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Israeli missile levels Iranian consulate building in Syria

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-01 23:33

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad walks near a damaged site after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike on a building close to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria April 1, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

Later, in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Mekdad condemned in strongest terms Israel's "criminal" attacks and called them "a flagrant violation" of international law, particularly the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, which defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries.

Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, said the attack violated all international obligations and conventions, stressing that Israel would be responsible for the consequences of the action.

In a statement released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry after the attack, ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani was quoted as saying that Iran, while reserving its right to take countermeasures, would consider its response to the attack and determine the appropriate punishment for the "aggressor".

The Syrian Defense Ministry said efforts were underway to retrieve the bodies of the victims, provide medical assistance to the wounded, and remove the rubble.

Ambulances rushed to the scene while military vehicles swiftly cordoned off the embassy's perimeter.

On Monday evening, a Xinhua reporter close to the scene saw works were ongoing to assess the extent of the damage and recover the bodies.

Earlier in the day, thick plumes of smoke were seen rising from the building located on the Mazzeh Highway to the west of Damascus after the attack, which triggered a big boom sound as the Syrian air defenses attempted to intercept the missiles.

The incident marks a significant escalation in hostilities between Israel and Iran, as it's the first hit on the Iranian embassy in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

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