Iran Consulate Assault in Damascus: What Do We Know?


Iran has promised to reply after its embassy within the Syrian capital, Damascus, was destroyed in a suspected Israeli missile assault that killed seven individuals, together with a prime commander and his deputy.

Brigadier Common Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Quds Pressure, and his deputy, Common Mohammad Hadi Hazriyahimi have been killed in Monday's assault, the IRGC stated in a press release.

Israel has lengthy focused Iran's navy installations and its proxies in Syria, however Monday's assault was the primary time it focused the embassy compound itself.

Right here's what we all know:

What occurred?

The assault on the consulate, situated subsequent to the principle embassy constructing within the Mezzeh district of Damascus, occurred round 5pm (14:00 GMT) on Monday.

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

Who was there?

In keeping with the IRGC assertion, a number of IRGC navy advisers have been within the constructing on the time of the assault and 7 individuals have been killed.

The assertion stated the lifeless included Zahedi and Hazriyahimi.

It stated Zahedi was the chief of the Quds Pressure in Lebanon and Syria till 2016.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom-based struggle monitor, stated at the least 11 individuals had been killed, together with eight Iranians, two Syrians and one Lebanese, all fighters.

How has Iran responded?

Iran's ambassador to Syria, Hussein Akbari, who was not injured within the assault, stated Tehran's response could be “decisive”.

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

In a separate assertion, Iranian Overseas Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani stated Iran “reserves the fitting to reply and can determine on the kind of response and the punishment of the attacker”.

Iran's mission to the United Nations stated the assault was a “gross violation of the UN Constitution, worldwide legislation and the basic precept of inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises”.

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

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

How have others reacted?

Syria stated “innocents” have been killed within the assault.

Syrian Overseas Minister Faisal Mekdad, who visited the scene with the Syrian inside minister, stated, “We strongly condemn this brutal terrorist assault, which focused the Iranian Consulate constructing in Damascus and took the lives of many harmless individuals “

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

“We strongly condemn this unacceptable assault towards the Iranian Consulate in Syria,” Russia's Overseas Ministry stated in a press release.

Protesters in Tehran.  They are holding posters of Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in 2020.
Protests occurred in Tehran after the assault and folks carried posters for the IRGC's Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in 2020 (Vahid Salemi/AP)

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

Hezbollah has carried out nearly every day cross-border fireplace with Israel in assist of its ally Hamas because the Gaza struggle started in October.

“Actually, this crime is not going to finish with out punishing and avenging the enemy,” Hezbollah stated in a press release on Tuesday. It added that Zahedi “was one of many first to assist, sacrifice and persevere for a few years to develop and advance the work of the resistance (Hezbollah) in Lebanon”.

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

In the meantime, in the US, State Division spokesman Matthew Miller informed reporters that Washington is worried about “something that may escalate or escalate battle within the area”.

Requested concerning the assault, an Israeli navy spokesman informed reporters: “We don’t touch upon stories in international media.”

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

What might be the implications?

The assault seems to sign a rise in Israel's concentrating on of navy officers from Iran, which offers funding and arms to radical teams combating Israel in Gaza and alongside its border with Lebanon.

However analysts seem divided on whether or not the motion would result in regional struggle.

John Alterman of the Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Research in Washington, DC, stated Israel most likely seen the assault as a deterrent.

“The Israelis are satisfied that in the event that they have been to withdraw, the menace would improve and never lower,” he stated. “They're assured that so long as they maintain doing one thing like this occasionally, their opponents shall be discouraged.”

Nevertheless, Steven Cook dinner, an analyst on the Council on Overseas Relations in Washington, stated there was a danger of tensions escalating.

“The IRGC might loosen sanctions on proxies in Iraq and Syria, placing U.S. forces in danger once more,” he stated. “The Iranians might additionally direct Hezbollah to extend its assaults on Israel, which have gotten more and more extra daring and quite a few.”

Israel's navy chief spokesman Daniel Hagari stated Monday a drone assault on a naval base in southern Israel was “directed by Iran” and triggered no casualties.

Early Tuesday, the Israeli navy stated some sort of weapon fired from Syria towards Israel crashed earlier than reaching its meant goal.

Ali Waze, director of the Worldwide Disaster Group's Iran Challenge, agreed that there’s a danger of prolonged battle however that it is probably not of a lot concern to Israel.

“(This) places Israel in a win-win state of affairs as a result of Israel is aware of that Iran doesn’t need to be dragged right into a regional struggle, so if it will increase its assaults towards Iranian belongings and personnel in Syria, it’ll most likely be cost-free. And if Iran responds and retaliates, it turns into a justifiable pretext for escalation of the struggle.

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