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Iran vows to punish Israel over deadly Syria embassy strike

Patrick Sykes and Arsalan Shahla, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

Iran vowed revenge on Israel after blaming it for a deadly air strike on its embassy in Syria — a rare direct confrontation in the adversaries’ escalating conflict over the war in Gaza.

Israel “will be punished. We will make them regret their crime,” Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Tuesday, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

The strike in Damascus late Monday destroyed the consulate building and killed at least 13 people including seven Iranian military personnel and six Syrian nationals, according to Iranian state media.

Israel hasn’t confirmed the attack, in keeping with its usual response to accusations of targeting Iran.

While Israel has frequently struck Iran-linked targets in Syria, Monday night’s attack would be the first time it’s directly hit an Iranian diplomatic building. Its air strikes have increased since the outbreak in October of the war with Gaza-based Hamas, an Iran-backed group that’s designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union.

Oil rose to its highest level since October on heightened geopolitical tensions and OPEC+ supply cuts.


U.S. approach

Iran also pointed a finger at the U.S., charging that it too bore responsibility for the attack because of its support for Israel. Earlier on Tuesday, the Iranian foreign ministry summoned the Swiss ambassador who represents Washington’s interests in the Islamic Republic.

The U.S. “had no involvement in the strike and we did not know about it ahead of time,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

Another U.S. official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the Biden government took the unusual step of communicating directly to Iran that the U.S. was unaware the strike would happen.


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