Iran says enemy will 'regret' Guards killings after Israeli strike razes embassy annex in Syria

AFP , Saturday 6 Apr 2024

Iran on Saturday again threatened retaliation for the deaths of seven Revolutionary Guards killed in an Israeli strike on Damascus, with the army chief saying his country's enemies will "regret" the killings.

Iranian Armed Forces chief Mohammad Bagheri. Photo courtesy Mehr News Agency


Tehran has vowed to avenge Israel's air strike on Monday that levelled the Iranian embassy's consular annex in Damascus, killing seven Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) members including two generals.

Iran's response "will be carried out at the right time, with the necessary precision and planning, and with maximum damage to the enemy so that they regret their action," chief of staff Mohammad Bagheri said on Saturday.

He was speaking at a ceremony in the central city of Isfahan to commemorate Mohammad Reza Zahedi, one of the two dead brigadier generals from the Quds Force, the IRGC's foreign operations arm.

Zahedi, 63, was Quds Force commander for the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Lebanon, according to Britain-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

He had held several commands during a career spanning more than 40 years, and was the most senior Iranian soldier killed since a United States missile strike at Baghdad airport in 2020 killed Quds Force chief General Qasem Soleimani.

On Saturday, crowds at the gathering in Isfahan chanted "Down with Israel!" and "Down with the United States!"

The Islamic republic's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Israel "will be punished" for the killings.

Monday's strike in Damascus took place against the backdrop of Israel's war on Gaza which killed at least 33,091 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in nearly six months of war, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Tehran backs Hamas but has denied any direct involvement in the attack.

Monday's attack in Damascus, which the Observatory said killed 16 people, was the fifth Israeli raid on Syria in a week.

Tehran does not recognise Israel, and the two countries have fought a shadow war for years.

Iran says Israel has carried out a wave of sabotage attacks and assassinations targeting its nuclear programme.

On Friday, IRGC chief General Hossein Salami warned that Israel "cannot escape the consequences" of the Damascus strike.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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