Second Iranian Revolutionary Guard member dies after Israeli attack in Syria

DUBAI, April 2 (Reuters) - A second Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps member who served as a military adviser in Syria has died after an Israeli air strike near Damascus, Iranian state media reported on Sunday.

"Meqdad Mehghani Jafarabadi, a member of the Revolutionary Guards, was wounded in a criminal attack of the Zionist regime on Friday and was martyred due to the severity of his injuries," the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement published on Sunday.

"The crimes of the Zionist regime will not go unanswered and they will pay for this," they added.

Israel has for years carried out attacks against what it has described as Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran's influence has grown since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war that began in 2011.

Iran says its officers serve in an advisory role in Syria at the invitation of Damascus. Dozens of Revolutionary Guards members, including senior officers, have been killed in Syria during the war.

Friday's air strike, which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said was the sixth attack by Israel in Syria in March, also killed another Revolutionary Guards officer and military adviser, Milad Haydari.

Commenting on the deaths of the two IRGC members, Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, said that "the Islamic Republic of Iran retains the right to respond to Israel's state terrorism in the appropriate time and place".

Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; additional reporting by Elwely Elwelly; Editing by William Mallard, Hugh Lawson and David Goodman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.