An alleged Israeli airstrike on Damascus on Sunday night reportedly killed three including an Iranian General.
A source in the regional alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters that four cruise missiles were believed to have been launched across the coast through Lebanese airspace toward Syria. “One of the hostile targets fell in Aqraba region in the Damascus countryside,” the source said.
Israel carried out a preemptive attack in Aqraba, 50 kilometers southeast of Damascus, in August. The attack prevented the launch of explosive drones that were set to carry out an attack inside Israel.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that just before midnight on Sunday night, an airstrike hit military positions belonging to Assad regime forces and Iran. According to the report, three of the casualties were “non-Syrian.”
Syrian state news agency SANA reported that one missile fired from “the occupied lands” was intercepted before it hit Damascus.
Al-Akhbar, a media linked to Hezbollah, reported that there were no casualties from the attack, though some military facilities were damaged.
Islamic World Update reported that there were, in fact, three casualties.
Acc to the reports ambulances were seen on the way to the place of the fall of the missiles in the vicinity of #Aqraba, which is likely to cause casualties #Damascus #Syria
— Islamic World Update (@islamicworldupd) December 23, 2019
Al Hadath, a Jordanian news service, tweeted that the bombing “appeared to be the assassination of a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards official.”
The Jewish Press cited “multiple Arab media” as identifying the senior Iranian official as Brigadier General Hajj Amir Ali, commander of Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps since October 2009.
Ironically, Gen. Ali was quoted in the Huffington Post as saying, “The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 km is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance.”
The attack garnered a response from Iran. Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Russia Today Arabic that Israel will “regret its crimes,” and that “Illegal Israeli attacks in the region cannot pass without a response.”
As a rule, Israel does not comment on military operations outside of Israel though the Israeli government has admitted to carrying out hundreds of strikes against military targets in Syria.