Iran launches dozens of drones

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An anti-missile system operates as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, on Sunday. Amir Cohen/Reuters

Iran has warned that it will respond with more force if Israel retaliates over this weekend’s strikes, which Tehran said were themselves a reply to an Israeli attack earlier this month on its embassy complex in Syria’s capital Damascus.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not hesitate to exercise its inherent right of self-defense when required,” Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, said in a statement.

Should the Israeli regime commit any military aggression again, Iran’s response will assuredly and decisively be stronger and more resolute,” Ambassador Iravani added.

Citing self-defense against repeated Israeli military aggressions, Iravani said the strikes were specifically in retaliation to an Israeli attack on April 1 against what Iran says were diplomatic facilities in Damascus.

Iran claims the attack violated international law and led to the death of seven Iranian military advisors, including key commanders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The statement also criticizes the United Nations Security Council for “failing to uphold international peace,” allowing Israel to “breach” established international norms and “escalate” regional tensions.

Additional context: Israel has carried out numerous strikes on Iran-backed targets in Syria, often targeting weapons shipments allegedly intended for Hezbollah, a powerful Iranian proxy in Lebanon. 

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the April 1 attack which destroyed an Iranian consulate building in the capital Damascus, including Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a top Revolutionary Guards commander.

However an Israel Defense Forces spokesman told CNN that their intelligence showed the building was not a consulate and was instead “a military building of Quds forces disguised as a civilian building.”


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