Iranian news agencies on Monday reported that an Iranian commander rumoured killed in an Israeli missile attack in Syria on Sunday is in "perfect health".
The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) did not name a source but said their reporter's inquiry has revealed that General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, "is in perfect health". Other Iranian news agencies have almost identical reports, word-by-word.
"Some Arab media have claimed that the IRGC Aerospace commander was martyred in Israel's attack on Seyyeda Zeinab on the southern outskirts of Damascus and T4 Base last night. These rumors have been dismissed," IRNA wrote.
Sunday night’s missile attack hit the suburb of Aqraba and the nearby Sayyida Zeinab neighborhood, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said and claimed that probably three people of Iranian nationality were killed in the attack.
In recent years, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes and missile attacks in Syria against the positions of pro-Syrian forces and Iran's Revolutionary Guards units stationed in Syria.
In a tweet on November 20 Israel Defense Forces said they carried out "wide-scale strikes of Iranian Qods Force & Syrian Armed Forces targets in Syria in response to the rockets fired at Israel by an Iranian force in Syria" the night before. Reports at the time spoke of 14 people killed.
Israel's Ynet News today said it is probably true that the IRGC commander has not been hurt "because if he had the Iranians would have retaliated with exceptional force" since Hajizadeh is second in rank only to Qassem Soleimani, the Qods Force commander.
"The latest missile attacks on Iranian targets near Damascus indicates the Revolutionary Guards have resumed with full force their attempts to militarily entrench themselves in the region," Ynet News said and claimed that Hajizadeh oversaw the September drone strike on Saudi oil facilities.
"As Iran resumes its efforts to entrench itself in Syria, the activity attributed to Israel is also expected to increase in the near future," Ynet News wrote.