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The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has threatened “revenge” against Israel for the death of a high-ranking commander during a service in which mourners chanted “Death to America.”
Tehran said Sayyed Razi Mousavi, a senior IRGC adviser, was killed Monday during an Israeli airstrike on a neighborhood in the Syrian capital of Damascus. An Israeli military spokesperson has not commented on Mousavi’s death but did say its forces took action that was necessary to defend the country.
For years, Israel has carried out attacks against what it says are Iran-linked targets in Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Israeli military targeted Mousavi after he entered what was believed to be an office for the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, which Israel has been engaging with during its war with Hamas.
During Mousavi’s televised funeral on Thursday, Major General Hossein Salami, chief commander of the IRGC, said Mousavi was one of the most experienced and effective commanders of the resistance front, referring to Tehran-aligned groups in the Middle East.
“Our revenge for the martyrdom of Sayyed Razi will be nothing less than the removal of the Zionist regime,” Salami said. He expressed his hope that “soon, God permitting, the great and honorable Palestinian fighters will wipe out…this evil and fake regime.”
Mourners chanted “Death to America, death to Israel” during the service, in which prayers were led by Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who paid tribute “to this martyr’s tireless struggle,” Reuters reported.
Some mourners carried pictures of Mousavi as well as the revered Qasem Soleimani, a former IRGC commander killed in a 2020 U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.
Reached for comment, the Israel Defense Forces told Newsweek: “The IDF is currently focused on eliminating the threat from the terrorist organization Hamas. Questions of this kind will be looked into at a later stage.”
Mousavi’s funeral comes amid fears that the war between Israel and Hamas, which followed the Palestinian militant group’s attack on southern Israel on October 7, could spill over into the region. Hamas is backed by Tehran, and Iranian-supported groups in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have launched attacks on Israel and its allies in support of the Palestinian militants.
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