Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards
Members of Iran's Revolutionary GuardsReuters

A spokesman for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on Monday rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statements that Israel had attacked Iranian bases in Syria, saying they are completely “baseless” and “false.”

“If the IRGC had had 12 casualties, there should have been funerals in Iran for them over the past 20 days,” said spokesman Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif, according to the Mehr news agency.

comments follow last week’s Israeli air strikes on Iranian targets in Damascus, which came in retaliation for the launching of a surface-to-surface rocket by Iranian Quds toward the northern Golan Heights.

In the past, Israel has not publicly commented on its air strikes in Syria, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu broke with his country’s long-standing policy of not publicly accepting responsibility for airstrikes in Syria, and acknowledged that Israel’s air force had attacked Iranian weapons depots at the Damascus International Airport.

After last week’s Israeli air strike, Netanyahu warned Iran and Syria that Israel will not tolerate “acts of aggression”, nor will it accept Iran’s continued presence on Syrian soil.

Iran is a key supporter of the Assad regime in Syria, having providing the regime with both financial aid and military advisers against a range of opposing forces since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops.

However, Iranian officials regularly deny that the Islamic Republic has a military presence in Syria and claim that Iran only sent “advisers” to Syria to help fight “terrorists”.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made clear last summer that Iran would withdraw its “military advisers” from Syria and Iraq only if their governments wanted it to.

More recently, Iran's defense minister visited Damascus and said his country will continue its support of the Syrian government, while stressing the nature of the two countries' cooperation won't be decided by a "third party."