On the afternoon of 1 April 2024, an Israeli airstrike targeted the Iranian consulate in Syria, located in Damascus’ Mezzeh district. At least 13 people were killed, including two senior commanders and five officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). An undetermined number of people were injured. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi and his deputy were the two topmost IRGC officials killed in the airstrike since a U.S. drone attack killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq, in January 2020.

Analyst Comment: Attacks directed at commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a security force established in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that directly answers to Iran’s supreme leader, have the potential to significantly escalate conflicts across the Middle East. The IRGC is known to coordinate attacks and actions of allied militias in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq while maintaining a strategic distance from actual conflicts.