Mohammad Reza Zahedi, an Iranian Brigadier General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria, was killed on Monday, as a result of a reported Israeli airstrike near the Iranian Embassy in Damascus.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Zahedi was reported to have been acting as the liaison between Hezbollah and Syrian intelligence and was the second in command to the Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ismail Qaani.

Mohammad Reza Zahedi was a senior general in the IRGC Quds Force. He headed the team responsible for deploying Iranian air defenses in Syria.

Zahedi succeeded Brigadier General Mustafa Jawad Ghafari, who was expelled from Damascus by order of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after a dispute with Russia in 2021.

The air defense system being developed by Zahedi’s operations in Syria is intended to protect Iranian military sites and interests targeted by potential Israeli attacks.

Zahedi was exclusively in charge of providing security in Tehran and was one of the top commanders of the IRGC in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. During the war with Iraq, he initially led a group, then led a battalion, finally leading the fourteenth Imam Hossein Brigade of Isfahan.

He was Commander of the IRGC Ground Forces from 2005 to 2008. During this period, Zahedi was also Commander of the Sarallah Brigade, which was responsible for cracking down against popular protests and uprisings in Tehran.