Iran Revolutionary Guards Colonel Killed in Strike in Syria, State Media Says

 – A member of Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards navy serving as a military adviser in Syria was killed in a suspected Israeli strike on Friday, Iran‘s official news agency IRNA reported.

Other Iranian media reports said Colonel Reza Zarei was killed along with two fighters from Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group.

Zarei was killed in a strike on a building used by Iranian forces in Syria’s coastal region of Tartous, a senior security source from the alliance supporting Syria’s government told Reuters.

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When asked about the strike, the Israeli military said it did not comment on foreign reports.

Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards have scaled back deployment of their senior officers in Syria due to a spate of deadly Israeli strikes and were relying more on allied Shi’ite militia to preserve their sway there, Reuters reported in February.

Israel has mostly struck areas around the capital Damascus but strikes in Tartous are rare.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Additional reporting by Maya Gebeily and James Mackenzie; Writing by Jana Choukeir, Editing by Alison Williams)