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Israeli Strike on Iranian Consulate in Syria Results in Deadly Consequences

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Image Credit: NDTV

In a recent development, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards reported a devastating Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate building situated in Damascus, Syria’s capital. The attack resulted in the tragic loss of seven officers, including high-ranking commanders Brig-Gen Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Brig-Gen Mohammad Hadi Haji-Rahimi.

Both the Iranian and Syrian governments strongly condemned the assault, which not only targeted the Iranian consulate but also caused significant damage to a neighboring building adjacent to the Iranian embassy. The Israeli military refrained from commenting on these foreign media reports, although it has previously acknowledged conducting numerous strikes in Syria, primarily targeting entities associated with Iran and allied armed groups.

The frequency of Israeli strikes has notably increased since the eruption of the Gaza conflict in October last year. These strikes are often perceived as a response to cross-border attacks originating from Hezbollah and other Iran-backed groups in Lebanon and Syria. However, the latest attack on the Iranian consulate signifies a significant escalation in hostilities.

Observers interpret this move as a deliberate attempt by Israel to test the resolve of Iran and its allies while signaling its intent to intensify pressure on perceived adversaries. The Israeli government’s actions are viewed as a strategic maneuver aimed at gauging the reaction of Iran and Hezbollah amidst ongoing tensions in the region.

The strike on the Iranian consulate reportedly occurred around 17:00 local time, with Syrian air defenses intercepting some of the missiles launched by Israeli aircraft. Despite these efforts, several missiles managed to penetrate defenses, resulting in the complete destruction of the targeted building and tragic loss of life.

Photos and videos from the scene depict scenes of devastation, with smoke billowing from the collapsed structure. The Iranian embassy adjacent to the consulate appeared relatively unscathed, indicating that the attack was specifically aimed at the consulate building.

Iranian Ambassador Hossein Akbari described the assault as a brutal act perpetrated by Israeli F-35 fighter jets, resulting in casualties among diplomats and military attaches. The Revolutionary Guards confirmed the deaths of seven officers, including the aforementioned high-ranking commanders, describing them as senior military advisers.

Among those killed, Brig-Gen Mohammad Reza Zahedi was a prominent figure within the Quds Force, having served in significant roles in Lebanon and Syria. His death marks another high-profile casualty in Israel’s campaign of targeted assassinations against Iranian officials.

In response to the attack, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad condemned the “heinous terrorist attack,” emphasizing the loss of innocent lives. Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian denounced the strike as a flagrant violation of international obligations, holding the Zionist regime accountable for the consequences.

The incident has garnered international attention, with the White House confirming President Joe Biden’s awareness of the reports. Additionally, IDF spokesperson Rear Adm Daniel Hagari labeled a recent drone attack on an Israeli naval base in Eilat as a “very serious incident,” attributing it to Iran.

This latest escalation comes amidst a series of suspected Israeli strikes in Syria, further exacerbating tensions in the region. As the situation unfolds, the ramifications of these actions on regional stability and diplomatic relations remain a cause for concern, prompting calls for a concerted international response to mitigate further escalation.

This story was originally featured on BBC

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