The Media Line: 7 Military Advisers Killed in Suspected Israeli Airstrike on Iranian Embassy in Syria

Allegedly Israeli airplanes attacked a consulate annex adjacent to the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria, on Monday. Three senior commanders and seven other Iranian military advisors were killed in the raid. This signifies a significant uptick in Israel’s protracted conflicts with neighbors.

The attack was denounced by Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad as a “atrocious terrorist attack” that “killed a number of innocents.”

Hossein Akbari, Iran’s ambassador to Syria, stated that his personal apartment was situated in the upper floors of the consulate building that was damaged in the airstrike. Seven advisors, including Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a well-known member of the Quds Force, an elite group involved in paramilitary and overseas espionage activities, were lost, according to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Although Israel has regularly attacked Iranian and proxy military installations in Syria, this is the first instance of a direct attack on the large embassy complex. The attack comes at the same time as Israel is launching an onslaught against Hamas and its allies in response to the October 7 Hamas raid on Israel, which resulted in about 1,200 deaths and more than 250 hostages.

A “flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, international law, and the foundational principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises,” according to the Iranian representation to the UN, which is pleading with the Security Council to issue a reprimand. Hizbullah, meantime, has made it clear that it intends to respond, raising fears of a possible regional escalation.

The incident has sparked discussions about the possibility of more violence in the area and received broad worldwide condemnation, including criticism from Muslim countries and Russia. US officials have denied any prior knowledge of or involvement in the incident, distancing themselves from it.

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