Iran today vowed to punish Israel for an airstrike that killed seven Revolutionary Guards, including one of the Islamic Republic's top generals, at its consulate in the Syrian capital yesterday. Monday's strike leveled a five-story building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing at least 13 people including General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, according to Iranian officials.

Iran today vowed to punish Israel for an airstrike that killed seven Revolutionary Guards, including one of the Islamic Republic's top generals, at its consulate in the Syrian capital yesterday. Monday's strike leveled a five-story building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing at least 13 people including General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, according to Iranian officials.

Iran today vowed to punish Israel for an airstrike that killed seven Revolutionary Guards, including one of the Islamic Republic’s top generals, at its consulate in the Syrian capital yesterday. Monday’s strike leveled a five-story building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing at least 13 people including General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, according to Iranian officials.

Zahedi, 63, had held a succession of commands in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' foreign operations arm, the Quds Force, over a career spanning more than four decades. His deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Hajriahimi, was also killed. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this morning delivered a stern message on his official website, claiming the Islamic Republic will seek retribution. 'The evil Zionist regime will be punished at the hands of our brave men. We will make them regret this crime and the other ones,' Khamenei said. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also condemned the attack as a 'clear violation of international regulations' which 'will not go unanswered'.

Zahedi, 63, had held a succession of commands in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations arm, the Quds Force, over a career spanning more than four decades. His deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Hajriahimi, was also killed. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this morning delivered a stern message on his official website, claiming the Islamic Republic will seek retribution. ‘The evil Zionist regime will be punished at the hands of our brave men. We will make them regret this crime and the other ones,’ Khamenei said. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also condemned the attack as a ‘clear violation of international regulations’ which ‘will not go unanswered’.

'After repeated defeats and failures against the faith and will of the Resistance Front fighters, the Zionist regime has put blind assassinations on its agenda in the struggle to save itself,' Raisi said on his office's website. Israel has declined to comment on the strike - the latest in a string of incidents which have only stoked fears that the bitter conflict between Israel and Iranian ally Hamas could trigger the spread of widespread violence throughout the Middle East. Iran's ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, told Iranian state TV that the attack 'was carried out by F-35 fighter jets' which fired six missiles at the building.

‘After repeated defeats and failures against the faith and will of the Resistance Front fighters, the Zionist regime has put blind assassinations on its agenda in the struggle to save itself,’ Raisi said on his office’s website. Israel has declined to comment on the strike – the latest in a string of incidents which have only stoked fears that the bitter conflict between Israel and Iranian ally Hamas could trigger the spread of widespread violence throughout the Middle East. Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, told Iranian state TV that the attack ‘was carried out by F-35 fighter jets’ which fired six missiles at the building.

Only the gate of the building was left standing after the attack, with a sign reading 'the consular section of the embassy of Iran', he said. Windows were shattered within a 500-metre (550 yard) radius and many parked cars were damaged by the blast. The adjacent facade of the Iranian embassy is decorated with a large portrait of Qasem Soleimani, a longtime Quds Force chief who was killed in a US drone strike just outside Baghdad airport in January 2020.

Only the gate of the building was left standing after the attack, with a sign reading ‘the consular section of the embassy of Iran’, he said. Windows were shattered within a 500-metre (550 yard) radius and many parked cars were damaged by the blast. The adjacent facade of the Iranian embassy is decorated with a large portrait of Qasem Soleimani, a longtime Quds Force chief who was killed in a US drone strike just outside Baghdad airport in January 2020.

Iran's foreign minister said Israel's main backer the United States also bore responsibility for the strike, even though an unidentified US official quoted by Axios insisted Washington 'had no involvement' or advanced knowledge of it. Amir-Abdollahian said on X that the ministry had summoned a diplomat from the Swiss embassy, which looks after US interests in Iran, to hear its protest. 'An important message was sent to the American government as the supporter of the Zionist regime. America must be held accountable,' he said in the post. Iran's mission to the United Nations warned the strike could 'potentially ignite more conflict involving other nations' and called on the Security Council 'to condemn this unjustified criminal act.'

Iran’s foreign minister said Israel’s main backer the United States also bore responsibility for the strike, even though an unidentified US official quoted by Axios insisted Washington ‘had no involvement’ or advanced knowledge of it. Amir-Abdollahian said on X that the ministry had summoned a diplomat from the Swiss embassy, which looks after US interests in Iran, to hear its protest. ‘An important message was sent to the American government as the supporter of the Zionist regime. America must be held accountable,’ he said in the post. Iran’s mission to the United Nations warned the strike could ‘potentially ignite more conflict involving other nations’ and called on the Security Council ‘to condemn this unjustified criminal act.’

Meanwhile, Lebanon's Hezbollah, another ally of Iran, said that General Zahedi played a crucial role in helping 'develop and advance the work' of the group in Lebanon. A Hezbollah member was also killed in the strike, it is believed, after the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a Lebanese man died in the blast. 'This crime will certainly not pass without the enemy receiving punishment and revenge,' Hezbollah said in a statement. The UN Security Council is now set to discuss the strike later today at a meeting requested by Syrian ally Russia. Israel, which rarely acknowledges strikes against Iranian targets, said it had no comment on the latest attack in Syria, although a military spokesman blamed Iran for a drone attack against a naval base in southern Israel on Monday.

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, another ally of Iran, said that General Zahedi played a crucial role in helping ‘develop and advance the work’ of the group in Lebanon. A Hezbollah member was also killed in the strike, it is believed, after the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a Lebanese man died in the blast. ‘This crime will certainly not pass without the enemy receiving punishment and revenge,’ Hezbollah said in a statement. The UN Security Council is now set to discuss the strike later today at a meeting requested by Syrian ally Russia. Israel, which rarely acknowledges strikes against Iranian targets, said it had no comment on the latest attack in Syria, although a military spokesman blamed Iran for a drone attack against a naval base in southern Israel on Monday.

Israel has grown increasingly impatient with the daily exchanges of fire with Hezbollah, which have escalated in recent days, and warned of the possibility of a full-fledged war. Meanwhile, Bassam Abu Abdallah, who heads the Damascus Centre for Strategic Research and is close to the Syrian government, said that before Monday 'there were rules of engagement, but now it's an all-out war between Israel and the resistance axis'. Iran and its supporters use the term resistance axis to refer to its alliance with armed groups around the region which share its resolutely anti-Zionist and anti-American stance.

Israel has grown increasingly impatient with the daily exchanges of fire with Hezbollah, which have escalated in recent days, and warned of the possibility of a full-fledged war. Meanwhile, Bassam Abu Abdallah, who heads the Damascus Centre for Strategic Research and is close to the Syrian government, said that before Monday ‘there were rules of engagement, but now it’s an all-out war between Israel and the resistance axis’. Iran and its supporters use the term resistance axis to refer to its alliance with armed groups around the region which share its resolutely anti-Zionist and anti-American stance.

'It is now clear that the trend is towards escalation,' Abu Abdallah said, adding: 'We could start to see increased attacks against US bases in Syria, Iraq or elsewhere.' Other allies of Iran around the region and beyond voiced support for its position in the fallout of the strike on the consulate. 'China condemns the attack,' foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, adding 'the security of diplomatic institutions cannot be violated, and Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected'. The Iraqi foreign ministry condemned the attack as a 'flagrant violation of international law' and warned of 'more chaos and instability' in the region.

‘It is now clear that the trend is towards escalation,’ Abu Abdallah said, adding: ‘We could start to see increased attacks against US bases in Syria, Iraq or elsewhere.’ Other allies of Iran around the region and beyond voiced support for its position in the fallout of the strike on the consulate. ‘China condemns the attack,’ foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, adding ‘the security of diplomatic institutions cannot be violated, and Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected’. The Iraqi foreign ministry condemned the attack as a ‘flagrant violation of international law’ and warned of ‘more chaos and instability’ in the region.

Russia blamed the Israeli air force for the 'unacceptable attack against the Iranian consular mission in Syria'. Palestinian militant group Hamas condemned the strike, which it described as a 'dangerous escalation'. It comes as Nick Heras, an analyst at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, said Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu is under pressure from Washington and 'is running out of time to conduct the war in Gaza, and is instead turning to Lebanon and Syria to weaken the Iranian regional military effort'. 'Israel views the conflicts against Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon as two fronts in a transnational war against Iran, which the Iranians run from Damascus,' Heras added. He said Netanyahu 'expects Israel to have to soon fight a region-wide war with Iran' and for the United States to join it.

Russia blamed the Israeli air force for the ‘unacceptable attack against the Iranian consular mission in Syria’. Palestinian militant group Hamas condemned the strike, which it described as a ‘dangerous escalation’. It comes as Nick Heras, an analyst at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, said Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu is under pressure from Washington and ‘is running out of time to conduct the war in Gaza, and is instead turning to Lebanon and Syria to weaken the Iranian regional military effort’. ‘Israel views the conflicts against Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon as two fronts in a transnational war against Iran, which the Iranians run from Damascus,’ Heras added. He said Netanyahu ‘expects Israel to have to soon fight a region-wide war with Iran’ and for the United States to join it.

'The Israelis are trying to eliminate the most important and seasoned IRGC commanders to weaken Iranian planning and capabilities ahead of that war,' he added. The Gaza war erupted with Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack that resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures. Israel's retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed nearly 33,000 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry. Iran-backed groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen have since carried out a series of attacks on Israeli and Western targets. Read the full story:

‘The Israelis are trying to eliminate the most important and seasoned IRGC commanders to weaken Iranian planning and capabilities ahead of that war,’ he added. The Gaza war erupted with Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack that resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures. Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed nearly 33,000 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry. Iran-backed groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen have since carried out a series of attacks on Israeli and Western targets. Read the full story:

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