2 Apr 2024

Tension escalates as Israeli missile strike on Iranian embassy in Damascus kills 8

Iran's ambassador has said that at least five people have been killed in the Israeli attack on the Iranian Consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

According to Iran's state TV channel, senior Revolutionary Guards commander Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and his deputy have also been killed.

The multi-storey building located near the Iranian Embassy in Mezzeh district has been reduced to debris.

The foreign ministers of Iran and Syria have strongly condemned this attack.

However, Israel's army has said that it does not react to foreign media reports.

According to the Syrian Army, Israeli aircraft carried out the attack from the Golan Heights at 5 pm local time (7.30 pm Indian time) on Monday.

Pictures and videos from the incident site showed clouds of smoke and dust rising from the collapsed building and emergency services personnel were present.

However, the Iranian Embassy located next to it has not suffered any significant damage.

According to Iran's state TV channel, Brigadier General Zahedi, who has been identified as the senior commander of the Quds Force, the foreign operations wing of the Revolutionary Guards, has been killed.

Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency said 63-year-old Brigadier General Zahedi had served as a senior commander of the Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least eight people were killed in the attack, including a top Quds Force official, two Iranian advisers and five members of the Revolutionary Guards.

A White House spokeswoman said US President Joe Biden is aware of the incident and his team is "following this matter closely".

The Syrian Defense Ministry said that air defense systems shot down some of the Israeli missiles, but some of the missiles managed to destroy the entire building and kill or injure everyone inside.

The ministry has said that efforts are being made to pull out the bodies from the debris and save the injured buried below. Although nothing has been said about the number.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad "strongly condemned" the attack, calling it a "despicable terrorist attack". He said that "many innocent people have been killed in this attack."

Speaking to Merdad by phone, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called the attack a "violation of international laws and treaties" and said "responsibility for its consequences will fall on the Zionist government (Israel)."

He stressed the need for a serious response from the international world in this matter.

Earlier last week, there were suspected Israeli attacks on Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo. According to the Syrian Observatory, 53 people were killed in these attacks, including 38 Syrian soldiers. Apart from this, there were seven members of Iran-backed armed group Hezbollah.

Iran's ambassador, Akbari, vowed the attack "will lead to our decisive response," adding "The Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate shows the reality of the Zionist entity which recognizes no international laws and does all that is inhumane to achieve its goals."

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