Radiofarda – Citing an “informed” source, IRGC affiliated Tasnim news agency has denied that Iranian fighters were killed during alleged Israeli missile attacks against several targets in Syria on April 29.
However, state run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) had earlier quoted “local sources and activists” as saying, “The strike killed 18 Iranians, including a commander, in a suburb of the central city of Hama.”
Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar daily, which is considered close to the militant Tehran-backed Hezbollah group and the Syrian government, also said the attack targeted “important arms depots used by the (Syrian) army and Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).” It said that missiles used in the attack appear to have been bunker buster.
Later, ISNA also joined the chorus of denial by reflecting comments made by the unnamed “informed source”.
Furthermore, Tasnim also reported, “The commander of the Fatemiyoun Corps, an all-Afghan unit involved in the fight against ‘Takfiri terrorist groups’ [anti-Assad forces] in Syria, denied reports of a missile attack on the Corps’ base near Aleppo.”
On Monday, several news websites, including London based Syrian Human Rights Watch reported that “Islamic Republic’s military bases in Syria” were hit during the attacks that killed 26 people, most of them Iranian and Afghan fighters under IRGC’s command.
The Times of Israel also said the blasts occurred in a base belonging to the Syrian army’s 47th Brigade that is allegedly used by Iran-backed fighters.
The report said the facility was used as an arms depot, which accounted for the size and intensity of the blast that could be seen from kilometers away and reportedly registered on seismographs in the area.
In another report, Reuters quoted an unnamed intelligence source as saying that it appeared multiple missile strikes hit several command centers for Iranian-backed forces and there were dozens of injuries and deaths.
Israel has not officially claimed or denied responsibility for Sunday night attacks, but former Israeli Defense Force intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said on Monday, “The intensity of the blasts at military bases near Hama and Aleppo- so big they caused what felt like a minor earthquake- indicated they were likely not carried out by Syrian rebels, who are under attack by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad and its partner forces.”
Yadlin also told Israeli Army radio, “Either the United States augmented the attack it led about two weeks ago, or if it wasn’t the United States, that leaves one possibility that I can’t confirm.”
Reporting based on ISNA, Tasnim, Reuters, Times of Israel, Israeli Army Radio