Daily Review: Israeli Airstrike Kills Top Iranian Commanders

Daily Review: Israeli Airstrike Kills Top Iranian Commanders
Emergency services work at a building hit by an Israeli air strike in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024 (AP photo by Omar Sanadiki).

An Israeli airstrike on an Iranian consular building in Syria yesterday killed three senior Iranian commanders and four more officers, including Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a high-ranking general who previously led the elite Quds Force’s operations in Syria and Lebanon. The U.S. reportedly told Iran directly that it had no involvement nor prior knowledge of the strike. (AP)

Our Take

The strike has raised fears of a major escalation of the so-called shadow war between Israel and Iran, which has lasted for years and included assassinations of Iranian military commanders by Israel. 

Those fears are understandable. In many ways, this strike does mark an escalation. Zahedi is the seniormost Iranian officer to be killed since the U.S. assassinated Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, and the consular building that Israel destroyed is technically on Iran’s sovereign territory. Tehran has already vowed to respond, with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying Israel would regret the strike.

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