Wed. Apr 17th, 2024
alert-–-iran-vows-‘harsh’-retaliation-after-‘israeli-airstrike’-destroys-tehran-consulate-in-syria-‘killing-and-injuring-everyone-inside’-including-revolutionary-guard-military-commanderAlert – Iran vows ‘harsh’ retaliation after ‘Israeli airstrike’ destroys Tehran consulate in Syria ‘killing and injuring everyone inside’ including Revolutionary Guard military commander

Iran has promised to launch a ‘harsh’ retaliation against Israel after an airstrike destroyed the its consulate in Syria, reportedly killing a senior Iranian military adviser and roughly a handful of other people.

The strike on the Iranian consulate building in Damascus killed as many as seven people, Iranian Ambassador Hossein Akbari said, before condemning Israel and vowing revenge for the strike ‘at the same magnitude and harshness’.

The ambassador added that emergency services are still searching for any other bodies under the rubble, but confirmed that two police officers who guard the building were also wounded in the attack.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets in government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years.

Such airstrikes have escalated in recent months against the backdrop of Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and ongoing clashes between Israel’s military and Hezbollah on the Lebanon-Israel border.

Iran has promised to launch a 'harsh' retaliation against Israel after an airstrike destroyed the its consulate in Damascus, Syria. Emergency services are pictured at the building today

Iran has promised to launch a ‘harsh’ retaliation against Israel after an airstrike destroyed the its consulate in Damascus, Syria. Emergency services are pictured at the building today

The strike on the Iranian consulate building killed as many as seven people, an Iranian Ambassador has claimed. Emergency personnel are pictured today extinguishing a fire at the site of strikes which hit a building next to the Iranian embassy

The strike on the Iranian consulate building killed as many as seven people, an Iranian Ambassador has claimed. Emergency personnel are pictured today extinguishing a fire at the site of strikes which hit a building next to the Iranian embassy

IRGC leader Mohammed Reza Zahedi (pictured) was killed in the attack, security sources have reported

IRGC leader Mohammed Reza Zahedi (pictured) was killed in the attack, security sources have reported

Iran has condemned Israel and vowed revenge for the strike 'at the same magnitude and harshness'. Emergency and security personnel are pictured at the strike site in Damascus today

Iran has condemned Israel and vowed revenge for the strike ‘at the same magnitude and harshness’. Emergency and security personnel are pictured at the strike site in Damascus today

Syrian foreign minister Faisal Mekdad, (centre) after a meeting with Akbari, said 'several' people were killed in Monday's airstrike and in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, condemned Israel. Mekdad is pictured at the site of the strike today

Syrian foreign minister Faisal Mekdad, (centre) after a meeting with Akbari, said ‘several’ people were killed in Monday’s airstrike and in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, condemned Israel. Mekdad is pictured at the site of the strike today

Syria’s defence ministry said Israeli air strikes on Iran’s consulate building in Damascus on Monday ‘destroyed the entire building, killing and injuring everyone inside’.

Pictures show the building in Syria’s capital razed to the ground, with huge plumes of smoke rising from the site following the explosion this afternoon and emergency workers rushing to the scene.

The strike killed Iranian military adviser General Ali Reza Zahdi, who led the elite Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria until 2016, the Iranian Arabic-language state television Al-Alam and pan-Arab television station Al-Mayadeen both reported.

Syrian foreign minister Faisal Mekdad, after a meeting with Akbari, said ‘several’ people were killed in Monday’s airstrike. 

Mekdad, in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, condemned Israel.

Iranian state television said the Iranian ambassador’s residence was in the consular building, which stood next to the embassy.

State news agency Sana, citing an unnamed military source, said the building in the tightly guarded neighbourhood of Mazzeh was levelled.

Israel, which rarely acknowledges such strikes, said it had no comment about the Syrian media reports. 

However, Israel has said it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

An Israeli airstrike in a Damascus neighbourhood in December killed a longtime adviser of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Syria, Seyed Razi Mousavi.

A similar strike on a building in Damascus in January killed at least five Iranian advisers.

Last week, airstrikes over the strategic eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour near the Iraqi border killed an Iranian adviser.

A damaged vehicle is doused following an airstrike next to the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria on Monday, April 1, 2024

A damaged vehicle is doused following an airstrike next to the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria on Monday, April 1, 2024

The site of the apparent missile strike, with damage done to cars and buildings in the vicinty

The site of the apparent missile strike, with damage done to cars and buildings in the vicinty

Iranian media also reported that the strikes in Damascus completely destroyed the annex building

Iranian media also reported that the strikes in Damascus completely destroyed the annex building

A damaged vehicle is removed following an airstrike next to the Iranian consulate in Damascus

A damaged vehicle is removed following an airstrike next to the Iranian consulate in Damascus

An Iranian flag is seen hanging over the bombed out building, which was flattened in the strike

An Iranian flag is seen hanging over the bombed out building, which was flattened in the strike

Smoke rises over the buildings in Damascus

Smoke rises over the buildings in Damascus

Smoke rises over the buildings in Damascus following the strike

Following its usual practice, an Israeli military spokesperson said: ‘We do not comment on reports in the foreign media.’ 

Syria’s foreign ministry has reportedly condemned the attack, and the Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers were both spotted at the scene.

Syria’s official news agency SANA said that the building, an annex next to the embassy, had suffered major destruction and neighbouring buildings in the upmarket area of the city were also damaged. 

‘The Israeli enemy launched air strikes from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting the Iranian consulate building in Damascus,’ Syria’s defence ministry said in a statement.

‘The attack destroyed the entire building, killing and injuring everyone inside, and work is underway to recover the bodies and rescue the wounded from under the rubble.’

Iranian media reported that the strikes in Damascus completely destroyed the annex building, but said that the ambassador was unharmed.

‘Hossein Akbari, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus, and his family were not harmed in the Israeli attack,’ Iran’s Nour news agency said.

Britain-based group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ‘Israeli missiles… destroyed the building of an annex to the Iranian embassy… in Damascus, killing six people’.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency said five people were killed in the Israeli strike. Syria’s SANA state news agency reported an unspecified number of deaths and injuries.

Emergency workers at the site

Smoke rises in Damascus

Syria’s defence ministry said Israeli air strikes on Iran’s consulate building in Damascus on Monday ‘destroyed the entire building

Pictures show the building in Syria's capital razed to the ground, with emergency responders on the scene

Pictures show the building in Syria’s capital razed to the ground, with emergency responders on the scene

Smoke rises after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike to a buidling close to the Iranian embassy in Damascus

Smoke rises after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike to a buidling close to the Iranian embassy in Damascus

A damaged vehicle is removed following an airstrike next to the Iranian consulate in Damascus on Monday. The consulate was damaged while the building next to it was destroyed

A damaged vehicle is removed following an airstrike next to the Iranian consulate in Damascus on Monday. The consulate was damaged while the building next to it was destroyed

Syria’s official SANA news agency earlier reported that ‘our air defence systems confronted enemy targets in the vicinity of Damascus’.

The incident came days after the Observatory reported Israeli strikes that killed 53 people in Syria, including 38 soldiers and seven members of the Iran-backed Hezbollah.

It was the highest Syrian army toll in Israeli strikes since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, said the monitor.

Since the Iranian-backed Palestinian faction Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, Israel has ramped up airstrikes in Syria against Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), both of which support the government of President Bashar al-Assad.