An Iranian news agency on Saturday denied Arab social media reports claiming Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, Commander of the Guards' Aerospace Force, had was in an Israeli strike in Syria on Friday.
"Nothing has happened to General Hajizadeh", the Young Journalists Club (YCJ), close to Iran's security and military forces on Saturday morning quoted an "informed source in the Guards" Aerospace Force as saying. However, the news agency and its "informed source" did not say that the Iranian commander was not in Syria or make any further comments regarding his whereabouts.
On Friday some Arabic-language social media users claimed that General Hajizadeh was killed in an Israeli airstrike while visiting a Qods (Quds) Force training site in the east of the Syrian city of Homs.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Friday reported that the explosion in Homs was caused by an Israeli airstrike and confirmed that the attack was aimed at Iranian targets and pro-Iran militias operating in the area.
The tweet claims Brigadier General Hajizadeh was killed by an airstrike during his visit to a training site for the Qods Force outside Homs, Syria on Friday.
According to a Reuters, Syrian state media said a series of blasts had occurred at an ammunition depot in the east of Homs while reporting on a separate attack conducted by Israeli helicopters during which several rockets were fired from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
After Syria announced last Monday it had intercepted airstrikes by Israel near the capital Damascus, Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennett told Israeli media that Israel would step up its campaign against Iran in Syria.
"We have moved from blocking Iran’s entrenchment in Syria to forcing it out of there, and we will not stop,” Bennett said in a statement.
"We will not allow more strategic threats to grow just across our borders without taking action, We will continue to take the fight to the enemy’s territory," Bennett said.