A high-ranking Iranian general warned on Wednesday that Tehran would take immediate revenge if Israel kills any of its soldiers, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
“Be aware that we will not only take part in the funeral of our martyrs, but also immediately take their revenge. This is a real and serious message. If your mischief is repeated, you will once again experience our attacks and suffer the bitter taste of our missile blows,” Tasnim quoted Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami, addressing Israel, as saying.
“In recent weeks you have seen how Zionists are always wrong in their calculations and have been targeted by Revolutionary Guard missiles. We are warning them that they should cease their mischief or we will bury them alive,” Salami added.
Salami’s comments came amid rising tension between Iran and Israel.
Last week, the IRGC claimed responsibility for an attack that saw a number of missiles fired at several locations in Iraq’s northern city of Erbil, including what it claimed was an Israeli “strategic center.”
A “strategic center for conspiracy and mischiefs of the Zionists was targeted by powerful precision missiles fired by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps,” said a statement on Sepah News, the Guard’s official website, at the time.
According to the Guard’s statement, the attack appeared to be in retaliation for the deaths of two IRGC commanders in an alleged Israeli airstrike near the Syrian capital Damascus a week earlier.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the alleged Israeli airstrike targeted “a weapons and ammunition depot operated by Iran-backed militias near Damascus international airport.”
The IRGC had vowed revenge for the deaths of officers Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saidnejad – “a crime committed by the Zionist regime” — the IRGC said at the time.
The Israeli military has defended airstrikes targeting Iranian targets in Syria as necessary to prevent its archfoe from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.
Later reports, however, stated that the attack on Erbil was prompted by an alleged Israeli strike on February 16 on a drone warehouse in western Iran. According to reports, the UAV attack on an airbase near Kermanshah decimated Iran’s drone fleet.
The alleged attack was launched after on February 12, the US-led international coalition in Iraq downed two drones that were reportedly launched from Iran.
Israeli officials last week confirmed a February 16 report by the Kan public broadcaster that said Israel believed the drones were heading for the country.