Iran’s Khamenei says Israel ‘must be punished’ for Syria embassy attack

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Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Israel “must be punished and it shall be” for attacking the Iranian embassy compound in Syria.

In a major escalation of Israel’s war with regional adversaries, suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran’s consulate in the Syrian capital on April 1 in a strike that Iran said killed seven military advisers.

“When they attack the consulate, it is as if they have attacked our soil,” Khamenei said in a speech marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. “The evil regime made a mistake and must be punished and it shall be,” he added.

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In an apparent response to Khamenei, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday that Israel will respond if Iran attacks Israel from its own soil.

“If Iran attacks from its own territory, Israel will respond and attack in Iran,” Katz said in post on the social media platform X.

Iran backs groups that have entered the fray across the region since Israel launched its invasion of Gaza following the October 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas.

Some 33,360 Palestinians have been killed in six months of Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies.

The Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group has exchanged fire on a daily basis with Israel, while Iraqi groups have fired on US forces in Syria and Iraq and the Houthis of Yemen have targeted shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

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