Iran vows revenge for alleged Israeli strike on consulate in Syria


Iran is vowing to hit back after an alleged Israeli strike hit near the Iranian embassy in Syria, killing at least seven people, including a senior commander in Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei lamented the Monday death of Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the most high-profile loss for Tehran since Israel began fighting the Iranian-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas in October.

“The evil regime will be punished by the hands of our brave warriors,” Khamenei said in a Tuesday statement, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). “We will make them regret this crime and the like by God’s grace.”

The alleged Israeli strike hit the consulate section near the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, killing Zahedi and six other IRGC officers, including another high-ranking official, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hadi Haj Rahimi.

Zahedi was a senior commander in the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, where Iran has a large influence, and his death prompted an outcry across the country on Monday and Tuesday.

Israeli has repeatedly struck at IRGC officers over the years in Syria, but the death of Zahedi may provoke a more passionate response from Tehran.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi convened a meeting of the Supreme National Security Council on Monday night and afterward said “appropriate decisions” were made to respond to Israel, according to IRNA.

Israel “has put blind assassinations on its agenda in its attempts to save itself,” Raisi said in a statement after the attack.

The Israeli military declined to comment on the alleged strike when contacted by The Hill. Israel has rarely acknowledged strikes on Iranian officers in Syria.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to meet later on Tuesday to discuss the strike after Iran called for an emergency session.

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