March 4, 2024

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Ticker on Middle East War: Israel's Foreign Minister Threatens Hezbollah Leader +++ Ambassador Warns of Hamas Attacks in Germany

Ticker on Middle East War: Israel's Foreign Minister Threatens Hezbollah Leader +++ Ambassador Warns of Hamas Attacks in Germany

Iran has again threatened Israel with retaliation following the killing of an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) general in Syria.

Iranian Defense Ministry spokesman Reza Talaei-Nik threatened Israel on Tuesday, according to the Tasnim news agency: “The Zionists (Israel) must prepare for the consequences of their crime… They will be painful.” With this attack, Israel not only violated Syria's territorial integrity, but also escalated the already tense situation.

IRGC General Sejet-Rashi Mousavi was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday. According to the New York Times, he allegedly helped oversee the supply of rockets and other weapons to Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.

Meanwhile, Israel issued a stern warning to Iran-aligned Hezbollah in Lebanon. “We are hitting Hezbollah very hard – it has lost around 150 fighters, its infrastructure has been damaged, it has been pushed far from the border and the (Israeli) Air Force is flying unimpeded over Lebanon. We will step up our efforts,” Israel's Defense Minister Jove Gallant said on Monday evening.

Israel continues to attack targets in Syria to prevent Iran from further expanding its military influence with the help of militias. Both Lebanon and Syria are neighbors of Israel. That is why Israel feels threatened by the rocket weapons of Hezbollah and other militias. Since the Gaza war began on October 7, tensions have risen, particularly along the Lebanon-Israel border.

The Israeli military said Monday evening it had no comment on foreign media reports. The New York Times wrote that Israeli officials admitted they were preparing for Iranian retaliation.

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Iran, along with Russia, is the most important ally of the Syrian government under ruler Bashar al-Assad. For Tehran, Syria is part of the so-called “axis of resistance” in the fight against Israel, along with Hezbollah, a Shiite organization in Lebanon.

The leadership in Tehran has always maintained that IRGC personnel in Syria work only as military advisers and are not directly involved in the civil war. According to US intelligence sources, Iran supports Houthi rebels in Yemen and militias in Iraq.