DAMASCUS: Emergency and security personnel gather at the site of strikes which hit a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in the Syrian cpital on April 1, 2024. - AFP
DAMASCUS: Emergency and security personnel gather at the site of strikes which hit a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in the Syrian cpital on April 1, 2024. - AFP
Guards killed as Zionists strike Iran embassy in Syria

DAMASCUS: Zionist strikes destroyed the Iranian embassy’s consular annex in Syria on Monday, killing and wounding everyone inside, Damascus said, as Iranian state TV reported a Revolutionary Guards commander among the dead. Britain-based war monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said eight people were killed when “(Zionist) missiles... destroyed the building of an annex to the Iranian embassy”.

The Zionist entity did not immediately comment on the deadly attack in Damascus which comes at a time of soaring tensions over its Gaza war against Palestinian group Hamas, and intensifying violence between the Zionist entity and Iran’s allies. AFP reporters saw the annex building had caved in, and emergency services were rushing to treat the wounded and search for victims under the rubble, in the upscale Damascus district of Mazzeh.

Syria’s defense ministry said “the attack destroyed the entire building, killing and injuring everyone inside, and work is underway to recover the bodies and rescue the wounded from under the rubble”. Iranian state TV said among those killed was a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations arm, the Quds Force, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi.

The Observatory later said it had “confirmed the killing of a high-ranking leader who served as the leader of the Quds Force for Syria and Lebanon, two Iranian advisors, and five members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard”. The Damascus strikes were the fifth in eight days to hit Syria, whose President Bashar Al-Assad is supported by Iran, the Zionist entity’s long-time archfoe in the region.

SANA had earlier reported that “our air defense systems confronted enemy targets in the vicinity of Damascus”. Iran’s Nour news agency said “Hossein Akbari, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus, and his family were not harmed in the (Zionist) attack”. The ambassador later said that “the (Zionist) attack on the Iranian consulate shows the reality of the Zionist entity which recognizes no international laws and does all that is inhumane to achieve its goals”. Akbari told Iranian state TV that “at least 5 people were killed in the attack which was carried out by F35 fighter jets”.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad denounced the attack after visiting the site. “We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack that targeted the Iranian consulate building in Damascus killing a number of innocent people,” Mekdad said in a statement carried by official news agency SANA. The Damascus strike came three days after the Observatory reported Zionist strikes that killed 53 people in Syria, including 38 soldiers and seven members of Hezbollah. It was the highest Syrian army toll in Zionist strikes since the Zionist-Hamas war began, said the monitor. – AFP

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