newsIsrael at War

UNSC to discuss alleged Israeli strike on top Quds Force commander in Syria

Iran called the attack a “flagrant violation of fundamental norms and principles of international law”• Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Wide view of the U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. On the screen is Tor Wennesland, special coordinator for the Middle East peace process. Credit: Loey Felipe/U.N. Photo.
Wide view of the U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. On the screen is Tor Wennesland, special coordinator for the Middle East peace process. Credit: Loey Felipe/U.N. Photo.

The United Nations Security Council is set to meet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss an airstrike in Damascus on Monday afternoon that killed seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including the top Iranian commander in Syria.

Iran and others are blaming the strike, which targeted a building next to the Iranian embassy, on Israel. Jerusalem has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a letter to the council president and U.N. secretary-general, Zahra Ershadi, Iran’s U.N. envoy, called the attack a “flagrant violation of fundamental norms and principles of international law,” referring to it as a “terrorist attack” that violated conventions against firing on diplomatic facilities.

The strike, which reportedly flattened a building in the diplomatic compound, killed IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi and his deputy, Mohammad Haj Rahimi.

Zahedi served in IRGC’s Quds Force, which is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, and was reportedly responsible for a wide range of operations in Syria and Lebanon, including liaising with Iranian militias and proxy forces, including Hezbollah. 

Iran promised a harsh response to the strike.

Since Oct. 8 Israel has faced near-daily cross-border attacks by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which have forced tens of thousands of Israelis to flee their homes. 

Additionally, an Iranian-aligned militia in Iraq is believed to have launched a drone on Monday which struck an Israel naval base in the southern port city of Eilat, and Israel’s south has come under threat from missile and drone launches from Yemen’s Houthis, which are also backed by Iran.

Tuesday’s Security Council meeting, set to begin at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, came at the request of Russia, which also has blamed Israel for the Damascus attack. Relations between Israel and Russia soured as Russia’s war in Ukraine progressed, and tensions have ramped up in parallel with an increasingly close relationship between Tehran and Moscow.

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