Members of Syria's opposition were behind the killing this week of a senior Iranian general as he traveled from Damascus to Beirut, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday.

The assassination took place near Damascus, according to the U.K.-based group with ties to opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

Iranian state broadcaster PressTV reported Thursday on an official funeral in Tehran for Gen. Hassan Shateri, a Revolutionary Guard commander for Iran-financed reconstruction projects in South Lebanon.

Shateri was slain by "Israeli agents," PressTV said.

Because the Assad regime and its allies often describe the Syrian rebels as terrorists and mercenaries on the payroll of foreign powers, including Israel, it is not clear whether Tehran intended to accuse the Israeli government in the general's death.

Here in Beirut, meanwhile, Iran's Embassy issued a statement expressing "deep sadness" over the killing "by terrorist elements" of a man identified as Houssam Khosh Nweis, director of the Iranian Council for Reconstruction in Lebanon.

Shateri apparently went by the other name when in Lebanon. EFE