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Israeli attack on Iranian embassy may escalate regional tensions

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-02 09:37

People gather near a damaged site, hauling a destroyed vehicle away, after an Israeli airstrike on Iran's consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus April 1, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

DAMASCUS - Israel on Monday afternoon launched a missile attack on the consulate building of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing at least seven officers.

Following the Israeli missile strike, Iranian Ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari vowed that Iran would respond to Israel's attack with equal force.

He said that Israel's F-35 fighter jets had launched six missiles from the occupied Golan Heights in a "criminal", targeted offense on the Iranian consulate's building.

In a statement released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, 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".

Experts have warned that the attack may further exacerbate the already heightened tensions in the region.

Osama Danura, a Syrian political expert, described the attack as an unprecedented escalation of Israeli aggression in the region, coming at a time when Israel's military operations have already inflicted a crisis in the Gaza Strip.

In light of ongoing hostilities in the region, Danura said the international community should take actions to stop Israel from further aggravating tensions and violating international laws.

"The recent Israeli aggression on regional countries is unprecedented. This ... highlights the dangerous nature of Israel's actions," Danura told Xinhua.

"The attack on diplomatic missions violates international laws, indicating a significant threat to the region. It is crucial to establish international cooperation to halt this escalation," he added.

Echoing Danura's point, Mohammed Nader Al-Omari, a Syrian writer and researcher in international relations, said that this act by Israel represents a disregard for international laws, and dangerous development of regional situation.

Al-Omari said the diplomatic premises are considered part of the sovereignty and territory of the sending states. Therefore, the attack on the Iranian consulate can be seen as an attack on Iranian territory.

Al-Omari warned that the Israeli attack will not go unanswered by Iran, and there may be a direct military response to Israeli forces.

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