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Iran vows to respond to the Israeli air strike on its consulate in Damascus

IRAN vowed today to respond to an Israeli air strike that demolished its consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus and killed eight people, including two Iranian generals.

Iranian television reported that the country’s Supreme National Security Council had met on Monday night and decided on a “required” response to the strike. 

The report said the meeting had been chaired by President Ebrahim Raisi, without providing further details.

“We will make them regretful about the crime and similar acts,” said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, although there was no indication as to what the Iranian response would be.

Israel has repeatedly targeted military officials from Iran, but Monday’s attack in Damascus signalled an escalation because it struck an Iranian diplomatic mission.

The air strike killed General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, who led the special ops Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria until 2016, according to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. 

It also killed Gen Zahedi’s deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Hajriahimi, and five other officers.

Lebanese Shi’ite militant movement Hezbollah said yesterday that Gen Zahedi had played a crucial role in helping “develop and advance the work” of the group.

Hezbollah member Hussein Youssef was also killed in Monday’s strike, the movement said without elaborating, bringing the overall death toll to eight.

A Hezbollah statement added: “This crime will certainly not pass without the enemy receiving punishment and revenge.”

Israel, which rarely acknowledges strikes against Iranian targets, said it had no comment on the latest attack in Syria.

But Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said the country was at war on multiple fronts, “both offensively and defensively.”

He told the Israeli parliament's defence and foreign affairs committee: “We operate everywhere, every day, in order to prevent our enemies from gaining strength and in order to make it clear to anyone who acts against us — all over the Middle East — that the price for action against Israel will be a heavy one.”

Gulf monarchies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar condemned the strike on the Iranian consulate.

The 22-state Arab League accused Israel of trying to “expand the war and push the region to chaos.”

Iran’s official news agency IRNA said that Iran had relayed an important message to the United States on Monday night and that it called for a meeting of the United Nations security council. 

The agency said Iran held the US, Israel’s closest ally, responsible for the Damascus attack.

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