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Israeli airstrike on Iran’s consulate in Syria kills 2 generals

staticwire | April 1, 2024

An Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria has resulted in the deaths of two Iranian generals and five officers, according to Syrian and Iranian officials. The attack, which occurred on Monday, marks an escalation in Israel’s targeting of Iranian military officials and their allies in Syria, particularly following the recent attack on Israel by Hamas militants who are supported by Iran.

The strike also comes amid increased clashes between Israel and Hezbollah, another militant group backed by Iran, along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. Israel, which typically does not acknowledge such strikes, has remained silent on this latest attack in Syria.

Among the casualties of the strike were Gen. Ali Reza Zahdi, who led the elite Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria until 2016, as well as his deputy, Gen Mohammad Hadi Hajriahimi, and five other officers. While Iran’s consular building was destroyed in the attack, the main embassy building remained intact, according to Syria’s state news agency, SANA.

Iran’s ambassador, Hossein Akbari, condemned the attack and stated that as many as seven people were killed. Rescue efforts are still ongoing to search for bodies under the rubble, with two police officers who guard the building reported as wounded. Akbari vowed revenge for the strike.

Israel’s army spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, announced that a drone attack on a naval base in southern Israel earlier on Monday was “directed by Iran.” The attack resulted in minor damage to a building with no injuries reported. The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, also supported by Iran, accused Israel of trying to escalate the conflict in Gaza.

Charles Lister, director of the Syria program at the Middle East Institute, described the strike as a “major escalation” that is likely to provoke retaliation. Syria’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad condemned the attack in a phone call with his counterpart in Iran. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, called on other countries to denounce the strike.

Israel has conducted numerous airstrikes on targets in government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, with the frequency of these strikes increasing in response to conflicts such as the ongoing clashes with Hezbollah and Hamas. The country has targeted bases of Iran-allied militant groups like Hezbollah, which has provided support to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Previous Israeli airstrikes in Syria have resulted in the deaths of Iranian advisers, including a longtime advisor of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in December and at least five advisers in a strike in January. Last week, airstrikes in the eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour near the Iraqi border also killed an Iranian adviser.

As tensions continue to rise in the region, the aftermath of the latest airstrike in Syria remains a topic of concern for international observers. The impact of these attacks on the broader geopolitical situation in the Middle East is yet to be fully understood, as the region braces for potential retaliation and further escalations.

Written by staticwire

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