By Laila Bassam and Kinda Makieh
BEIRUT/DAMASCUS, Jan 20 (Reuters) – An Israeli missile strike on Syria’s capital Damascus on Saturday killed four members of Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards, including the head of the force’s information unit in Syria, a security source in the regional pro-Syria alliance told Reuters.
Israel has long pursued a bombing campaign against Iran-linked targets in Syria. But it has shifted to deadlier strikes in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by militants of the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from Gaza.
Syrian state media said a building in the Mazzeh neighbourhood of Damascus was targeted in a likely Israeli attack, without giving further details. Other local media in Syria said explosions were heard across the Syrian capital.
The security source, part of a network of groups close to Syria’s government and its major ally Iran, said the multi-storey building was used by Iranian advisers supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s government, and that it was entirely flattened by “precision-targeted Israeli missiles”.
Iran‘s state-run Press TV said two Iranian Guards military advisers were killed in the Israeli strike on Damascus.
There was no immediate comment from Israel.
Essam Al-Amin, head of the Al-Mowasat Hospital in Damascus, told Reuters that his hospital had received one corpse and three wounded people, including a woman, following Saturday’s attack.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad told Reuters that no members of their group were wounded in the strike, following reports that some were at the bombed-out building.
In December, an Israeli strike killed two Guards members in Damascus, and another on Dec. 25 killed a senior adviser to the Guards who was overseeing military coordination between Syria and Iran.