.
“Our operations will continue until the departure of the last American soldier,” he said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani condemned both the drone attack and the US response, which he said killed one Iraqi service member and injured 18 others, including civilians.
US Central Command said there were “no indications that any civilian lives were affected”.
UPDATE 1301 GMT:
“Informed sources” have confirmed to Amwaj.media that Sayyed Razi Mousavi, assassinated by Israel on Monday, was in charge of coordination between the Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Forces and the Assad regime.
Mousavi arranged the entry of Iran-led forces, arms shipments, and Hezbollah fighters into Syria. He had a central role in the delivery of Iranian Fateh-class surface-to-surface ballistic missiles to Hezbollah.
Mousavi worked closely with Javad Ghaffari, the previous head of Revolutionary Guards operations in Syria. After Ghaffari’s return to Iran in 2021, Mousavi had even greater influence.
An “informed Arab source” said:
Seyed Razi had great influence and a presence in Syria, and everyone there knew him. He had several public and secret headquarters, perhaps the most prominent of which is the one located at Damascus International Airport, which he used to receive sensitive Iranian and other dignitaries who come to Syria.”
UPDATE, DEC 26:
The commander of the Iran Army, Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi, has joined President Ebrahim Raisi in declaring that Israel’s assassination of Sayyed Razi Mousavi inside Syria is a sign of Israeli “weakness”.
Following the defeats of the usurping regime in the face of the people in Gaza and the resistance front, the impotence and frustration of the child-killing Zionist regime were exposed once again by another crime and the martyrdom of a sincere fighter.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, DEC 25:
Israel’s military has assassinated a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria.
Three munitions reportedly hit Iran’s main military compound in Syria, in the Sayyed Zeynab area south of Damascus, killing Sayyed Razi Mousavi.
Iran State TV acknowledged the killing of Sayyed Razi Mousavi (pictured) in the Sayyeda Zeinab area south of Damascus, the main location of the Iranian military in Syria. It said he was one of the longest-serving commanders of the Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guards branch for operations outside Iran, propping up the Assad regime.
Reports said he was “among those accompanying Qassem Soleimani”, the head of the Quds Force who led operations in Syria until he was assassinated by a US drone strike in January 2020 near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.
Lebanon’s al-Jadeed outlet said Mousavi had lived in Syria for 30 years and had his own office inside the Assad regime’s Defense Ministry.
Throughout the conflict in Syria since March 2011, with the Assad regime’s bloody repression of mass protests, Israel has attacked targets of Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah as well as the regime.
The Revolutionary Guards said in a statement, “Undoubtedly, the usurper and savage Zionist regime will pay for this crime.”
President Ebrahim Raisi blustered, “This act is a sign of the Zionist regime’s frustration and weakness in the region for which it will certainly pay the price.”
He declared that Israel “will certainly pay for this crime”. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian echoed, “Tel Aviv faces a tough countdown.”
Iran’s ally Hezbollah denounced a “flagrant and shameless violation, which is off limits”.