Iranian commander killed in Syria on April 1 helped plan Oct. 7

Slain IRGC Quds Force commander in Syria and Lebanon Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahedi. Source: Social media.

(JNS) — Slain Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahedi was involved in the planning and execution of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel, a political coalition with close ties to the IRGC revealed last week, Iran International reports.

In a statement published on April 3, the Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces, a hardline group in Tehran’s parliament, hailed Zahedi’s “strategic role in forming and strengthening the resistance front as well as in planning and executing the Al-Aqsa Storm.”

The “Axis of Resistance” includes Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis and other Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the Middle East. “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm” is Hamas’s name for the Oct. 7 murder spree.

The party also applauded Zahedi’s “great honors” in his “silent efforts” in directing attacks against Israel. “The supporters of Tel Aviv [sic] should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s harsh and regrettable response to this bloody crime is on its way and will affect the future equations of the region, Inshallah [‘God willing’],” added the statement.

The Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces is composed of former members of the IRGC and its Basij militia, as well as other loyalists of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The group is headed by Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, a former parliament speaker who is close to Khamenei. Parviz Sorouri, a former IRGC commander, serves as its secretary.

As many as 500 terrorists affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad based in the Gaza Strip trained in Iran leading up to the Oct. 7 attacks on the northwestern Negev, The Wall Street Journal reported in late October.

Iran has officially hailed the massacre as a “success,” saying the murder of some 1,200 people, mainly Jewish civilians, was a response to the 2020 killing in Baghdad of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani by the U.S.

Iran has held the Jewish state responsible for the death of Zahedi, a top commander in the IRGC’s Quds Force tasked with operations in Syria and Lebanon, who was killed in an airstrike in Damascus early last week. Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the attack, but four officials told The New York Times that Jerusalem ordered the strike.

Zahedi was the most senior regime official to be killed since Iranian nuclear scientist Brig. Gen. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran in an assassination attributed to Israel four years ago.

Along with Zahedi, six other members of the IRGC were killed in the attack, which targeted a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy.

Sources in the regime told Reuters on April 4 that Tehran would provide a “serious response” to the raid, though they suggested that it would seek to avoid a direct clash with Israel and the United States.

Israel is ready for any scenario that may develop regarding the Islamic Republic’s response, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on April 7.

“Upon completing the assessment, Minister Gallant emphasized that the defense establishment has completed preparations for responses in the event of any scenario that may develop vis-à-vis Iran,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.