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Facts now known about Israeli strike on Iranian consulate in Syria

A number of countries, including Russia, condemned the strike

BEIRUT, April 2. /TASS/. Israel has carried out an airstrike on the diplomatic quarter in Damascus, destroying the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital.

According to Tehran, at least 11 people were killed, including two generals from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an elite branch of Iran's armed forces. Tel Aviv is not commenting on the incident.

A number of countries, including Russia, condemned the strike. Russia has requested that a session of the UN Security Council be convened, which is scheduled for the evening of April 2 (New York time).

TASS has gathered the key takeaways about the incident.

What happened

- On Monday, about 2 p.m. GMT, Israeli troops delivered an airstrike with six projectiles from F-35 fighter jets on the Mezzeh quarter in western Damascus, where the Iranian embassy and consulate are located.

- At least 11 people were killed, including two IRGC generals, Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, and five officers who served as military advisers in Damascus.

- The consulate building was completely destroyed. Iranian Ambassador Hossein Akbari was on site but was not injured.

- The compound also includes buildings where IRGC officials usually stay. One of the projectiles hit a structure normally used for meetings with Lebanese and Palestinian organizations.

Iran’s reaction

- The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that the Israeli attack violated the norms of international law, while speculating that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had potentially lost his "mental composure."

- The foreign ministry said that Iran retains the right to "punish the aggressor" in response. The Iranian envoy to Syria vowed that the retaliation will be harsh. That said, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian noted that the US should be held responsible for the attack as the key "supporter of the Israeli regime."

- The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations branded the Israeli attack as a terrorist act.

- Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi held a meeting of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council over the Israeli attack.

- Hundreds attended demonstrations in Tehran, chanting slogans such as "Death to the US" and "Death to Israel."

Israeli and US reactions

- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not comment on reports of the strike.

- That said, Israel boosted security measures domestically as well as in its diplomatic missions around the world.

- The US Department of State did not comment on the strike. However, NBC News, citing sources, said that the administration of US President Joe Biden was unaware of plans for the attack on Damascus.

Global reactions

- Russia has resolutely condemned Israel’s attack on the consulate and requested that a session of the UN Security Council be convened to discuss the matter. It will take place on April 2 at 7 p.m. GMT. The UNSC will consider Iran’s request to condemn the Israeli strike.

- The office of the UN Secretary General expressed concern over the strike on the embassy.

- Venezuela, Iraq, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan and Syria have already condemned the attack. The Gaza Strip-based Palestinian movement Hamas and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party have declared solidarity with Syria and Iran.

Scale of attack

- IRGC General Youssef Omid Zadeh, intelligence commander of Iran’s Al-Quds special forces, was killed in a similar way on January 20 in Damascus. Three Israeli aircraft completely destroyed a four-story building in that attack.

- That said, according to the Iranian envoy to Damascus, this is the first-ever Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic mission.