Syria: Second IRGC member dies after Israeli air strikes near Damascus

A second member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has died in an Israeli airstrike in Syria this week, according to Iranian media, as Israel continues to strike the country for the third time in as many last day

Meqdad Mehghani Jafarabadi, a military adviser to the IRGC, died after sustaining wounds from a strike near Damascus on Friday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.

“Jafarabadi, a member of the Revolutionary Guards, was injured in a criminal attack on the Zionist regime on Friday and was martyred due to the severity of his injuries,” the IRGC said in a statement.

“The crimes of the Zionist regime will not go unanswered and they will pay for this.”

At least five Syrian soldiers were wounded by a separate Israeli air strike near the western city of Homs early on Sunday, the Syrian state news agency SANA said.

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The strike targeted the Iranian and Syrian government positions in the city, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Israel “launched an aerial attack from the north-west direction of Beirut targeting several outposts in the city of Homs and its countryside”, the Syrian defense ministry said in a statement.

It came after Israeli air strikes targeting Damascus on March 30 and 31, the latter of which killed IRGC officer Milad Heidari, according to the group’s public relations department.

‘A regime that supports terrorism’

After the latest strikes on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet in televised remarks that it was “at a heavy price to save Israel from the regimes that support terrorists” outside its borders.

Earlier this month the Israeli military attacked Aleppo International Airport twice.

Aleppo airport has often been used for aid deliveries to earthquake-hit areas in northern Syria. The earthquakes that hit Turkey on February 6 left more than 50,000 dead, including around 6,000 in Syria, sparking a humanitarian crisis.

The Israeli military has not commented following the latest attacks, a position it usually maintains after previous attacks on Syria.

In recent years, pro-Iranian militias have increased their influence in Syria’s northern Aleppo province.

Tehran, which has long supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the ongoing civil war, says its officials are serving in advisory roles in Syria at the invitation of Damascus.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria since 2011, targeting government troops, Iran-backed fighters and Hezbollah. However, attacks targeting airports and paralyzing aviation have become more frequent in recent months.

At the beginning of this year, the Israeli military attacked Damascus International Airport, temporarily putting it out of service and killing two Syrian soldiers.

Last month, at least five people were killed when suspected Israeli airstrikes hit residential neighborhoods and other locations in Damascus.

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