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Iran vows to retaliate for raid blamed on Israel on consulate in Damascus

Iran has sworn Tuesday to respond to the deadly raid against its consulate à Damascus imputed &agrav; Israel, an unprecedented attack condemned by several countries and which increases tensions in the Middle East in the middle of the war in the Gaza Strip.

Monday, “six missiles fired by F-35 fighters” destroyed the building housing the consulate and the residence of the Iranian ambassador, killing thirteen people, six Syrians and seven Iranians, according to Iranian television. State.

The Revolutionary Guard Corps, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic, deplored the death of seven of its members, including two generals of the Quds Force, which intervenes beyond the borders, Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi.

Iran has accused Israel, its sworn enemy, but the latter has not confirmed its responsibility.

“The evil Zionist regime will be punished by our brave men. We will make it regret this crime and the others,” vowed Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The leaders of the Islamic Republic did not provide details on the nature of this response, but “necessary decisions” were taken during an emergency meeting of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council in the presence of the President Ebrahim Raïssi.

Main ally of Israel and also enemy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United States has assured that it has “nothing to do” with the strike, according to the White House.

Deputy Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh assured that Israel had not informed the United States beforehand . “We were not informed by the Israelis of their strike or the intended target in Damascus,” she said.

“We have made it very clear to Iran, through private channels, that we were not responsible for this strike,” she said.

UN chief Antonio Guterres “condemned” the strike, calling to “respect international law” and “avoid any escalation”.

Iran vows to retaliate for raid blamed on Israel on consulate in Damascus

The rubble of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, after a strike blamed on Israel, April 2, 2024 in Syria © AFP – Louai Beshara

At Russia's request, the UN Security Council met in open session regarding this raid.

Israeli strikes “are intended to further fuel the conflict. They are completely unacceptable and must stop,” said Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassili Nebenzia .

Iran called on the Council to “condemn this terrorist attack perpetrated by the Israeli regime in the strongest possible terms”.

– “Message to the Americans” –

China also condemned the raid as a “violation” of “the security of diplomatic institutions” , while the European Union called for “restraint”.

For his part, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad presented “his condolences” to his Iranian counterpart, attributing the attack to the “Zionist entity” (a reference to Israel), according to a presidential press release.

Iran vows to retaliate for raid blamed on Israel on consulate in Damascus

A poster on a street in Tehran, April 2, 2024, showing Israeli army officials, their faces surrounded by a red circle, after a strike blamed on Israel on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria © AFP – ATTA KENARE

The head of Iranian diplomacy Hossein Amir-Abdollahian announced that he had sent “an important message” to the United States, which, “as supporters of the Zionist regime”, “must assume their responsibilities”.

Monday's strikes are the first to target an Iranian diplomatic building in Syria, a country in civil war since 2011 where Iran and its allies support the power of President Bashar al-Assad.

Iraq stressed on Tuesday that this action could bring “more chaos and instability” to the Middle East, as fears of see the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip degenerate into a regional conflict.

So far, Iran has increased its declarations of support for Hamas and accused Israel of carrying out a “genocide”, while denying any involvement in the attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement against Israel on October 7, which sparked the war in Gaza.

But its allies, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Yemeni Houthi rebels, have carried out attacks in support of the Palestinians.

– Tribute Friday –

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in neighboring Syria against Syrian power positions and pro-Iranian groups, such as Hezbollah , and Iranian military targets since the start of the war in that country in 2011.

Iran vows to retaliate for raid blamed on Israel on consulate in Damascus

The Iranian flag at half-mast on the embassy building the day after an airstrike blamed on Israel on the Iranian consular section, April 2, 2024 in Damascus, Syria © AFP – Louai Beshara

Many Iranian military officials have been targeted in the past by strikes in Syria, such as General Razi Moussavi, a key commander of the Quds Force, killed in January in a missile strike south of Damascus attributed to Israel.

Strikes have intensified since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas. Monday's raid in Damascus was the fifth to target Syria in eight days.

In Damascus, an AFP journalist noted that the consular section of the Iranian embassy had been completely destroyed. The windows of buildings up to 500 meters away were broken and a large number of cars damaged.

A tribute will be paid in Tehran to the seven Iranian dead on Friday, the day of Al Quds Day, celebrated every year since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 to support the Palestinian cause and denounce Israel.


All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116