March 31, 2023 | Flash Brief

Iranian Military Adviser Killed in Israeli Strike in Syria

March 31, 2023 | Flash Brief

Iranian Military Adviser Killed in Israeli Strike in Syria

Latest Developments

An Israeli missile strike killed an adviser from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) near Damascus on Friday, Tehran said. Iranian state media, in a departure from Tehran’s usual silence on the proxy war against Israel in Syria, identified the fatality as IRGC military adviser and officer Milad Haydari. Israeli officials declined to comment on the predawn incident outside the Syrian capital, which appeared to be part of intensified preemptive strikes against Iranian military entrenchment in the neighboring Arab country. “The Zionist regime will undoubtedly receive a response to this crime,” the IRGC said.

Separately, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, meeting his Cypriot and Greek counterparts, urged them to work toward a European Union terrorism designation for the IRGC. Citing Greece’s announcement this week that it had thwarted an Iranian-orchestrated terrorist attack against Israeli and Jewish targets in Athens, Cohen said, “Iran is a danger to the world. Iranian terrorism hurts the Middle East, Ukraine, Europe and more.”

Expert Analysis

“According to some counts, Friday’s incident is the sixth Israeli strike in Syria this month and the second in the Damascus area in as many days. This would suggest that, for all the domestic political upheaval in Israel and questions over the continued tenure of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, core military campaigns like the so-called ‘war between wars’ continue with the same professionalism and precision.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Syria is an essential part of Tehran’s corridor for sending advanced weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, especially precision-guided munitions. Israel has made clear it will not tolerate game-changing weapons in Hezbollah’s hands, weapons whose purpose is to kill Israeli civilians and, ultimately, destroy the Jewish state. Yet Tehran has spent decades arming, training, and funding U.S.-designated terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Even as its own people rise up against brutality and corruption, the clerical dictatorship refuses to call off its foreign aggression.” David Adesnik, FDD Senior Fellow and Director of Research

Related Analysis

The Quiet War between Israel and Iran,” by Jonathan Schanzer

Where is the next Iranian threat coming from for Israel?” by Jonathan Schanzer


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Syria