Web Stories Friday, February 23

The Britain-based war monitor with a network of sources inside Syria said the targeted building belonged to the IRGC and that Mazzeh is known to be a high-security zone where leaders of the IRGC and pro-Iran Palestinian factions live.

The neighbourhood also houses the United Nations headquarters, embassies and restaurants.

“They were for sure targeting senior members” of Tehran-backed groups or Iranian forces, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

EXCHANGES OF FIRE

Saturday’s presumed Israeli strike was the second high-profile targeted assassination in Syria in less than a month.

In December, an air strike killed a senior Iranian general in Syria.

Razi Moussavi was the most senior commander of the Quds Force to be killed outside Iran since a Jan 2020 US drone strike in Baghdad killed IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani.

On Jan 2 in neighbouring Lebanon, where the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah holds sway, Hamas deputy Saleh al-Aruri was killed in a strike widely blamed on Israel.

Days later, Israel killed top Hezbollah commander Wissam Tawil in a strike in south Lebanon.

Since the Israel-Hamas war began there have been regular cross-border exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Saturday’s Damascus strike came four days after the IRGC said it attacked “an Israeli intelligence headquarters” in Arbil, capital of Iraq’s northern autonomous province of Kurdistan.

Iraqi authorities said the attack killed four civilians and wounded six others.

Israel rarely comments on individual strikes targeting Syria, but has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran, which backs President Bashar al-Assad’s government, to expand its presence there.

Since 2011, Syria has endured a bloody conflict that has claimed more than half a million lives and displaced several million people.

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