Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said seven members were killed in the attack, including two commanders of the Quds Force. Accordingly, in addition to Mohammed Reza Sahedi, Mohammed Hadi Haji Rahimi was also killed. The Quds Brigades is an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard responsible for foreign operations.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll from the “Israeli missile attack” had risen from eight to 11. “Eight Iranians, two Syrians and one Lebanese – all fighters, no civilians,” the head of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP. Sahedi was the Quds leader for the Palestinian territories, Syria and Lebanon.

The UK-based Observatory draws its information from a network of different sources in Syria. Your information is often difficult to verify independently.

The consular section, which was completely destroyed and collapsed by Monday’s attack, is an annex to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, located in the upscale Masseh district. Many other embassies are also located in Masseh – as well as the headquarters of UN organizations.

At the scene of the attack, AFP journalists observed rescue workers searching for victims under the rubble and using heavy equipment.

Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, was unhurt in the attack. Akbari said on Iranian state television that the attack was carried out by F35 fighter jets. According to the Syrian Defense Ministry, the shelling came from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Iran’s ambassador Akbari also announced a “decisive response” from his country. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called on the international community for a “serious response” to Israel’s “criminal actions,” according to a statement from Tehran. Accordingly, Amir-Abdollahian spoke with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad – and also blamed the “Zionist regime” for the consequences of the action.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called it an “unacceptable” attack and blamed “the Israeli Air Force.” “We strongly condemn this unacceptable attack,” the ministry said.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said at a news conference in response to a question about the attack that he “does not comment on information from the foreign press.”

Since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Israeli forces have carried out numerous airstrikes in Syria, targeting Iranian-backed groups such as the Hezbollah militia as well as Syrian positions.

Attacks have increased since the war between Israel and the Hezbollah-allied Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas began on October 7. Israel rarely comments on its attacks in Syria, but has repeatedly said it will not tolerate an expansion of Iran’s presence in Syria.

The attack in Damascus was the fifth attack within eight days on Syria, which is closely allied with Iran. The government in Tehran – which has seen itself as Israel’s arch enemy for decades – is one of the most important supporters of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad.