Iran launches retaliatory strikes against Israel

This article was originally published by the People’s Dispatch on April 13, 2024.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Saturday April 13 that they launched “extensive” missile and drone strikes against Israel in response to the Israeli bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria on April 1. The announcement came nearly two weeks after the attack which killed 13 people including senior Iranian commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi, as well as his deputy, Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi.

Iran, as well as several other key players in the Axis of Resistance had repeatedly warned that retaliation would come after the Damascus attack. “We will give a decisive response to this action,” said Iran’s Ambassador to Damascus Hossein Akbari at the time. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said during his Quds International Day Address, “Be certain that Iran’s response to the targeting of its Damascus consulate is inevitable.”

Following Iran’s strikes against Israel, the IRGC released a statement, declaring that “in response to the Zionist regime’s numerous crimes, including the attack on the consular section of Iran’s Embassy in Damascus and the martyrdom of a number of our country’s commanders and military advisors in Syria, the IRGC’s Aerospace Division launched tens of missiles and drones against certain targets inside the occupied territories.”

Since Israel’s strike on Damascus, senior US national security officials have been vowing to come to Israel’s aid in case of a response from Iran. When asked if the US would respond to such an attack, Biden said on Friday April 12, “We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed.” Following the IRCG’s announcement, Biden reportedly returned to the White House to monitor the situation with his national security team. 

The first official response from the US government came from White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson. She wrote, ”President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad. The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.”

According to an IRCG statement, Iran’s Aerospace force launched dozens of missiles inside the occupied territories. Iranian forces dubbed the mission “Operation True Promise.” Israeli sources have been quoted expressing the intention to retaliate with mutual strikes.

On April 2, Russia called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to condemn the Israeli attack, but the US, the UK, and France refused to condemn Israel and instead blamed Iran for regional escalation and warned the sovereign nation from responding to the attack.

At the meeting, Iranian representative Zahra Ershadi had claimed that the US “is responsible for all crimes committed by the Israeli regime” and blamed that refusal to condemn Israeli violations of international law by the UK and France amounts to encouragement.

Featured photo: Days before Iranian forces strike Israel, Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei states that Israel will be “punished” for Damascus attack. Credit: PressTV.