Two members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were killed in Israeli airstrikes that targeted the Syrian capital of Damascus on Friday.
The IRGC announced Friday that a military officer and advisor named Milad Heydari was killed in the Israeli attacks. On Sunday, they announced that another IRGC officer, Meqdad Mehghani Jafarabadi, succumbed to his wounds.
“Jafarabadi, a member of the Revolutionary Guards, was wounded in a criminal attack of the Zionist regime on Friday and was martyred due to the severity of his injuries,” the IRGC said in a statement, according to Middle East Eye.
The IRGC vowed revenge for the death of their officers. “The crimes of the Zionist regime will not go unanswered and they will pay for this,” the statement said. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani also said Tehran would respond.
The Israeli killings of the IRGC members came after the US military said it planned to target the Quds Force, a branch of the IRGC. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Congress that the US will target the IRGC’s Quds Force “very harshly over time.”
The Pentagon claimed it hit Quds Force facilities in Syria following a recent drone attack on a US base that killed a contractor. The Pentagon said eight militants were killed in the strikes, but none were Iranian. For their part, Iran says the US airstrikes hit civilian targets, not Iranian facilities.
Israel has stepped up its airstrikes in Syria and targeted the central province of Homs in attacks early Sunday that Syrian media reported wounded at least five Syrian soldiers. The incident marked the third Israeli airstrike in Syria within four days, an escalation that comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a political crisis at home over his planned judicial overhaul.
Earlier in March, Israel twice bombed Syria’s Aleppo airport, putting it temporarily out of service. Aleppo was devastated by the earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey on February 6, and the Israeli airstrikes cut off aid flights into the city.