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Syria, Iran mourn losses as Mideast countries slam Israeli attack on Iranian mission in Syria

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-03 09:11

An excavator clears rubble after an Israeli strike on Monday on Iran's consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria April 2, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad extended condolences to his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday, mourning the loss of Iranian military advisors in an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate building in Damascus, Syria's state-run SANA news agency reported.

During a phone call, Assad expressed deep sympathy to the families of the slain advisors and the Iranian people, condemning the attack as an act of violence against civilians.

Assad also accused Israel of continuing regional violence and brutality, further citing Gaza's ongoing conflict as evidence of Israel's "malevolent intentions".

The Syrian Defense Ministry reported that on Monday, around 5:00 pm local time (1400 GMT), Israeli forces carried out a missile strike from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, targeting the Iranian embassy's consulate building in Damascus.

The Syrian Health Ministry reported on Tuesday that four Syrians were killed and 13 others were injured in the attack, while the Iranian side confirmed the deaths of seven Iranians, including two commanders.

Iran has vowed to retaliate against the attack. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed retribution for the assault, and President Raisi declared that "the perpetrators and supporters of this great crime... will be punished for their shameful act", Iran's official news agency IRNA reported.

The incident marks a severe deterioration in the already volatile situation in the Middle East, with multiple nations expressing their concerns and urging for calm.

Saudi Arabia, which re-established a diplomatic tie with Iran after a Beijing-brokered peace talk in March 2023, condemned the attack on Tuesday, saying Riyadh categorically rejects the targeting of diplomatic facilities.

Turkiye also denounced Tuesday the Israeli attack and warned that it could lead to a broader conflict in the region.

"We are concerned that this action may escalate into a conflict affecting the entire region," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Israel's action "adds to its recent violations of international law", the ministry said, calling on all relevant parties to "act with common sense and restraint and to abide by international law".

In a statement, Tunisia's Foreign Ministry labeled the attack a stark infringement of Syrian sovereignty and international norms and pledged solidarity with Syria against any threats to its security and territorial integrity.

Libya's Foreign Ministry also denounced the airstrike, deeming it a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and diplomatic norms.

Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait and Beirut also voiced their condemnation of the attack and offered condolences to Syria and Iran. 

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