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Iran and Syria accuse Israel of attack on Iran embassy in Damascus

Syria accused Israel on Monday of an attack on Iran’s diplomatic consulate in Damascus, the capital of Syria.

The Syrian Ministry of Defense stated the alleged attack took place at 5:00 PM local time with numerous missiles fired from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It claims that several missiles were “shot down,” with the remaining missiles completely destroying the consulate and killing everyone inside. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the state-run news agency of Iran, stated that all diplomatic staff were safe.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani condemned the attack. He said the attack was a “gross violation” of international law. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, diplomatic staff are considered “inviolable.” However, the plain language of the Convention generally applies to the “sending” and “receiving” states engaged in relations and not a third party. Conversely, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons states that the “official premises, the private accommodation or the means of transport” of diplomatic staff are protected from attack. The text of the Convention’s articles states the provisions apply to all member states. Israel, Iran and Syria are signatories or parties to both conventions.

The destruction of the Iranian consulate is one of several recent attacks in Syria. According to the Syrian Ministry of Defense, Israeli airstrikes hit targets in Damascus on Sunday, killing two, and near Aleppo on Thursday. Syrian officials accused Israel of conducting the attacks in “an attempt to target civilians.”

Israel has not commented on the alleged attacks.

A March 11 UN report urged immediate action in Syria to stem escalating violence. The report stated that the conflict in Gaza between Iranian-supported Hamas and Israel threatened to spill over into Syria, a political and military ally of Iran.

Iran and Syria accuse Israel of attack on Iran embassy in Damascus

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