Middle East conflict expands with bombings in Syria, Israel; Iran vows retaliation

1 of 8 | Iranian protesters wave Iranian and Palestinian flags as one of them holds up a poster of the late Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone attack in 2020, during their anti-Israeli gathering to condemn killing members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria, at the Felestin (Palestine) Sq. in downtown Tehran, Iran, Monday, April 1, 2024. An Israeli airstrike that demolished Iran’s consulate in Syria killed two Iranian generals and five officers, Syrian and Iranian officials said Monday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

AP reports:

Iran on Tuesday vowed to respond to an airstrike widely attributed to Israelthat destroyed Iran’s Consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus the previous day and killed 12 people, including two Iranian generals and a member of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group.

Four Syrian citizens were also killed in the strike, a Syrian official said Tuesday, without providing any details about them. Hezbollah, which has been a key ally of both Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and Iran, also pledged “punishment and revenge” on Israel.

The New York Times notes, “The leaders of Iran and the militia groups it backs around the Middle East made an unusual televised show of unity and defiance on Wednesday, railing against Israel and the United States, as war rages in the Gaza Strip.

On a joint broadcast, the leaders of what calls itself the Axis of Resistance, speaking from different locations, delivered fiery speeches ahead of the upcoming Quds Day, a show of solidarity with Palestinians held each year on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Politico: In a statement made on Iranian state television Wednesday, President Ebrahim Raisi said the attack “will not remain without answer,” and in both a televised statement and in posts to his social media, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that Israel “will be punished


—-In the wake of the attack that killed seven of its workers, World Central Kitchen stopped its work in Gaza and sent three ships with hundreds of tons of food back to port in Cyprus. The food was meant to be unloaded at a makeshift jetty in northern Gaza that was built by the group, which says it has provided 43 million meals to Gazans since the start of the war.

—-April 5 is International Quds Day in which protests are expected in support of Palestine. Israel faces growing isolation as international criticism mounts over its killing of six foreign aid workers this week who were helping deliver desperately needed food in Gaza. The United Nations says much of the population in northern Gaza is on the brink of starvation.

— Muslim American leaders reject chance to break bread with Biden as anger over Gaza festers.

— Palestinians seek full U.N. membership again, but the U.S. is almost certain to block it for a second time. (AP))