Iranian embassy bombed in Syria in suspected Israeli airstrike, top commander killed

Iranian embassy bombed in Syria in suspected Israeli airstrike, top commander killed

Suspected Israeli aircrafts targeted Iran's embassy in Syria on Monday, a move seen as an escalation of Israel's conflict with Iran's regional allies.


Suspected Israeli aircrafts targeted Iran's embassy in Syria on Monday, a move seen as an escalation of Israel's conflict with Iran's regional allies. The strike resulted in the demolition of a building and, according to Tehran, caused the death of a high-ranking Revolutionary Guards commander and several diplomats.

Syria's Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad expressed strong condemnation of the attack, which he classified as a 'terrorist attack' that claimed the lives of innocent individuals. Iran's ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, confirmed that the strike hit a consular building within the embassy compound, and his residence, located on the top two floors, was also affected.

He, however, was unscathed. Among the deceased was Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in Iran's Quds Force, a premier foreign espionage and paramilitary wing. Israel, known to have targeted Iran's military installations in Syria in the past, has reportedly attacked its embassy for the first time.

Israel declined to comment on 'reports in the foreign media', but the New York Times quoted four unnamed Israeli officials who confirmed Israel's involvement in the attack.

Iran's UN mission has labeled the recent attack on its premises as a 'flagrant violation' of the United Nations Charter and international law, emphasizing the principle of inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises. Tehran has also stated that it reserves the right to take a decisive response.

The Lebanese group, Hezbollah, viewed as Iran's most potent armed proxy in the region, has pledged retaliation. The attack was also condemned by Muslim nations such as Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, along with Russia.

The deceased in the attack include Haji Rahimi, a coordinator for the Quds Force, and five others. Iran claims the attack was executed using F-35 warplanes, marking the first time an official Iranian building, flying the Islamic Republic's flag, has been attacked by the 'Zionist regime'.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Israel's military spokesperson, has revealed that a building, earlier believed to be a consulate or embassy, is in fact a disguised military structure of the Quds forces. He further reported a drone attack on a naval base in southern Israel on Monday, allegedly directed by Iran, which resulted in no casualties.

In response to the strike, Akbari has promised revenge of the same severity. Analysts, including Steven Cook from the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, anticipate retaliation from Iran.

Cook suggests that Iran may direct Hezbollah to intensify its attacks on Israel or release restraints on proxies in Iraq and Syria, thereby putting American forces at risk. Israel has been engaged in a prolonged war in Gaza since October 7, following a massacre by Hamas that claimed 1200 lives within Israel. The ongoing retaliatory strikes have resulted in the death of thousands of Palestinians. It is widely believed that several militant groups targeting Israel receive backing from Iran.

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Edited By: Nandita Borah
Published On: Apr 02, 2024