TWO Iranian Revolutionary Guards members have been reportedly killed during an Israeli attack in Syria, Iran's state media has claimed.
The deaths would be the first Iranian casualties of the war between Israel and Hamas, fuelling fears of an all-out war in the Middle East.
"Mohammed Ali Ataei Shoorcheh and Panah Taghizadeh… were martyred by the Zionist usurper enemy while conducting an advisory mission in the Syrian Islamic resistance front," the Guards' Sepah News website said.
A statement did not give details of the attack but stated that both members served as military advisers and were working in Syria.
Israel appeared to be targeting Hezbollah with strikes earlier today, according to a war monitor.
The two soldiers died from their injuries, with five other fighters wounded, said the head of the British-based monitor, which claims to have a network of sources inside Syria.
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Syria earlier today said its air defences had repelled an Israeli rocket attack against targets near capital Damascus.
"Two Syrian fighters working for Hezbollah and two foreign, pro-Iran fighters were killed in Israeli air strikes on Hezbollah sites near Sayyida Zeinab", said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It comes after Hezbollah's terror chief issued a chilling warning to Israel amid mounting fears of an all-out-war in his first public address since the October 7 massacre.
The Iran-backed militia leader Hassan Nasrallah said "all options are open" amid the brutal ongoing conflict as Israel's PM Netanyahu hit back.
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The Hezbollah chief, 63, praised the Hamas October 7 attack and branded it a "sacred operation" that was "100% Palestinian."
He warned that the battle has extended to "more than one front".
The terror chief said the deadly attacks a month ago led to an "earthquake" in Israel and exposed the country's weakness.
As Nasrallah was prepared to make his televised speech, celebratory gunshots rang out over Beirut as thousands packed into a square in the Lebanese capitals southern suburbs to watch it.
The Hezbollah leader thanked the "Iraqi, Yemeni hands that joined this battle" and celebrated pro-Palestinian protests that have been seen around the world.
Speaking to the crowd, Nasrallah also tanked the "martyrs" killed in battle in the conflict of the past few weeks.
The Hezbollah chief said that one of Israel's biggest mistakes is pursuing goals that it cannot achieve.
"For a whole month, Israel could not offer a single military achievement," he said before blaming the US for the ongoing war.
Nasrallah warned an attack on Lebanon would be the "stupidest mistake" amid mounting fears of an -all-out war across the Middle East.
He said: "If the enemy starts to attack any Lebanon area they would make the hugest, the stupidest mistake."
"I'll say it with all the transparency, on our front, all options are open.
"We must be ready for all options."
Meanwhile, the IDF has issued new evacuation orders for areas in southern Gaza, Sky News reports.
Using a new map, residents of Al-Qarara, Khirbet Khuza'a, Abasan, Bani Suhaila and Ma'an were all ordered to "evacuate your homes immediately and go to the known shelter centres in Rafah".
On Wednesday, Israel has told Gazans in Khan Younis to evacuate as it considers pushing the war south in a showdown with Hamas terror bosses.
IDF aircrafts dropped leaflets hours after at least 32 were killed during airstrike in Khan Younis, where terrorists are suspected to be hiding hostages, including 10-month-old baby Kfir.
“Every house used by terrorist organisations will be targeted,” the leaflets read.
They advised residents to evacuate now, or “expose their lives to danger”.
Khan Younis is a giant shelter for the displaced, with twice its normal 200,000 population crammed into makeshift shelters and camps.
The refugee safe haven city is also home of Yahya Sinwar, firebrand local leader for Hamas and nicknamed "Gaza's Bin Laden".
Following four weeks of operations in the north, it appeared to be the first of many attacks in what Israel has labelled as a "new phase" of combat in Gaza's southern half.
Colonel Richard Kemp, an ex-British army commander with links to the IDF, said Hamas "is in a very bad state now" and "desperate for breathing space".
"Hamas will continue to fight, but of course many of them will try and leave – particularly the leaders," he told The Sun Online.
"Some already have left will leave via tunnels into Egypt and escape to fight another day.
"Some will fight on, and we might see a kind of final stand of Hamas somewhere in Southern Gaza."
Colonel Kemp said it's likely that as Israel continues the destruction of Hamas, that some of Hamas' terrorists will simply give up and melt into the civilian population, or even throw down their weapons and and effectively surrender.
"That, of course, leaves another problem because you've got radicalised terrorists among the civilian population – many of whom themselves are radicalised against Israel – which Israel will have contend with in the future," the former army commander added.
The prospect of a showdown in Khan Younis could entail even more bloodshed in the besieged enclave, as Palestinian civilians have been left fleeing for their lives.
Families living in Gaza have been caught in the brutal crossfire, with regular accusations that the terrorists are attempting to use them as “human shields”.
Much of the northern part of the strip has been turned into a devastated warzone – with ruined buildings, dwindling supplies and horrific suffering for Gaza’s people.
During that time, over a million people from northern Gaza have fled south, following evacuation orders issued by Israeli commanders who claimed it would reduce civilian casualties.
The Red Cross estimates that some 1.5million civilians have been forced to flee south amid the Israeli onslaught from land, air and sea.
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The UN had backed claims by the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry that "scores of people" had been killed in airstrikes on two UN-run schools in Jabaliya and Beit Lahiya.
As the week-long truce between Hamas terrorists and Israel came to an end, more bloodshed is expected to take place once IDF ground forces reach south.
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