Israeli air strikes destroyed the Iranian embassy’s consular annex in Damascus on Monday, Syrian and Iranian officials said, with a top Revolutionary Guard commander among seven members the force said were killed.

Israel said it would not comment on the attack, but Iranian officials vowed a stiff response, with fears of even further violence between Israel and Iran’s allies amid the Gaza war.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps named Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and another high-ranking officer, Brigadier General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, as among seven of its members killed.

Britain-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 people, including several Guards members, were killed when “Israeli missiles… destroyed the building of an annex to the Iranian embassy”.

The toll includes “eight Iranians, two Syrians and one Lebanese — all of them fighters, none of them civilians,” Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Observatory with a network of sources in Syria, told AFP.

Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, told Iranian state TV that the attack “was carried out by F-35 fighter jets” that fired six missiles at the building.

AFP reporters saw the annex building had caved in, and emergency services were searching for victims under the rubble as sirens wailed in the upscale Damascus district of Mazzeh.

Security personnel shielded the site where earth-moving equipment was brought in to clear debris and remove charred vehicles from the road as a crowd gathered to watch.

Syria’s defense ministry said that “the attack destroyed the entire building, killing and injuring everyone inside, and work is underway to recover the bodies and rescue the wounded from under the rubble”.

Only the gate of the building was left standing after the attack, with a sign reading “the consular section of the embassy of Iran”.

Windows had shattered within a 500-metre (550 yard) radius and many parked cars were damaged by the blast.

The targeted building is next to the Iranian embassy, the front of which is decorated with a large portrait of Qassem Soleimani, the architect of Iran’s military operations in the Middle East whose was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January 2020.

The Damascus strikes were the fifth in a week to hit Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad is supported by Iran, Israel’s long-time arch-foe in the region.

Iranian state TV said Zahedi — a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations arm, the Quds Force — was among the dead.

The Observatory said Zahedi served as leader of the Quds Force for Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, adding that he was killed along with his deputy, an aide and the Quds force chief of staff for the same region.

Two other Guards members and two Iranian advisers were also killed in the strike, the Observatory said.