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Israel accused of striking Iran’s commanders in Syria

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Iran has accused Israeli forces of launching a strike on its embassy in Syria, leaving about seven people dead.
Iran has accused Israel of striking its embassy in Syria

Iran has accused Israel of striking its embassy complex in Damascus, the capital of Syria.

Iran says seven people, including three senior commanders, were killed in the strike. Israel has not commented on the reports yet.

Israel’s war in Gaza has sparked broader regional tensions between Israel and Iran-backed forces.

Iran v. Israel

Iran and Israel are long-term enemies in the Middle East.

Since the 1979 revolution which installed a conservative Muslim dictatorship, Iran has questioned the legitimacy of a Jewish state, and called for its destruction.

Since Hamas launched an attack on Israel on 7 October, to which Israel responded by declaring war, tensions with other forces have also increased.

Israeli forces have been clashing with Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed group that controls southern Lebanon, which borders the north of Israel.

Hezbollah is listed by Australia as a terrorist organisation.

In response to Iran’s influence in the region, Israel has launched a number of strikes against Iranian-backed forces in the Middle East, based in places like Syria.

Syria

Iran has an official presence in Syria through its embassy complex in the capital city, Damascus.

Like Hezbollah, Syria’s current regime relies on support from Iranian forces. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces has long engaged in a civil war against the regime’s rebel opponents.

Embassy strike

The Iranian foreign ministry condemned the attack, describing it as “brutal aggression” and blaming Israel.

In a statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has lost his mental balance”.

Iranian officials said seven officers died in the strike.

One of the officers killed was a senior Iranian commander, Mohamed Reda Zahdy. He led Iranian forces spread across Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.

International reaction

Israel has not acknowledged the attack, with a military spokesperson saying it doesn’t comment on reports in foreign media.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the Biden government was aware of the strike.

He did not comment specifically on the Syria attack. However, he said the U.S. is “worried about escalation” of conflict in the Middle East.

Several countries, including nearby Qatar and Pakistan, have condemned the attack as a violation of international law.

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