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Israel kills top Iranian commanders in Damascus

​Smoke rises after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike on a building close to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria April 1, 2024.

Smoke rises after what the Iranian media said was an Israeli strike on a building close to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria April 1, 2024.

REUTERS/Firas Makdesi

The freshly un-herniated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flexed some muscle beyond Israel’s borders on Monday, as an apparent IDF air strike flattened a section of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, killing several senior Iranian military figures responsible for proxy groups in Syria and Lebanon, as well as a handful of Iranian diplomats.


The strike marks an escalation between the Jewish State and the Islamic Republic. While Israel has conducted assassinations within Iran over the years and has struck a number of military targets belonging to Iran or its proxies in Syria and Lebanon in recent months, the strike on a diplomatic building was a particularly bold taunt of Tehran.

Iran said the strike suggested Netanyahu had lost his mind over his inability to master the Gaza situation — a colorful view that does little to mask a more black-and-white problem for the Supreme Leader and his generals: how to respond to a provocation like this without sliding into a direct conflict with Israel that Tehran has so far tried to avoid.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said that the Israeli strike had flattened the entire Iranian consulate building, rather than just an annex of the building. We regret the error.

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