Tehran vowed to retaliate after an attack blamed on Israel destroyed the Iranian consulate in Syria and killed 12 people.


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran vowed on Tuesday to respond to a Airstrikes largely attributed to Israel which destroyed the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus yesterday and killed 12 people, including two Iranian generals and a member of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Four Syrian civilians were also killed in the attack, a Syrian official said on Tuesday, without giving details. Hezbollah, which has been a key ally of both the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran, also vowed “punishment and revenge” against Israel.

Zahra Ershadi, Iran's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told a controversial emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council that some Iranians had been injured, but “the final and exact death toll is uncertain because the entire diplomatic compound is covered in rubble with people buried in it.” have been destroyed.”

Israel who has Iranian officers were repeatedly targeted in Syria and Lebanon, did not confirm Monday's attack.

Iran provides the money. Arms to Hezbollah and Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fighting against Israel in Gaza. Since then, clashes between Israel and Hezbollah have escalated along the border between Israel and Lebanon. The war in Gaza started six months ago. O

Iran's Supreme National Security Council, a key decision-making body, met late Monday and decided on the “desired” response to the attack, state television reported. It said the meeting was chaired by President Ibrahim Raisi, but did not provide further details.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who makes the final decision on all state affairs in Iran, said, “We will make them regret their crimes and similar actions.”

The U.S. National Security Council said the U.S. had no role in the attack in Damascus and was not aware of it ahead of time. US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood told the UN Security Council that “we have communicated this directly to Iran,” adding that the United States “cannot confirm any information about this incident.”

Ershadi accused Israel of endangering regional and international peace and declared that “the United States is responsible for all the crimes of the Israeli government.”

He said Iran had shown “considerable restraint” but Israel must now bear “full responsibility” for the consequences of the attack. Iran reserves its rights under international law and the UN Charter “to respond decisively to such reprehensible acts”.

US Wood urged Iran and its proxies and partners in the region – Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis – to de-escalate tensions, and he reiterated earlier US warnings to them not to take advantage of the situation. Resume your attacks on America. Staff.”

Almost all council members expressed concern that the Damascus offensive, along with the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, could spread throughout the Middle East region and beyond.

It was unclear if and when Iran would respond, but any retaliation by Tehran would risk a dangerous confrontation with Israel and the United States.

Later on Tuesday, Assad offered his condolences and condemned Israel in a telephone call with Raisi, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.

The airstrike killed General Mohammad Reza Zahidi, who until 2016 led the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria, his deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Hajrihimi, and five other officers. Hussain Yusuf, a member of Hezbollah, was also killed in this attack.

Syrian Health Minister Hassan al-Ghash said that four Syrian civilians were killed in the airstrike and 13 others were seriously injured. He also did not give any information about the injured.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, said the Syrians were members of pro-Iranian militias but did not elaborate.

While announcing Yusuf's death on Tuesday, Hezbollah also did not provide any details about him. It said Zahidi was instrumental in helping “develop and advance” the group's work in Lebanon.

“This crime will certainly not go unpunished and retribution to the enemy,” Hezbollah's statement said.

Syrian Prime Minister Hossein Arnous said after visiting the Iranian embassy in Damascus that rescue workers were still searching for bodies under the rubble of the consulate building.

Since On October 7, the Gaza war beganIran's proxies have stepped up attacks, with daily cross-border exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel, and frequent attacks on Red Sea shipping by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Israel, which rarely acknowledges strikes against Iranian targets, said it had no comment on the latest attack in Syria, although a military spokesman blamed Iran. Drone attack on Monday morning Against a naval base in southern Israel.

Israel, increasingly uncomfortable with exchanges with Hezbollah, has warned of the possibility of an all-out war. The Houthis have also fired long-range missiles towards Israel, including on Monday.

Israeli Defense Minister Yves Gallant said the country was at war on multiple fronts “both offensively and defensively.”

“We see evidence of this every day, including the last few days,” Gallant told the Israeli parliament's defense and foreign affairs committee. “We work everywhere, every day, to stop our enemies from gaining power and to make it clear to anyone who works against us – throughout the Middle East – that the price of action against Israel will be heavy. “

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who received a call from Iran's foreign minister on Tuesday, condemned the attack on the Iranian consulate and reaffirmed the “principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises” on Tuesday. According to his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric. Guterres also said that diplomatic personnel “must be respected in all cases in accordance with international law.”

At the UN Security Council meeting, Russia's UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia criticized the US, UK and France for their failure to condemn Israel's violation of international law and for deliberately attacking diplomatic bases. .

He then told reporters that Russia would condemn the attack in the Security Council. Asked if he had any advice for Iran, Nebenezia replied, “My advice to Israel is to exercise restraint and not inflame further tensions, which they did this time.” '

America's Wood responded: “On the contrary, it is Iran and its proxies that are conducting multiple attacks across the region.”

Under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Immunity, the premises of a diplomatic mission are inviolable.

Gulf kingdoms Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have condemned the strike as fears of a wider regional conflict grow. The 22-state Arab League criticized Israel, saying it aimed to “escalate the war and push the region into chaos.”

Iran's state news agency IRNA said Iran delivered an important message to the United States late on Monday, delivered by the Swiss envoy in Tehran. Switzerland looks after US interests in Iran because Washington and Tehran do not have diplomatic relations.

IRNA also said Iran was responsible for the attack, a close ally of the US, Israel.

Meanwhile, a U.S. defense official said U.S. forces detected and destroyed an attack drone in al-Tanf Garrison in Syria on Monday afternoon.

There were no casualties and no damage to infrastructure. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details that have not yet been made public. The official said the drone was in the vicinity of the base, but it was unclear if it was targeting the base.

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Chehib reported from Beirut. Associated Press writers Sami Magdi in Cairo, Alan Nickmeier and Tara Kopp in Washington, and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.



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