Attack on Iran consulate in Damascus: What do we know?

Attack on Iran consulate in Damascus: What do we know? post thumbnail image

Iran has promised a response after its consulate within the Syrian capital Damascus was destroyed in a suspected Israeli missile assault, killing seven folks together with a prime commander and his deputy.

Brigadier Normal Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander within the Quds Pressure of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and his deputy Normal Mohammad Hadi Hajriahimi had been killed in Monday’s assault, the IRGC mentioned in a press release.

Israel has lengthy focused Iran’s army installations in Syria and people of its proxies however Monday’s assault was the primary time it had focused the embassy compound itself.

Right here’s what we all know:

What occurred?

The consulate, which is subsequent to the primary embassy constructing in Damascus’s Mezzeh district, was struck at about 5pm (14:00 GMT) on Monday.

Images from the scene confirmed piles of rubble and twisted metal with an Iranian flag nonetheless hanging from a pole close by.

Who was there?

A number of IRGC army advisers had been within the constructing on the time of the assault and 7 had been killed, in keeping with the IRGC assertion.

The assertion mentioned Zahedi and Hajriahimi had been among the many useless.

Zahedi was the chief of the Quds Pressure in Lebanon and Syria till 2016, it mentioned.

The UK-based warfare monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, mentioned as many as 11 folks had been killed, together with eight Iranians, two Syrians and one Lebanese, all of them fighters.

How has Iran reacted?

Iran’s Ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, who was not injured within the assault, mentioned Tehran’s response can be “decisive”.

Iran’s International Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian described the assault “as a violation of all worldwide obligations and conventions” and blamed Israel.

In a separate assertion, Iran’s International Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani mentioned that Iran “reserves the proper to hold out a response and can determine on the kind of response and the punishment of the aggressor”.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations mentioned the strike was a “flagrant violation of the United Nations Constitution, worldwide legislation, and the foundational precept of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises”.

Saying the strike was “a major menace to regional peace and safety”, the Iranian mission urged the UN Safety Council to sentence the assault and mentioned Tehran reserved the proper “to take a decisive response”.

Protesters took to the streets of Tehran to sentence Israel over the assault.

How have others reacted?

Syria mentioned “innocents” had been killed within the strike.

“We strongly condemn this atrocious terrorist assault that focused the Iranian consulate constructing in Damascus and killed quite a lot of innocents,” mentioned Syrian International Minister Faisal Mekdad who visited the scene of the assault together with Syria’s inside minister.

Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, additionally joined the condemnation.

“We strongly condemn this unacceptable assault in opposition to the Iranian consular mission in Syria,” Russia’s International Ministry mentioned in a press release.

Protesters in Tehran. They are holding up posters of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone attack in 2020.
There have been protests in Tehran after the assault with folks carrying posters for the IRGC’s Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone assault in 2020 [Vahid Salemi/AP]

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group warned that Israel would pay for the assault.

Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily cross-border hearth with Israel in help of its ally Hamas because the Gaza warfare erupted in October.

“Actually, this crime won’t cross with out the enemy receiving punishment and revenge,” Hezbollah mentioned in a press release on Tuesday. It added that Zahedi was “one of many first to help, sacrifice, and persevere for a few years to develop and advance the work of the resistance [Hezbollah] in Lebanon”.

Muslim international locations together with Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates additionally condemned the assault.

In the USA, in the meantime, State Division spokesperson Matthew Miller advised reporters that Washington remained “involved about something that may be escalatory or trigger a rise in battle within the area”.

When requested concerning the assault, an Israeli army spokesperson advised journalists: “We don’t touch upon experiences within the overseas media.”

The New York Instances cited 4 unnamed Israeli officers as acknowledging that Israel was chargeable for the assault.

What might the results be?

The assault appeared to suggest an escalation of Israel’s focusing on of army officers from Iran, which supplies cash and weapons to hardline teams combating Israel in Gaza and alongside its border with Lebanon.

However analysts seem divided over whether or not the motion would convey a few regional warfare.

Jon Alterman of the Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research in Washington, DC, mentioned Israel most likely noticed the strike extra as a deterrent.

“The Israelis are satisfied that in the event that they search to hold again, the menace will develop and never diminish,” he mentioned. “They’re persuaded that so long as they do one thing like this periodically, their adversaries will probably be deterred.”

Nevertheless, Steven Cook dinner, an analyst on the Council on International Relations in Washington, mentioned there was a hazard of escalation.

“The IRGC can loosen restraints on proxies in Iraq and Syria, putting American forces in jeopardy once more,” he mentioned. “The Iranians might additionally direct Hezbollah to escalate its assaults on Israel, which have been rising bolder and extra quite a few.”

The chief spokesman for Israel’s military, Daniel Hagari, mentioned a drone assault on a naval base in southern Israel in a while Monday was “directed by Iran” and induced no accidents.

Early on Tuesday, the Israeli army mentioned some sort of weapon fired from Syria in direction of Israel crashed earlier than reaching its meant goal.

Ali Vaez, the director of the Worldwide Disaster Group’s Iran Mission, agreed there was a threat of expanded battle however that it won’t be of an excessive amount of concern to Israel.

“[This] places Israel in a win-win scenario as a result of Israel is aware of Iran doesn’t wish to get dragged right into a regional warfare, so if it escalates its assaults in opposition to Iranian belongings and personnel in Syria, it most likely will probably be cost-free and if Iran does reply and retaliate, then it turns into a justified pretext for increasing the warfare.”

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