Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

The Islamic Republic of Iran is holding the United States at least partially responsible for an air strike Monday in Damascus, blamed on Israel, that eliminated two top Iranian generals and five additional military advisers — but some locals are holding Jews responsible.

An Iranian protester hurled Molotov cocktails (firebombs) at the Tomb of Mordechai and Esther in the city of Hamadan overnight Tuesday. A fire broke out at the entrance to the tomb as a result of the attack, which allegedly was carried out “in retaliation” for the air strike in Damascus.


(Ed: The tomb has been targeted by Iranian extremists multiple times over the years, however, for various alleged reasons.)

The air strike, which was clearly a surgical strike, destroyed a building that was adjacent to the Iranian Embassy in the Syrian capital but did not touch the embassy. Iran and Syria claim the building was an Iranian consulate, as well as the residence of Iran’s ambassador to Syria.

Multiple reports on social media platforms claim the CIA has allegedly informed Israel that Iran will attack within the next 48 hours in response to the air strike. According to the reports, Tehran is allegedly planning a combined attack with a swarm of drones and cruise missiles launched from Iran to strategic locations inside Israel.

Israel’s Minister of Defense Gallant responded to the reports, saying, “We are prepared for any scenario and any threat.”

At Russia’s request, the UN Security Council met Tuesday to discuss Monday’s air strike in Damascus, widely assumed to have been carried out by the Israeli Air Force. Israel has not taken responsibility for the attack.

Iran, which has a long and illustrious history of lethal attacks on diplomatic premises — including the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and the US Embassy in Beirut — called the strike “a profound affront” to the immunity of diplomatic personnel and consular sites under international law.

Iranian UN chargé d’affaires Ambassador Zahra Ershadi added that Israel must “bear full responsibility” for the strike and said Iran retains its “legitimate and inherent right” to a “decisive response.” She added that the United States “is responsible for all crimes committed by the Israeli regime.”

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told the Security Council that Washington did not yet have confirmation on the status of the building that was hit, but said the US was “concerned by reports that terrorist leaders and elements were allegedly present at this facility and condemn[ed] Iran’s continued coordination, training and arming of terrorists and other violent extremists.

“As we gather details, one thing is clear: Iran and its proxy and partner groups need to avoid escalating tensions in the region,” Wood added.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the strike, and urged “all concerned to exercise utmost restraint and avoid further escalation,” spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement.

“He cautions that any miscalculation could lead to broader conflict in an already volatile region, with devastating consequences for civilians, who are already seeing unprecedented suffering in Syria, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territory and the broader Middle East,” Dujarric added.

“The only solution to the Palestinian issue is to resist and fight until the destruction of this [Zionist] regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran Army said Wednesday in a statement quoted by IRNA to mark International Quds Day, which falls this year on Friday, April 5.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told a cabinet session in Tehran on Tuesday night that the air strike was a “testimony to the criminal Zionist regime’s breach of the international norms, regulations and treaties and of the humanitarian and moral principles,” the semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported.

“The perpetrators and sponsors of this major crime will be punished at the hands of the Mujaheds (fighters) of Islam and will get comeuppance for their shameful act,” Raisi warned.

“An important message has been sent to the US government as the sponsor of the Zionist regime. The US must be answerable,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian wrote Tuesday in a post on the X social media platform.

“The bold, selfless, general of Islam, Major General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, along with his honorable comrade, General Mohammad Hadi Haj-Rahimi, were martyred by the criminal act of the despised, usurping Zionist regime,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a “message of condolence” released Tuesday.

“May the peace and mercy of God and those that are beloved by Him be upon them and the other martyrs (who were assassinated) in this tragic event. May God’s curse and damnation be upon the leaders of the oppressive, aggressive (Zionist) regime.

“The evil Zionist regime will be punished by our courageous men. We will make them regret this and other crimes like it, by God’s power and strength,” Khamenei vowed.

An Israeli military spokesperson denied in remarks on Tuesday that the building existed under a diplomatic umbrella, and said Israel believes the target that was hit was a “military buildings of the Quds Forces,” an elite unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Top IRGC Quds Force Brigadier General Mohammed Reza Zahedi and his deputy Mohammad Haj Rahimi were among those who were killed in the strike. The IRGC has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States.

The attack came within hours after an attack on the Israeli Navy base in Eilat, carried out by “an unmanned aircraft made and directed by Iran,” IDF Chief of Staff LTG Herzi Halevi accused, adding that the drone strike was “a very serious incident.”

A second suicide drone attack targeted the Jewish State on Tuesday, but failed to reach Israeli territory. The “suspicious aerial target” landed “outside of Israeli territory northeast of the city of Eilat,” Halevi noted in separate remarks.

The second suicide drone landed on the Jordanian side of the border with Israel, in the Jordan Valley, close to the border — about 200 meters, or 656 feet away from Israel — also close to Ramon Airport in Eilat.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.