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Iran's Khamenei says Israel ‘will be punished' for Syria consulate attack

7 Iranian military officers, including top IRGC commander, killed in Monday's consulate attack in Damascus

16:22 - 2/04/2024 Tuesday
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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed Tuesday that Israel “will be punished” for an attack on the Iranian Consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus, that killed seven military officers, including a top commander.

Khamenei said the “evil regime” will be “punished at the hands of our brave men,” adding that the Iranian military will make Israel “regret the crime.”

Seven officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were killed in a missile strike on Monday that targeted a building housing the consular affairs section of the Iranian Embassy.

Among those killed were General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander of the IRGC's Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, and his deputy General Hadi Haj Rahimi.

Khamenei paid tribute to both IRGC commanders, saying the grief of their killing is “heavy for the Iranian nation, especially those who knew them.”

Zahedi was a veteran IRGC commander who previously commanded the IRGC's ground force and air force and also served as the deputy commander of the IRGC's military operations.

Iranian Ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, told reporters following the attack on Monday that the consular affairs building was attacked with F-35 warplanes and six missiles, blaming Israel for it.

Israeli Army Radio, however, said the Iranian Embassy was not the target of the attack, but a nearby building serving as an IRGC military headquarters in Damascus, without taking responsibility for it.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi strongly condemned the consulate attack and warned that it “will not go unanswered.”

Raisi said the attack constitutes “a clear violation of international regulations,” adding that Israel has “put blind assassinations on its agenda in the struggle to save itself” after “repeated defeats and failures” against the resistance forces.

Raisi's statement came hours after Iran's Supreme National

Security Council, the top government security body, held an emergency meeting in his presence to discuss the consulate attack.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a phone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad on Monday, said the attack was in breach of international conventions and warned that Israel “will be responsible for its consequences.”

In a post on X, the top Iranian diplomat later announced that the Swiss embassy official in Tehran, the protector of US interests in Iran, was summoned to the foreign ministry.

​​​​​​​Monday's attack came amid heightened tensions in the region in the wake of Israel's deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip, which killed nearly 32,900 people since last October, and a string of attacks on Israeli and US interests in the region by Iran-backed groups.

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18 days ago