IRGC commander in charge of deploying air defences in Lebanon, Syria identified
The commander is Brigadier General Fereydoun Mohammadi Saghaei, Intel Times said on Monday. Saghaei is deputy commander of the IRGC's aerospace force.
Saghaei was initially identified in a report by Saudi news outlet Al-Arabiya on Friday, but with an incorrect surname.
Analyst Ronen Solomon, the founder of Intel Times, said he was able to confirm the report and correct the name by checking with western intelligence sources, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Iran backs Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, both adversaries of Israel.
Tel Aviv is aware of the project and is determined to stop Syria from acquiring an Iranian air defence network, western intelligence sources told Al-Arabiya.
An alleged Israeli air strike targeting sites south of Tartus on Saturday morning was aimed at hitting Iranian air-defence systems that had been deployed in the area, according to reports in Arabic-language media.
Russia on Monday condemned the suspected Israeli air strikes as "unacceptable".
Iran used air defence batteries it had deployed in Syria against Israeli planes conducting airstrikes in March, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Iran and Syria signed a military cooperation agreement in 2020 that included an Iranian commitment to help boost Syrian air defence systems.
According to the Al-Arabiya report, Saghaei has visited Damascus on several occasions to discuss bringing Iranian air defences to Syria.