On Monday, an airstrike on Damascus, Syria conducted by Israel led to the death of a high-ranking Iranian general, according to Iranian state media.

The allegedly deceased Seyed Razi Mousavi, a brigadier general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), threatens to intensify and broaden the conflict between Israel and Hamas, a fate which many have feared since the beginning of the war.

President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi condemned the attack, promising that Israel “will certainly pay for this crime.” Raisi added in a statement: “Without a doubt, this action is another sign of frustration, helplessness, and incapacity of the usurping Zionist regime in the region.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israel struck Mousavi after he entered a farm near Damascus, which is understood by Israel intelligence to be one of the several locations used by Hezbollah in the region.

Mousavi’s death was reported by the Iranian news agency Tasnim, which The Times of Israel describes as “semi-official.” Israel believes he was a key agent in the relationship between Iran and the various terrorist groups operating in Syria, as well as a main point-person for the Iranian regime’s pipeline of weapons to Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian referred to Mousavi’s death as an act of “martyrdom” and said “Tel Aviv faces a tough countdown” in a statement posted to X. He commemorated the general as a war hero who worked to “ensure the security of Iran and the region against terrorist.” He also recognized him as a close collaborator to Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian general killed by a U.S. airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump in Jan. 2020.

The top spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Rear Admiral Daneil Hagari, declined to comment on the killing during presser on Monday night. Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against Iranian-backed terrorist groups in Syria over the past decade, according to The Times of Israel.

In December alone, Israel took out two other generals operating in Syria. Israel as a rule does not acknowledge its strikes in the country, but it has gone on the record to confirm it has a mission to target Iranian-affiliated groups that support the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

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