Israel braces for ‘harsh’ Iranian revenge after general’s assassination

Iranians are motivated to “take revenge” following “severe and painful” assassination of senior commander, says expert.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel is preparing for an escalation in its ongoing shadow conflict with Iran, after Israeli jets bombed a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus on Monday and assassinated a senior IRGC general.

The slaying of Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of Iran’s Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, is thought to be the most high-profile assassination of an Iranian militant since Qassem Soleimani was killed in a January 2020 drone strike.

Several prominent Iranian officials have vowed to avenge Zahedi’s death, releasing statements that hinted at retaliatory attacks against Israel.

Iranian Ambassador to Syria Hossein Akbari promised a “harsh” response from Tehran.

“This cowardly crime will not go unanswered,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said.

Notably, anonymous Israeli officials confirmed to the New York Times that Israel was behind the strike. Typically, Israel refuses to confirm or deny responsibility for bombings in Syria.

Unlike previous tit-for-tat attacks between Israel and Iran, which are usually carried out via Israeli strikes on Iranian proxy groups, the slaying of Zahedi is a direct challenge to Tehran.

“The assassination attributed to Israel certainly makes the confrontation between Iran and Israel more direct, rather than indirect, as it has been until now in Syria,” Middle Eastern affairs analyst Hezi Simantov told Radio 103FM.

“This is a severe and painful blow to the Iranian regime, a matter in which the Iranians are more inclined to take revenge against Israel,” he continued.

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“This is the most senior Iranian who has been eliminated so far, since October 7, on Syrian soil.”

He said that Iran was now “laying the groundwork to strike at Israeli diplomatic representations worldwide, in the Arab world, Europe, or the United States or South America.”

Simantov also said that he couldn’t rule out the possibility that “the Iranians will try to do something impulsive. They will perhaps try to activate their militias in Syria or the Houthis in Yemen.

Hebrew-language media reported that Israeli embassies around the globe are stepping up their security, and that the IDF is on high alert for an Iranian response.