Israel bombs Iranian embassy in Damascus

Israel bombed Iran’s embassy in Damascus on April 1, killing over a dozen military personnel, Reuters reported. 

Tehran said that seven Revolutionary Guard fighters (including three senior commanders), one Hezbollah fighter, one Iranian advisor and five Iran-backed militiamen were killed as Israeli warplanes launched bombs in and around the embassy. 

Notably, the Revolutionary Guard revealed that Mohammad Reza Zahedi, one of the group’s top officials, was found dead in the vicinity of the building. 

The attack emphasised Israel’s heightened tensions with Iranian proxies as it battles with Hezbollah on a near daily basis at the border with Lebanon as well as insisting that they are only targeting Gaza-controlling group Hamas despite killing over 33,000 civilians in the Palestinian enclave since the beginning of October. 

Following the blast, Syrian officials were swift in vocalising their strong condemnations. 

The country’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad noted, “We strongly condemn this atrocious terrorist attack that targeted the Iranian consulate building in Damascus and killed a number of innocents,” 

READ: Israel strikes Iranian militia base in Damascus

Hossein Akbari, the Iranian ambassador to Syria, said at least five civilians had been killed in the attack and warned that Iran would hit back “harshly”. 

Akbari added that the strike hit a consular building in the embassy complex and that his residence was on the top two floors. 

Following the attack, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed that, “According to our intelligence, this is not a consulate or an embassy.” 

Regarding the incident, Israeli government spokesperson David Mencer told the UK’s Channel 4 News on April 2, “So I’ve got no comment on that but what I can share with you is that Daniel Hagari said quite clearly that it wasn’t a civilian embassy, it was a military base for Al-Quds (a Revolutionary Guard service branch).” 

“Iran, once again, is trying to destabilize this region not for the good of the Palestinian people, not for the good of the Arab world at large, but to destabilize this region, we’re (Israel) trying to go for peace, we’re trying to go for coexistence but we need to get rid of Hamas.” 

The official’s interview was cut short as journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy accused him of “spouting propaganda”. 

Reuters/ Channel 4 

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