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How Israeli strikes are raising the cost of Iran's presence in Syria

The IRGC's promise to retaliate for the killing of one of its officers comes as it has been rolling back its Syria presence since the outbreak of the Gaza war, which has placed an increasing number of Iranian forces in Israel's crosshairs.
Iranian commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami speaks during the funeral ceremony for victims of twin explosions near the cemetery where the grave of Iran's former top military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani is located on Jan. 05, 2024, in Kerman, Iran.

TEHRAN — The commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) pledged on Friday revenge against Israel after an Iranian officer was killed in an airstrike near the Syrian city of Aleppo on June 3.

Describing Israeli officials as "child-killing Zionist criminals," Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said Israel "will pay a heavy price for the innocent blood that it has shed," according to his statement as published by the Fars News Agency.

Iran's state TV aired footage of a funeral in the city of Shahr-e-Rey, south of the capital, Tehran, on Thursday for the officer who has been identified as Saeed Abyar.

Iranian authorities have not elaborated on the rank of the officer, who served with the Quds Force, the IRGC's overseas branch that maintains a vast presence and operational reach across the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. 

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