Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency
IRGC Brigadier General Razi Mousavi, top Iranian military commander in Syria, assassinated on Dec. 25, 2023

Iran is blaming Israel for the assassination of one of the top commanders of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces in Syria, Brigadier General Razi Mousavi.

The IRGC commander, one of Iran’s most senior military commanders in Syria, was killed Monday in an air strike on the Zainabiya area in the Damascus suburbs, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency.


“The barbaric Zionist regime will pay the price for this crime,” the IRGC said in the announcement confirming Mousavi’s death.

Mousavi was responsible for coordinating military activities between Iran and Syria, and had lived in Syria for around 30 years. He was believed to be heavily involved in the Iranian supply of weapons to proxies in the area, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

The air strike targeted two ammunition and missile depots of Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian militias in the Damascus countryside. Significant damage was reported.

“At 4 pm Tehran time, the Zionist regime fired three missiles from the skies over the occupied Golan Heights … which led to the martyrdom of the IRGC commander,” the news outlet reported. Mousavi was killed upon arriving home from the Iranian embassy in Damascus, according to Iran’s ambassador in Syria, Hossein Akbari. The house, also in Damascus, was struck by three missiles, he said.

Mousavi’s wife was not home at the time; she was at a school where she teaches, Israel’s Channel 12 News reported.

Mousavi was considered one of the closest associates of the IRGC’s Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by US forces in a drone strike in January 2020, and is the highest-ranking Iranian official to be killed since Soleimani’s death.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.