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Israeli raid on Iranian embassy annex in Damascus kills eight

Photo: Louai Beshara Agence France-Presse The Syrian Defense Ministry said the strike had “completely destroyed the building” attached to the Iranian embassy, ​​located in Mazzeh, a district of Damascus that houses embassies and United Nations buildings.

France Media Agency in Damascus

April 1, 2024

  • Middle East

A raid blamed on Israel targeted an annex of the Iranian embassy in Damascus on Monday, with an NGO reporting eight deaths, in an extremely tense regional context against a backdrop of war in the Gaza Strip.

This is the fifth raid in eight days targeting Syria, where Iran and its allies support the power of Bashar al-Assad.

“The Israeli enemy launched airstrikes from the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting the Iranian embassy annex in Damascus,” said the Syrian Defense Ministry, which reported several dead and injured.

He added that the strike had “completely destroyed the building”, located in Mazzeh according to the official Syrian news agency Sana, a neighborhood which is home to embassies and United Nations buildings.

“All those inside were killed or injured,” the ministry continued.

“We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack” which killed “a number of innocent people,” declared Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in a statement carried by Sana.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), an NGO based in the United Kingdom but which has a vast network of sources in the country, reported eight deaths in this “Israeli missile” attack.

The unharmed ambassador

In Tehran, Iran's Nour news agency reported that “Hossein Akbari, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Damascus, and his family were not injured in the Israeli attack.”< /p>

This attack “shows the reality of the Zionist entity which does not recognize any international law and does everything inhumane to achieve its objectives,” commented Mr. Akbari, quoted by the Sana agency.

An AFP correspondent on site confirmed that the embassy annex building had been completely destroyed by the strike.

A commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's ideological army, was among those killed, Iranian state media reported.

“Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, one of the top commanders of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was martyred during an attack by Zionist regime fighters on the annex of the “Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus,” Iranian state television Irib said.

The Quds Force is, within the Revolutionary Guards, responsible for operations outside Iran.

According to the OSDH, the death toll includes five other members of the Revolutionary Guards and two Iranian advisors.

AFP photos show the building completely destroyed, reduced to a state of ruin. Not far from the scene, dozens of men gathered in front of the scene. An ambulance is on site.

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

The strikes have intensified since the October 7 start of the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, an ally of Israel's enemies Hezbollah and Iran.

Israeli strikes at the same time target Hezbollah officials in Lebanon, from where the pro-Iranian Shiite formation carries out attacks against Israel.

Israel rarely comments on its strikes in Syria but says it would not allow Iran, its sworn enemy, to gain a foothold on its border.

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