Pentagon Says Israel Conducted Strike Against Iran In Syria


Pentagon Says Israel Conducted Strike Against Iran In Syria | ABC News 

The Pentagon said Tuesday that Israel was behind the airstrike in Damascus, Syria, that killed seven people, including a top Iranian commander, even though Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack. Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon's deputy press secretary, told reporters Tuesday that Israel was behind the airstrike in Damascus has led Iran to say it would retaliate "The U.S. did not conduct a strike in Damascus," said Singh. "I would refer you to the Israelis to speak to their strike." Singh later said that the U.S. assessed that Israel was behind the airstrike and that several leaders from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had been killed in the airstrike "Our initial assessment right now is that it was a few top IRGC leaders, we haven't been able to independently confirm identities, but that is our initial assessment right now," she said. Singh added that "we were not notified by the Israelis about their strike or the intended target of their strike in Damascus." The building that was struck in Damascus has been described as Iran's consulate in Syria and was located near the diplomatic facilities of other countries in Syria.  

Iran Vows Revenge As It Accuses Israel Of Deadly Airstrike On Syria Consulate In Deepening Middle East Crisis | CNN 

Iran has vowed to retaliate after it accused Israel of bombing its embassy complex in Syria on Monday, in a deadly escalation of regional tensions over the war in Gaza that once again appeared to raise the risk of a wider Middle Eastern conflict. The airstrike destroyed the consulate building in the capital Damascus, killing at least seven officials including Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a top commander in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and senior commander Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, according to Iran’s Foreign Ministry. At least six Syrian citizens were also killed, Iranian state television reported on Tuesday. Zahedi, a former commander of the IRGC’s ground forces, air force, and the deputy commander of its operations, is the most high-profile Iranian target killed since then-US President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in 2020. 

Suspects In The Stabbing Of An Iranian Presenter Fled U.K. After Attack, Counterterrorism Police Say | NBC News 

British counterterrorism police investigating the stabbing of a journalist who works for a TV channel critical of the Iranian government said that three suspects had fled the country within hours of the attack. Pouria Zeraati, a presenter at London-based Iran International, was stabbed in the leg Friday afternoon outside his home in London. Police said Zeraati, who has been released from a hospital, was attacked by two men who fled in a car driven by a third man. “We have established that after abandoning the vehicle, the suspects traveled to Heathrow Airport and have left the U.K.,’’ Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, said in a statement late Tuesday. “We are now working with international partners to establish further details.’’ Police said that while the motivation for the attack is still unclear, Zeraati’s occupation, together with recent threats to U.K.-based Iranian journalists, triggered a counterterrorism investigation. Iran International, a satellite news channel that broadcasts in Farsi, has previously received threats due to its coverage of Iran.  


Israel Finally Designates Yemen's Houthis As Terror Organization | Jerusalem Post 

…According to Jason Brodsky, policy director of the organization United Against Nuclear Iran, “Any decision to designate the Houthis as a terrorist organization contributes to the counterterrorism sanctions architecture globally. The US designation, however, is most critical because of the tools it provides Washington to pursue Houthi fundraising networks, given the primacy of the American economy.Israel’s designation will assist this critical work, he said, adding: “The designation also will target the burgeoning coordination between Hamas and the Houthis. Hamas has a representative in Yemen, Mo’az Abu Shamala, and an Israeli designation may be able to crack down on those illicit ties.  

What Mohammad Reza Zahedi’s Death Means For Iran | UANI Policy Director Jason Brodsky For The Dispatch  

Israel conducted one of its most audacious attacks against Iran’s armed entrenchment in years on Monday, killing Mohammad Reza Zahedi and his deputy and destroying what Iran said was its consular building in Damascus. Zahedi was commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force’s Department 2000, which oversees operations in the Levant. While the IRGC has a sprawling apparatus and can find a successor for Zahedi, he will not be easily replaced. The nature of the strike likely portends an Iranian response, but the regime will still tread carefully to avoid a direct armed conflict with Israel and the United States.  Who was Mohammad Reza Zahedi? Mohammad Reza Zahedi was born on November 2, 1960, in Isfahan. In 1980, he joined the IRGC, where he was the commander of influential divisions like the 14th Imam Hossein Division during the Iran-Iraq War.  

Yemeni Houthi Group Officially Declared Terror Organization In Israel By DM Gallant | All Israel News 

…On the other hand, the American designation is critical, Jason Brodsky, policy director of the organization United Against Nuclear Iran, told the Jerusalem Post. “Any decision to designate the Houthis as a terrorist organization contributes to the counterterrorism sanctions architecture globally. The US designation, however, is most critical because of the tools it provides Washington to pursue Houthi fundraising networks, given the primacy of the American economy,” he said. Brodsky added that the Israeli move could help target any burgeoning coordination between Hamas and the Houthis, adding that the designation "may provide added legal justification for Israeli kinetic activity against the group, as for the first time, the Houthis have opened up another front during a Gaza conflict post-October 7.”  

World War Three Fears Ignited After ‘Israeli Strike’ Takes Out Iran’s Top Commanders | Metro  

…But Kasra Aarabi, director of IRGC Research at non-profit United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), stressed that such ‘high-value’ strikes on Iranian commanders will not lead to a global war.‘Ignore all the takes by “experts” on how the killing of the IRGC terror commander will result in direct war/strikes against Israel,’ he said. ‘The IRGC neither has the doctrine nor the capabilities for direct war with Israel, especially when domestic instability in Iran is as high as it currently is.  


Tehran’s Hurdles In Extracting Lorestan’s Shale Oil | Iran International  

In recent years, Iranian authorities have often announced significant discoveries of oil and gas reserves, but, in reality, the government has faced tremendous challenges – often self-inflicted – in actually effectively extracting these resources. In February 2017 authorities revealed the presence of two billion barrels of shale oil reserves in the western province of Lorestan. To try and ascertain the feasibility of extraction and develop efficient technologies, the governmental National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) collaborated with universities on a pilot project. This effort was likely meant to showcase Iran's dedication to expand its energy sources. The NIOC’s Exploration Manager Mehdi Fakour later alleged that ten locations containing shale oil resources had been found and confirmed. Confident in the ability of the NIOC’s extraction model, Fakour told the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim news agency that over 2.5 billion barrels equivalent of oil were added to Iran's reserves through new discoveries in 1402. 

Iran's Oil Exports Reached $35 Billion In Last 12 Months -ILNA | Reuters 

Iran's oil exports reached $35.8 billion in the 12 months to end-March 2024, Iran's head of Customs Mohammad Rezvanifar said on Tuesday according to the Iranian Labour News Agency. Despite the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Tehran in 2018, Chinese purchases of Iranian oil have allowed the country to maintain a positive trade balance. Without oil exports, Iran would have registered a $16.8 billion trade deficit, Rezvanifar said. 

Iran’s National Airline Being Run By Revolutionary Guard Commander | The Telegraph  

Iran’s national airline is run by a senior commander from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), The Telegraph can disclose. It comes amid calls for Brussels to stop the airline from flying to Europe as part of a sanctions package over Tehran’s shipment of missiles and military hardware to its Middle Eastern proxies and Russia. Intelligence obtained by an Iranian opposition organization has found Brigadier Shamseddin Farzadipour to be controlling Iran Air. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top foreign diplomat, has so far resisted pressure from France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as the United States, to ramp up measures against Iran, arguing new sanctions would harm diplomatic outreach to Tehran. But new evidence of a link between the Islamic regime’s shipment of weapons and its national airline will bring renewed focus on calls for penalties.  


Journalist Union Urges Iran To Cease Targeting Journalists Following London Stabbing | Iran International 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has issued a call to the Iranian regime urging an immediate halt to the targeting of journalists in the wake of the stabbing of an Iran International journalist last week. Pouria Zeraati was seriously injured in an attack as he left his home on March 29 in south London by what is suspected to have been covert Iranian security agents, coming on the back of long standing threats faced by Iran International from the Iranian government, with other journalists at the network also enduring imminent threats of violence since 2022. Although the police have yet to identify the assailants, Iran's government has a history of conducting numerous attacks against dissidents and journalists outside the country over the past 45 years. Expressing solidarity with Zeraati and his family, the IFJ stressed, "Targeting journalists for simply doing their job must stop now!"  

Federal Court: Iran, Syria Must Pay $191 Million For Murder Of Ari Fuld | Jewish News Syndicate  

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered on Thursday that Iran and Syria pay $191 million for complicity in the murder of Ari Fuld, an American-Israeli killed by a Hamas terrorist in 2018. Royce Lamberth, a senior judge and former chief judge on the court, held that Fuld’s estate and surviving family members are entitled to damages due to Iran’s and Syria’s roles as state sponsors of Hamas terrorism. “The stabbing that killed Mr. Fuld was a tragic event, and money cannot fully account for the harm that these defendants have inflicted,” Lamberth wrote. “Iran and Syria have, once again, provided material support to Hamas and thereby facilitated the savage murder of a husband, father, son and brother to these plaintiffs.”  


No US Involvement In Strike On Iran's Damascus Mission, White House Says | Reuters 

The United States on Tuesday said it was not involved in an Israeli airstrike on Iran's embassy compound in the Syrian capital of Damascus that killed two Iranian generals and five military advisers. White House national security spokesman John Kirby dismissed as "nonsense" Iranian charges of U.S. responsibility for Monday's bombing, and he warned that Washington would respond to any retaliatory attacks. "Let me make it clear. We had nothing to do with the strike in Damascus," he told a briefing. "We weren't involved in any way. The Damascus strike threatened to escalate the years-long confrontation between Israel and Iran and its proxy militias that have intensified since fighting erupted in October between Israel and Iran-backed Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip.  

US Trades Barbs With Iran And Russia In UNSC Meeting On Damascus Strike | Jewish News Syndicate 

Tehran says it holds the United States accountable for Monday’s deadly strike against Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus. Washington warned against any retaliation against the backdrop of a regional war. At Russia’s request, the United Nations Security Council met on Tuesday to discuss the airstrike—widely attributed to Israel—that killed two Iranian generals and five military advisers. Israel, which has not claimed responsibility for Monday’s blast, has long carried out strikes against Iran-affiliated targets in Syria in an effort to prevent the flow of weapons to Tehran’s proxies and contain the Islamic Republic’s footprint in the region, but Monday’s incident, especially notable for its diplomatic compound and high-value targeting, marked a significant escalation. Iran, which has a history of deadly attacks against diplomatic facilities, including the U.S. embassy in Beirut and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, feigned outrage on Tuesday at what its envoy called “a profound affront” to the inviolability of representatives and diplomatic and consular premises under international law.  


US Working 'Day And Night' To Prevent Weapon Transfers To Russia | Iran International  

The US Secretary of State says Washington and its allies are working "day in day out" to hinder the transfer of weapons to Russia from countries like China, Iran, and North Korea. "We are working day in, day out, to effectively prevent the transfer of weapons and materials to Russia, to fuel that war machine, to fuel the defence industrial base, including from Iran, from North Korea and from China," Antony Blinken stated in Paris on Tuesday. Expressing concerns over the potential impact of such transfers, Blinken emphasized, "This is not just a threat to Ukraine, it's a threat to European security overall." Recent reports have raised alarms about the supply of various weaponry to Russia. South Korea's defense minister disclosed last month that North Korea had dispatched approximately 7,000 containers of arms to Russia since around July, intended for use in the conflict with Ukraine.  


Iran Arrests Two Islamic State Members: Media | The New Arab 

Iran arrested two alleged Islamic State group members in the holy city of Qom, local media reported on Tuesday. "In recent days, thanks to the efforts of the intelligence agents in the military and security forces, two terrorists belonging to the takfiri group Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) were arrested," Mehr News Agency said. In Shia-dominated Iran, the term takfiri generally refers to jihadists or proponents of radical Sunni Islam. The agency didn't specify the nationality of the two men but published their photos, adding that they were planning to enter the holy shrine in Qom, one of the most important in the country. An unprecedented attack in Moscow on March 22, that killed more than 140 people, was claimed by IS-K, a branch of IS active in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  


US Warns Iran Not To Target It Over Syria Strike | Iran International  

The United States warned Iran on Tuesday not to retaliate against it for an attack on Iran's embassy compound in Syria, telling the UN Security Council it had no warning of the Israeli strike. The Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the attack, which Israel has not officially taken responsibility for. The strike on Monday - that Iran said killed two of its IRGC Quds Force generals and five other officers of the extra-territorial unit - marked one of the most significant attacks yet on Iranian interests in Syria, where Israel has stepped up a long-running campaign against Iran. "We will not hesitate to defend our personnel and repeat our prior warnings to Iran and its proxies not to take advantage of the situation - again, an attack in which we had no involvement or advanced knowledge - to resume their attacks on U.S. personnel," said deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood.