Home Explainer How, When Will Iran Strike Back At Israel For Embassy Bombing?

How, When Will Iran Strike Back At Israel For Embassy Bombing?

Iran is in no mood to either forget the bombing of its mission in Damascus earlier this month or to forgive Israel. The message from the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—the country’s highest authority—was unambiguous. “When the Zionist regime attacks the Iranian consulate in Syria, it is as if it attacked our soil. This evil regime made a mistake, it must be punished and it will be.”

Those remarks have triggered fears about an escalation of the Israel-Hamas war, which is now in its seventh month. Two senior Iranian generals were killed as Iran’s mission in Damascus was bombed allegedly by Israeli jets earlier this month.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken to his Chinese, Saudi and Turkish counterparts to ensure better sense prevails on the Iranians. “We continue to be concerned about the risk of escalation in the Middle East, something we have been working to mitigate and contain since the attacks of October 7th, and specifically about the threats made in recent days by Iran against the state of Israel and the Israeli people,” said Matthew Miller, Spokesperson, US State Department.

Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant is ensuring all defence formations are on high alert. He has spoken to his US counterpart Lloyd Austin and told him that “The State of Israel will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory. A direct Iranian attack would require an appropriate Israeli response against Iran.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who, despite international pressure, had stood firm on launching a ground offensive in Rafah, says the enemy will be paid back in the same coin. “Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We are prepared to meet all of the security needs of the State of Israel, both defensively and offensively”.

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US President Joe Biden has been openly critical about Netanyahu’s Rafah plans but is promising to stand by Israel against any Iranian misadventure. “We’ve seen the threats coming from Iran. And so we have made ourselves very clear where we stand in supporting Israel’s security that is ironclad. That does not change,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

As the world waits to see what Iran does next, Russia has advised against travel to West Asia and German carrier Lufthansa has extended suspension of flights to Iran. On Friday, India also advised its citizens against travel to Iran and Israel. And Indians living in those countries have been requested to take safety precautions and “restrict their movements to the minimum”.

It is still not clear how and when Iran may retaliate. Sources say there may be some kinetic action by Iran or its proxies but short of triggering an escalation. And the timing is anybody’s guess.

With inputs from Reuters