Gulf Today

Iran pays homage to Guards, promises revenge


TEHRAN: Thousands of people chanted against Israel and the US at Friday’s funeral for seven Iranian Revolution­ary Guards, two them generals, who were killed in an air strike in Syria, which Iran blamed on Israel.

Guards chief General Hossein Salami warned that Israel “cannot escape the consequenc­es” of Monday’s strike, which levelled the fivestorey consular annex of the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

Israel has not commented on the strike. Iran has said among the dead were two brigadier generals from the Guards’ foreign operations arm, the Quds Force, Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi and Mohammad Reza Zahedi.

A Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observator­y for Human Rights, said Zahedi, 63, was the Quds Force commander for the Palestinia­n Territorie­s, Syria and Lebanon.

He had held several commands during a career spanning more than 40 years, and was the top Iranian soldier killed since a US missile strike at Baghdad airport in 2020 killed General Qassem Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force.

The coffins of the seven were placed on the trailers of two trucks in one of the largest squares in Tehran.

Mourners held Iranian, Palestinia­n flags and Hizbollah flags.

Ziyad Al Nakhalah, leader of the Islamic Jihad, which fights alongside Hamas in Gaza, atended the funeral, Iran’s Fars news agency reported. President Ebrahim Raisi and his predecesso­r Hassan Rouhani were also present.

IRGC chief Salami said Tehran was determined to make Israel pay for the raid. “The Zionist regime cannot escape the consequenc­es of the harm it does,” he said, adding: “It is exposed and knows very well what is going to happen.”

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Israel “will be punished” for the killings.

Israel said on Thursday it was strengthen­ing its defences and pausing leave for combat units following Iran’s threats to retaliate.

Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Iran would inevitably retaliate.

“Be certain that Iran’s response to the targeting of its Damascus consulate is inevitable,” Nasrallah said in a televised Quds Day speech.

“It is quite clear that America has been one of the principal actors in the war continuing,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-abdollahia­n said on Friday.

IRGC chief Salami in his speech also denounced Washington.

“The Zionist regime is alive and well today because of artificial support from the United States. When this is withdrawn it will collapse, and this is near,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bahrain