Israel bombs Iran embassy in Syria, escalating war

An Iranian flag hangs as smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, on April 1.

Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s embassy in Syria on April 1. The strike, carried out by Israeli F-35 fighter jets, killed senior commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, his deputy, Gen. Mohammad Hadi Haj Rahimi, Gen. Hossein Amirollah, and four other officers.

Other casualties included diplomats, military advisers, and Syrian police guarding the embassy.

Israel’s bombing of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, is the first time in modern history in which a state has directly targeted another state’s diplomatic facility in a third country (with the possible exception of the 1999 U.S. bombing of China’s embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia). 

The Israeli attack is a significant violation of international law.  Embassies are sovereign territories of the nation they represent under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Israel has conducted numerous attacks in Syria and Lebanon. This strike marks the first Israeli attack on Iranian diplomatic territory.

The attack comes as the U.S. authorized a new arms shipment to Israel, including powerful bombs.

On March 29, the Washington Post reported: “The Biden administration in recent days quietly authorized the transfer of billions of dollars in bombs and fighter jets to Israel. … The new arms packages include more than 1,800 MK84 2,000-pound bombs and 500 MK82 500-pound bombs, according to Pentagon and State Department officials familiar with the matter. 

“The 2,000-pound bombs have been linked to previous mass-casualty events throughout Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.”

In addition, Politico reported on April 1 that the Biden administration is preparing a deal for another 50 new F-15 fighter jets for Israel along with 30 AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles and several Joint Direct Attack Munition kits, which turn dumb bombs into precision-guided weapons.

Israel has received more U.S. military aid — and more U.S. aid of any type — than any other country since World War II.

The Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus appears to be a deliberate escalation. The U.S., along with Israel, is already engaged in a military campaign against Yemen as well as Syria, conducting airstrikes in Syria and Iraq in February.

Yemen is part of the Axis of Resistance to imperialism in West Asia that includes the Islamic government of Iran, the secular government of Syria, the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, and popular militias in Iraq. 

Yemen’s military announced that it would block any ships bound for Israel from passing through the Red Sea. In response, on Jan. 11, the United States began conducting airstrikes against Yemen.

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