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Airstrikes Blamed on Israel Apparently Destroyed Quds Force HQ in Syria

Satellite images appear to show that airstrikes attributed to Israel destroyed one of the primary headquarters in Syria of Iran’s Quds Force, the elite branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that for nearly a decade has been waging war on behalf of the Assad regime. Released by the private intelligence firm IntelSat, the photographs seem to confirm reports that five structures were hit, including a weapons depot. The airstrikes took place last Thursday around Damascus International Airport, where an Iranian arms shipment is said to have just landed. Among the seven people reportedly killed were Iranian military officers. Jerusalem has stayed mum on the issue, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offering up in an interview the day after only: “Maybe it was the Belgian air force.” The Jewish state has over the past two-plus years conducted thousands of strikes in Syria with a view to preventing Tehran and its proxies from establishing a permanent military presence within range of the Israeli-held Golan Heights. Just prior to Thursday’s attack, an Iranian official with ties to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei threatened to “raze Tel Aviv to the ground” if tensions in the Middle East exploded into a direct conflict between the Islamic Republic and Israel or the United States.